Our lawyers and staff have taken up the cause of looking out for our senior citizens, and we are proud to press for the betterment of their welfare through advocacy and litigation when necessary.
Bowling Green, KY (PRWEB) January 17, 2012
Kentucky nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer J. Marshall Hughes today cited a new Center for Medicare Advocacy study in calling for independent inspections of deficient nursing homes to replace unreliable self-reporting by the facilities.
“The finding that nursing care facilities already under special scrutiny because of their failings are reporting false information in order to claim improvement demonstrates clearly that independent inspections are the only means to properly monitor these nursing homes,” Hughes said.
Hughes’ Kentucky personal injury law firm, Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers, represents elderly victims of nursing home abuse and neglect throughout Kentucky and Tennessee in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.
“We hope this finding also provides incentive for real improvement in these elder care facilities,” Hughes said.
The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) identifies certain nursing facilities as “special focus facilities.” The CMS defines these as facilities that have been cited for federal deficiencies in the prior three years. They are considered to provide the poorest care to their residents. As a result, they are inspected twice a year, instead of once, by state survey agencies. They also receive other additional monitoring.
However, the Center for Medicare Advocacy studied CMS reports about 47 SFFs on the list of 144 nursing homes identified as SFFs last May. The study found that the SFFs, 96 percent of them owned on a for-profit basis, provided false information to inspectors.
According to the study, more than half of the facilities reported higher levels of staffing than actually existed, and more than half reported high “quality measures,” a calculation based on having met residents’ care needs, that were inaccurate.
“It’s not at all surprising that the elderly hens are not safe when the profit-seeking foxes are guarding the hen house,” said Lee Coleman, a Kentucky nursing home abuse and neglect attorney who also is a partner in Hughes & Coleman.
“If it’s not possible for the state to pay for proper independent audits and inspections of nursing homes and other elder care facilities, then it is up to the public – family and other loved ones of skilled-care facility residents – to monitor and speak up about the quality of care provided,” Coleman said.
The attorneys said that, in addition to reporting suspected abuse and neglect to proper authorities, victims and family members should also contact a law firm that focuses in this area of the law for information and support.
Hughes & Coleman’s website, http://www.nursinghomeneglectlawyers.com, provides a comprehensive discussion of the signs of elder abuse and neglect, and it offers information on how to report problems on its Frequently Asked Questions page.
“Our lawyers and staff have taken up the cause of looking out for our senior citizens, and we are proud to press for the betterment of their welfare through advocacy and litigation when necessary,” Hughes said. “We believe in standing up for and protecting the rights of the elderly.”
About Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers
Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers, with Kentucky offices in Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, Lexington and Louisville, is dedicated to protecting the rights and interests of nursing home abuse and neglect victims, as well as the families who care deeply about their elderly loved ones.
Partners J. Marshall Hughes and Lee Coleman are accomplished injury attorneys and advocates for people who have suffered from nursing home neglect and abuse, as well as auto accidents, brain injury, drug injury, defective products, environmental dangers, fire and burn injury, insurance disputes, motorcycle accidents, premises liability, Social Security disability, stock fraud, truck accident injury, workers’ compensation and wrongful death.
For more information, contact Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers at (800) 489-6000 or use the firm's online contact form.