Many families who entrust their loved ones’ care to a nursing home quickly realize they have to keep a close eye on and ask questions about the care their relatives are receiving. Not only is there the risk of mistakes being made that can result in injury or death to a nursing home resident but also the threat unnecessary care for financial gain.
Particularly disturbing is a recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Directors Association (JAMDA) which reveals nursing homes’ increasing practice of providing intense levels of rehabilitative therapies to residents in their final days of life. Practiced by twice as many for profit homes as nonprofit, these last-ditch, expensive services raise questions as to whether they are helpful to residents or simply a lucrative source of revenue for the nursing homes.
Perhaps the most troubling part of the study is the suggestion that residents are not being referred to hospice care where their comfort is the priority, but rather held back to undergo perhaps needless rehabilitative therapies in their final days, spelling big profits for the facilities in which they reside.
Unfortunately with a model of reimbursement based on the delivery of services rather than a patient’s needs, the potential for shenanigans is high. Although some rehabilitative therapy undoubtedly provides benefits to patients, the research suggests that the scope and intensity might be excessive, perhaps even causing discomfort to patients in their final days.
Nursing home abuse and negligence are an unfortunate reality so it is very important for nursing home residents and their families to remain vigilant regarding the care they receive, whether it be excessive or inadequate. Care provided in a nursing home should fit the needs, goals and wishes of the nursing home resident and their families with the help of their doctor – not to improve the nursing home’s bottom line.
If your family member is injured by unnecessary care delivered in a nursing home, or by any other nursing home negligent care, contact the Des Moines nursing home neglect and abuse law offices of John T. Hemminger for immediate help.
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