Virtually all skilled nursing facilities accept taxpayer dollars via Medicare. As a condition of being able to get paid Medicare dollars, Medicare has regulations that set minimum standards for the quality of nursing care provided in nursing homes. The purpose of these regulations is in part to ensure proper care is given in order to avoid neglect, injury, and even death to nursing home patients. These regulations, 42 CFR 483.25, address some of the more common types of problems we see in nursing home cases, problems that can lead to injury, or even death.
For example, these rules state as to bed sores (pressure sores):
"(c) Pressure sores. Based on the comprehensive assessment of a resident, the facility must ensure that-
- A resident who enters the facility without pressure sores does not develop pressure sores unless the individual's clinical condition demonstrates that they were unavoidable; and
- A resident having pressure sores receives necessary treatment and services to promote healing, prevent infection and prevent new sores from developing."
As to preventing accidents like falls:
"(h) Accidents. The facility must ensure that-
- The resident environment remains as free of accident hazards as is possible; and
- Each resident receives adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents."
And as to malnutrition, weight loss, and dehydration:
"(i) Nutrition. Based on a resident's comprehensive assessment, the facility must ensure that a resident-
- Maintains acceptable parameters of nutritional status, such as body weight and protein levels, unless the resident's clinical condition demonstrates that this is not possible; and
- Receives a therapeutic diet when there is a nutritional problem.
(j) Hydration. The facility must provide each resident with sufficient fluid intake to maintain proper hydration and health."
These regulations apply regardless of what state the nursing home is in. Any facility accepting Medicare money in Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, or Georgia must meet these quality standards. If you know someone who has suffered from injury or wrongful death in a nursing home in any of these states, contact Daniel, Holoman & Associates LLP. There is no charge to speak to someone to see if your case is worth investigating. We handle cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we do not get paid if you don't recover.