Recently, Washington Post reported on the death of an 88-year-old woman while she was supposed to be receiving care in a nursing facility. The woman had undergone a hip replacement procedure and was discharged from the hospital. Her daughter referred to a list that the hospital had provided to select a nursing home for the woman to go to after discharge. The home that was chosen by the daughter had an affiliation with the hospital, which the family had been happy with for providing good care.
Unfortunately, while the hospital may have provided acceptable care, the nursing care facility was definitely not a good, caring location for the patient to recover. The hospital, while it provided a list of care facilities that featured this particular home, did not include details on the nursing home. Among the details that the hospital failed to give to the patient and her daughter: the fact the home had repeated citations for violations and the fact the home had only a one-star rating from Medicare.
Unfortunately, situations like this are not isolated incidents. Patients are routinely discharged from hospitals into nursing homes or rehab centers that hospitals recommend… and sometimes those “recommended” facilities can be dangerous. If an injury or illness happens because a patient receives substandard care in a nursing home, the victim or his family should consult with an Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer for help.
Hospital Responsibility to Help Prevent Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse
Hospitals that recommend nursing homes or rehab centers are not currently obliged to offer details on the quality of the nursing care facility. Many hospitals do not provide info on citations, low ratings, or other evidence of problems at nursing homes. Hospitals frequently give a list of options for where patients who need continued care can be discharged to, and families frequently assume that this list contained well-vetted facilities that the hospital thinks are safe. It likely would come as a shock to many who trust their hospital that the hospital may be recommending homes only because it has a financial stake in them or only out of convenience.
A new proposed rule could change how hospitals recommend homes, and could help give people the confidence to trust the places on the hospital’s list. For more than a year, Medicare has been trying to formulate a rule to make hospitals responsible for giving certain details to patients about any nursing care facility that the hospital puts on its recommended list.
It is not yet clear exactly what would be required of hospitals, nor is it a sure thing that the new regulation will pass and hospitals will actually be mandated to start providing info. Still, hospitals should think about voluntarily doing some research into homes they are recommending so they do not inadvertently contribute to the death or serious injury of a patient.
The Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after injury due to abuse or neglect. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.