Allegations of rampant nursing home neglect at four facilities followed reports of remarkable soaring profits in the two years after a new owner took over. This doesn’t surprise our Orlando nursing home abuse attorneys in the least, given that the growing number of for-profit nursing homes tend to far more understaffed and rake in higher profit margins than those operating on a not-for-profit basis. It all comes down to the clear incentive corporate owners have to reduce costs and fatten their own pockets. However, they do so at the expense of properly caring for the most vulnerable elderly residents.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, one of the nursing homes in question went from roughly breaking even in the two years before the new owner took over to suddenly being the No. 2 most profitable nursing home in the region. Soon after, officials say, the quality of care provided to nursing home residents plummeted. In September, state investigators who inspected the facility reported it was so awful at one, the neglect so pervasive, officials decided to shut it down and revoke its license. Such a measure is rarely taken against nursing homes, even those found to be responsible for neglect and abuse.
One of the local nursing home abuse attorneys in that region was quoted by the newspaper as saying the executive officer of the nursing home chain (who operates a management group based out of New York) was making heaps of profits, which was only possible through nursing home understaffing. The attorney said (as our Orlando nursing home abuse lawyers have also seen here) that when staffing in a nursing home facility are cut, it directly and negatively impacts both the quality of care and quality of life for nursing home residents.
In this case, the four facilities purchased by this single owner are four of the five most profitable in the state. In addition to understaffing, these sites have been increasingly taking on the sickest patients (for whom Medicare and insurers pay more to house). Before when these nursing homes were managed by the archdiocese, they were collectively cited once in three years, according to federal records. In the four years since this owner has been operating them, the nursing homes were cited a total of 14 times for “actual harm to residents.” Numerous patients were reportedly suffering from lack of proper wound treatment, with four residents dying at a single facility at the same time the state health department inspection resulted in a revocation of license. However, the facility managed to obtain a provisional license and has remained open.
In one case cited, an 88-year-old was admitted to the nursing home in 2014 following a hip replacement and died three years later, reportedly suffering severe bed sores and a laundry list of infections she allegedly acquired during her time there. Her family says she came there for rehabilitation – and never left. Her daughter said she observed the dramatic dip in staffing at the nursing home as soon as the new owner took over. In a wrongful death lawsuit she filed against the nursing home last month, she alleges a doctor ordered staffers to change her mother’s position every two hours, but that didn’t happen, resulting in bed sores that bore all the way through to the bone.
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St. Francis nursing home made sky-high profits. Then it was sanctioned for neglect, June 13, 2018, By Harold Brubaker, The Philadelphia Inquirer
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Caretaker Arrested for Nursing Home Abuse of Dementia Patient Taped to Chair, July 15, 2018, Orlando Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog