Abuse and Neglect of Elderly Rampant In Nursing Home Industry

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by Evelyn Pringle


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In 1987, Congress passed landmark legislation aimed at improving nursing home care for the nation’s vulnerable elderly population. However, a recent investigation by Consumer Reports found poor care in nursing homes is still extremely common, especially in the for-profit chains that have become the dominant force in the industry.

The Nursing Home Reform Act requires nursing homes to comply with federal regulations for quality of care and specifically states that “a nursing facility must care for its residents in such a manner and in such an environment as will promote maintenance or enhancement of the quality of life of each resident.”

However, Consumer conducted an analysis of state inspections for some 16,000 homes nationwide and reported that “two decades after the passage of a federal law to clean up the nation’s nursing homes, bad care persists and good homes are still hard to find,” in a September 2006 report.

When nursing home facilities are found to be out of compliance or have deficiencies that put residents in immediate jeopardy, states are required to refer case information to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for enforcement action.

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