A Worcester nursing home planning attorney should be consulted by anyone who is concerned about what could happen if they are no longer able to live independently. Nursing home care is very expensive and, unfortunately, is not covered by Medicare, Medigap or most private insurers except under specific circumstances not applicable to most seniors. An experienced attorney at The Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C. can provide assistance in trying to qualify for Medicaid for nursing home care coverage without spending down assets first.
Seniors are not only challenged by the costs of covering nursing home care, but may also face issues finding a safe nursing home. Elder abuse and neglect are serious problems that have reached crisis levels throughout the country, as many vulnerable seniors are maltreated at nursing homes and far too many cases go unreported.
Problems with nursing home abuse and neglect could be getting increasingly worse because more and more nursing homes are now run by nursing home chains or by big companies with little local presence and little concern about the needs of nursing home patients. As nursing homes grow, sometimes the quality of patient care declines dramatically. Just recently, the Boston Globe reported on a “nursing home giant,” which was facing “stumbles” as part of expansion.
Vulnerable seniors and their families are the ones who suffer when a nursing home isn’t able to offer residents a safe and secure living space with a reasonable level of assistance by staff members. The Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C. can provide help in doing research to find the right care facility and can offer assistance in trying to plan ahead to get costs covered. Give us a call to find out more.
Nursing Home Giant Experiences Serious Problems as it Grows
Boston Globe reported on myriad problems with nursing homes throughout Massachusetts owned by Genesis HealthCare, which was described as “the largest owner of nursing homes in Massachusetts and nationwide.” Genesis HealthCare owns approximately 500 different nursing homes, 32 of which are located in Boston.
Unfortunately, many of those nursing homes have failed investigations and some have been fined by regulators for serious problems with patient care. Administrators in one home recently had to pay a fine of $56,000, for example, after a resident died of an untreated urinary tract infection. The resident had a very high fever and massive inflammation but was not provided with appropriate medical care.
Investigators also visited other nursing homes owned by Genesis HealthCare and found some of them to be filthy dirty and understaffed. Administrators in one facility admitted to investigators that they were forced to ask activity directors and admissions executives to assist with feeding patients because there were so few certified nursing assistants working at the home.
The quality of care in many of the Genesis owned homes may be suffering due to the rapid expansion of the company. Since 2010, close to half of all of the homes that Genesis owns have experienced a decline in ratings from federal regulators. The other half of the homes which did not see their ratings decline already had poor ratings in the first place and were described as being below average in quality.
Genesis Homes were also found to have higher numbers of complaints, with their facilities having “strikingly worse” scores based on the severity and extent of problems as compared with other nursing homes in the state. An analysis also suggests that these scores get worse, not better, over time.
Getting Help from A Worcester Nursing Home Planning Attorney
Finding a high quality nursing home and being able to afford nursing home care is likely to become even more challenging as more nursing home corporations and conglomerates expand and take over more markets. Anyone who is concerned they could some day end up in a nursing home should be very worried about these troubling trends.
If a problem does arise, it is essential for nursing home residents and their families to speak up, take appropriate action and get help from an experienced attorney. The Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C. is here to provide the assistance you need to help find the right nursing home and to help ensure that costs can be covered without losing your lifetime nest egg. The sooner you reach out to talk with a Worcester nursing home planning attorney, the better your chances to successfully find a high quality home and ensure you can get the costs of nursing home care paid for.
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