The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has put state health departments on notice: Make sure nursing homes prohibit staff from taking demeaning photographs of residents, or state officials will be directed to investigate and possibly discipline offenders.
This follows recent reports of nursing home employees taking inappropriate photos of residents and posting them on social media platforms such as Snapchat, FaceBook and Instagram. In a recent investigation, 47 instances of demeaning photos or videos of nursing home residents were discovered on social media sites dating back to 2012.
Nursing homes have a duty to protect residents’ privacy, prohibit abuse and provide training to prevent abuse, which includes exploitation on social media. If they fail to do so, they can face citations, fines, removal from the Medicare program and could be subject to an elder abuse or negligence law suit.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse or neglect in an Iowa nursing home or care facility, contact the Law Offices of John T. Hemminger for help. Mental suffering, loss of enjoyment in life, shortened life expectancy and malicious and reckless conduct by the nursing home staff are just some of the injuries for which damages may be found. Call us today for a free consultation.
Source: The Des Moines Register, “Feds to Target Social Media Abuse in Nursing Homes”, accessed August 8, 2016.
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