Special kudos to the Reading Eagle on its recent series on nursing homes – in particular the editorial We Must Demand Better from Nursing Homes, Regulators, published on December 11, 2016. For those of us who work hard to hold nursing home corporations accountable when seniors are neglected, abused, seriously injured, or die, this series of articles is a vindication.
Since the Reading Eagle is a subscription news service we cannot provide the entire article, however it may be worth the $1.00 day pass to check out this series. You can access the article series here.
There are times when I feel like attorneys have a better ability to investigate claims of neglect and abuse than state regulators. In the era of cutting budgets many regulators, as hard as they work, just don’t have the resources. As a result, they are stretched too thin.
I have countless stories where facilities did not receive citations and yet we were able to uncover serious violations of standards leading to catastrophe and death. One time, my nursing home administration expert was asked in a deposition why the facility never got a citation from the state. He replied, “If they knew what I know they would have.”
Being a good advocate for a nursing home resident sometimes means making a complaint to the state. If you make a complaint, be clear and succinct. If you write out your complaint or email it, as opposed to leaving a voice message, it is less likely that something will be missed. If you have any supporting documentation – like medical records – then include them with the complaint. This way you can assist the investigator as much as possible.