As a New Jersey nursing home abuse law firm, we constantly speak with nursing home abuse victims and/or their families. Many ask if Congress has been actively involved in the prevention of nursing home abuse. While the answer is indeed YES, more work is needed.
Nursing Home Abuse Regulations through OBRA
As far back as 1987, the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging held hearings to determine the scope of abuse that was occurring in nursing homes. The federal government deemed the nature and extent of the abuse occurring in nursing homes to be such a serious concern that at the same time, the United States Office of Inspector General further began an investigation designed to uncover whether or not nursing home abuse was widespread throughout this country’s long term care system. As a result of the Senate and the Inspector General’s investigations, Congress then enacted in the Ombudsman’s Reconciliation Act of 1987, or OBRA .
The act consisted of specific federal laws designed to protect the rights of nursing home patients. These regulations set forth patients’ rights to include an absolute right not to be abused physically or mentally by a nursing home staff. The nursing home guidelines in OBRA further sets specific nursing home guidelines that required nursing homes to set out medical policies, procedures, and practices to minimize patient injuries such as bedsores, malnutrition, falls, and other signs of neglect. Under OBRA, states are required to establish state nursing home departments where patients and their families can file complaints. These state nursing home regulatory agencies are also required to perform prompt investigations of any allegations of nursing home abuse, bed sores, pressure ulcers, bedsores, nursing home negligence and other nursing home quality-of-care issues.
Nursing Home Abuse Should be Reported Promptly!
As a New Jersey nursing home abuse lawyer, we typically advise our New Jersey nursing home law clients to file their complaints with the “Office of the Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly”. This office investigates allegations of bed sores, abuse and neglect of seniors, age 60 and older, who are living in nursing homes and other long-term healthcare facilities. Under New Jersey law, callers are entitled to anonymity, and the abuse investigation files are not open to the public. To file a complaint, you can call the 24 hour toll-free hotline at 1-877-582-6992, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a Pennsylvania nursing abuse lawyer, we advise our Pennsylvania nursing home law clients to file or report any allegation of abuse or neglect with the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, Pennsylvania Department of Aging, 555 Walnut Street, Fifth Floor, P.O. Box 1089, Harrisburg, PA 17101, Phone (717) 783-7427, Fax (717) 772-3382 or the 24 hour state-wide elder abuse hotline at 1-800-490-8505.
Though Congress’s OBRA protection laws have been around for over 25 years, it appears that Nursing Home abuse is still a systemic problem that continues to plague the quality of life of all seniors. As a nursing home abuse lawyer and advocate, we encourage Congress and States to continue to enact protections for the prevention of nursing home abuse.
Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys in New Jersey and Philadelphia
If you or a loved one have suffered extensively due to the abusive or negligent actions of a nursing home or long term care facility, please contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. The NJ and PA nursing home abuse lawyers at the Mininno Law Office are prepared to handle even the toughest cases, in order to earn you the compensation you need and deserve. You may also call for a free consultation at 856-833-0600 in New Jersey, or 215-567-2380 in Philadelphia.
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