Little Rock, AR- The federal watchdog agency that oversees healthcare in the U.S. is concerned about the abuse of the elderly in nursing homes. In a report released in late August, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) said that cases of elder abuse and neglect are rampant in long-term care facilities across the country.
Office of Inspector General (OIG) Report on Nursing Home Abuse
The preliminary report by the OIG, issued on August 30, 2017, identified 134 cases of potential abuse in nursing homes in 33 states. Some of those incidents are severe and include sexual abuse or rape. The report also noted that a quarter of cases are not reported.
Prior to the release of their preliminary report, the OIG sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), stating that they are not providing adequate oversight of nursing homes. OIG found that 20 percent of Medicare beneficiaries experienced adverse events, including bed sores, and infections. What’s more, the watchdog found that 69 percent of adverse events were preventable and 50 percent needed to be hospitalized, according to PBS.
The watchdog agency’s report is not complete, but they were so alarmed by the preliminary findings, they felt an early public alert was necessary. After the release, lawmakers on the Hill asked for additional information so they can develop policies to better protect older adults.
In their press release, the agency said: “Due to the importance and urgency of the preliminary findings, OIG is alerting citizens of potential cases of patient neglect and abuse in these facilities, many of which are temporary residences for our nation’s most vulnerable people.”
The OIG is urging families to be vigilant and visit their loved ones in nursing homes often. Ask them if they are being abused or neglected and speak up if they are.
What Should I do if My Loved One is Abused in an Arkansas Nursing Home?
If your loved one is abused or neglected, take the following steps:
- Speak with nursing home administrators and discuss your concerns
- Contact the Arkansas Long-Term Care Ombudsman at 501-682-8952 or visit their website and file a complaint
- Set up a consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in Arkansas
Speak to a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Little Rock
A caregiver should not mistreat an older adult. Elder abuse and neglect is physically, emotionally, and economically damaging. Victims need an advocate on their side if they want to hold a facility accountable and recover compensation on behalf of their elderly loved one. USAttorneys.com has an understanding team of elder abuse lawyers in Little Rock who will take your case seriously and stand up for victims of abuse and neglect.