The New England Journal of Medicine published an article last month that discussed research done on the correlation between a nursing home’s inspection results and it’s risk of being sued. Not surprisingly, the more frequent the deficiencies, the more likely that facility is going to be sued for nursing home abuse or neglect.
Researchers used information gathered through programs called OSCAR (the Online Survey, Certification, and Reporting System) and MDS (Miniumum Data Set) Quality Measure Indicator Report. The OSCAR system contains all survey and certification information for any Medicare and/or Medicaid certified care facility in the U.S. The MDS system contains information on the physical and cognitive functioning of nursing home residents and is recorded on a monthly basis in order to track care processes and their effectiveness. That data is then used to grade quality of care provided by each individual home.
The study also utilized information provided by five of the nation’s largest nursing home chains regarding tort claims filed against any of their facilities within the country. All information spanned the time from 1998 to 2006.
What did the Research Say?
In that time, it seems that nursing home litigation decreased, having occurred 1.5 times for every 1,000 patients in 1998, and only .3 times for every 1,000 patients by 2006. Nursing home falls and bed sores/pressure ulcers maintained the strongest relationship with the number of claims filed against a home. So, based on this research, the stronger the frequency of falls and bedsores, the lower the quality of care and the higher the risk of civil action.
Researchers stated that while there is indeed a correlation between poor care and lawsuits, the relationship is not strong enough to allow for sole dependance on litgation to reform the nursing home industry. Other steps must be taken to ensure that our loved ones are being properly cared for once that care escapes the realm of our capabilities.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia
If your loved one is a resident at a nursing home or long term care facility and you believe the care they are receiving could be considered abusive or negligent, contact the the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. Our team is dedicated to advocating for nursing home patient and resident safety. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.