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For Profit Nursing Homes

For-profit nursing homes are on the rise in America, and they’re not looking out for their patients; federal authorities recently released a report documenting their wasteful spending, and a widespread landscape of fraud and abuse. Bloomberg News revealed the government investigation’s findings in early January, as recorded in data and court filings (Bloomberg obtained the U.S. government data through Freedom of Information requests). The news source concluded that profit motives have a serious affect on the quality of care.

In 2010, seventy percent of nursing homes were run for-profit, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s recent audit (this agency advises Congress). In terms of Medicare payments, for-profit homes made a profit margin of 21% that year; non-profit nursing home companies only made 10% off of off taxpayers. For-profit nursing home companies, which pressure their facility managers to minimize the number of employees and keep down their hours to cut costs, push patients to undergo treatments they don’t need, then bill (and often overcharge) Medicare. In 2009, nursing homes billed Medicare for $1.5 billion in improper and fraudulent charges—this statistic comes from a November report by the Office of Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services. From the Bloomberg report: “Thirty per cent of claims sampled from for-profit homes were deemed improper, compared to just 12 percent from non-profits.”

For-profit nursing homes are also the scenes of horrible mistreatment of elderly patients, caused by a lack of adequate staff, and generally putting the bottom line ahead of patient care. Two of the companies investigated by Bloomberg, Life Care Centers of America and Skilled Healthcare Group, both denied any wrongdoing. Among the atrocities documented by patients’ families and law enforcement at their facilities: in South Carolina, an 80-year-old woman was placed in a standing frame (equipment meant to keep wheelchair bound people from sitting constantly) even thought she couldn’t hold up her head or open her eyes; in Florida, a 92 year-old man with lung cancer who coughed up blood was given two hours of physical, occupational and speech therapy (this can be exhausting even for young, healthy people); and in California, a 77-year-old woman fell three times, resulting in two broken hips, several surgeries, bed sores and urinary tract infections. Short staffing was blamed for this last tragedy; at the same California nursing home, a 77-year-old woman choked to death because she was left alone in the dining hall, and patients frequently soiled themselves, because there was no staff around to help them to the toilet.

More than 30% of nursing homes in the country experience some form of resident abuse. If you believe a loved one has been abused or neglected at a nursing home, contact Mike Agruss Law, at 312-224-4695 for a free consultation. Mike Agruss Law, represents victims of nursing home abuse and neglect throughout Illinois. We will handle your case quickly, advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you. This litigation strategy will provide you with the best possible compensation.

Plus, Mike Agruss Law, does not get paid attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. Therefore, you have nothing to risk when you hire our firm—just the opportunity to seek justice. Protect your loved one’s rights by contacting us today.

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