What Is The National Nursing Home Initiative?
Last month, Attorney General William Barr announced the creation of a new U.S. Department of Justice task force called the National Nursing Home Initiative. The purpose of this DOJ initiative is to investigate and prosecute gross negligence and abuse in nursing homes across the country.
The news came only a few months after last year’s DOJ crackdown on nursing homes and seems to be the latest in a series of strengthening enforcement measures designed to protect residents in elder care facilities.
Considering that an estimated 5 million elderly people are subjected to abuse of some kind every year in the United States, this news—while welcome—is long overdue. So, what does this mean for nursing homes and other elder care facilities in the U.S. and the people who live there? Our Colorado nursing home abuse attorneys at Frost & Beck, PC explain.
What Does This Mean for Nursing Homes?
DOJ initiative to hold facilities like nursing homes liable for gross negligence is not new. However, the introduction of the National Nursing Home Initiative represents a renewed focus on the issues that have plagued the industry for many years.
The March 3 announcement made it clear that the physical well-being of nursing home residents suffering from abuse and neglect would be prioritized over issues like financial fraud and health care, which were the targets of the 2016 Elder Justice Initiative.
The National Nursing Home Initiative task force will focus on the following signs of elder abuse:
- Poor hygiene
- Withholding pain medication
- Using sedation or restraints when not warranted
- Unsanitary patient rooms
In his speech last month, the Attorney General emphasized that “[t]he Initiative will bring to justice those owners and operators who put profits before patients, and it will help to ensure that the residents receive the care to which they are entitled.”
Nursing homes across the country will likely start taking steps to eradicate or at least alleviate the above to avoid lawsuits if they haven’t already. We are hopeful that this will lead to fewer cases of elder abuse in the coming years.
How We Can Help
However, we remain steadfast in our mission to prevent nursing home abuse in Colorado and will continue to fight for those who have suffered. Our founding attorneys personally understand the pain and frustration involved in nursing home abuse cases. We are ready to put our 40+ years of combined legal experience to work for you.
If you know or have reason to suspect that your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect while in the care of a facility, our Colorado nursing home abuse attorneys can help. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.