A number of troubling allegations reportedly fill the pages of inspection reports recently released by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Three years of inspection reports obtained and published by non-profit corporation Propublica alleged verbal abuse, neglect, rape, and physical abuse at a number of skilled nursing facilities in both Illinois and Missouri. A total of 513 Missouri nursing homes received citations for a number of deficiencies since 2009. 99 of those homes were issued $676,000 in fines for serious deficiencies. In addition, 774 skilled nursing facilities in Illinois received more than $2.3 million in fines as a result of alleged deficiencies.
In the St. Louis Metro, one particularly troubling 59-page inspection report accused the Nathan Health Care Center in East St. Louis of 75 deficiencies, 10 of which were considered serious. The facility was also fined $25,000 and labeled for special focus after six residents were allegedly sexually abused. The report claims a 59-year-old resident released from federal prison in 2010 sexually assaulted a number of patients who were unable to provide consent as a result of their poor cognitive abilities. In at least one case, a resident was purportedly exposed to Hepatitis C as a result of rape. The inspection report claims the nursing home not only failed to protect residents from being sexually assaulted, but also failed to notify law enforcement officials about the alleged incidents.
Sadly, the recently released federal inspection reports outline a number of other egregious deficiencies that reportedly existed at long-term care facilities located in the two states. For example, one nursing home supposedly used facility lock-downs as a means to punish residents. A patient reportedly died at another facility after being denied his medication and suffering chest pain for at least 12 hours. A certified nursing assistant at yet another facility was accused of yelling numerous insults at residents as well as calling them children. Another troubling case left a dementia patient dead from drowning after she allegedly went missing during mealtime. Her body was found the following day in a creek about one mile away from the facility. Unfortunately, the tragic list of negligence or abuse at area nursing homes goes on and on.
The facilities described above are subject to federal inspection because they are certified to accept Medicare and Medicaid funds. Although most nursing homes in Illinois accept federal funds, they are not required by law to do so. Whether or not a facility is certified, nursing homes that operate in Illinois are always required to provide quality resident care in compliance with state law. The Illinois Department of Public Health regulates the quality of care provided in all Illinois skilled nursing facilities. If you believe your loved one suffered abuse or neglect while residing in an Illinois nursing home, you should speak with a skilled attorney to discuss your concerns.
If your friend or family member was the victim of sexual or other abuse at a nursing home in Illinois, please give the knowledgeable attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. a call at (312) 475-9596. Our experienced Chicago area skilled nursing facility abuse and neglect lawyers are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to help you protect the rights of your elderly or disabled loved ones. For a free consultation with a dedicated attorney, do not hesitate to contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through our website.
Influenza Epidemic Places Nursing Home Residents in Illinois and Nationwide at Risk, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, January 27, 2013
Recent Study Suggests For-Profit Nursing Homes in Illinois and Nationwide are More Likely to Overcharge Medicare While Neglecting Seniors, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, January 16, 2013
Documents Outline Deficiencies At Local Nursing Homes, by Justin Wingerter and Allison Blood, stlouiscbslocal.com