How to Find Out If Your Loved One’s Nursing Home Has a History of Neglect

Published on Jun 6, 2019 at 6:16 pm in Nursing Home Abuse.

Elder person sitting down holding ball in hand, person sitting next to them is touching their wrist.

No matter how pristine and safe a nursing home may seem, it’s not always easy to detect what goes on when visitors aren’t present. A significant number of facilities are found in violation of state and federal laws every year. Some of the violations are in regard to abuse and neglect. To protect your loved one, it’s important to know how you can find information on a nursing home’s reputation and past.

Whether you’re searching to find the perfect long-term care facility for your loved one or making sure their current facility is providing them with the care they need and deserve, there are a variety of resources you can use to find out if your loved one’s nursing home has a history of neglect.

There are state, federal, and independent resources you can access to find out about instances of neglect in a nursing home. You can learn about a nursing home’s rating, compare facilities to each other, and read about the violations different homes near you have been charged with.

Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare Tool

Medicare, which is run by the federal government, has detailed information about every Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country. When you visit their Nursing Home Compare tool, you can search for facilities by ZIP code, city, state, or name.

When you search for a location, like Marion, Illinois, you’ll see a number of results pop up. The nursing homes that you see will be close to the location you searched for. You have the option of modifying your search and changing how far out you want your results to go.

The search results are initially filtered by distance to the searched location. You’ll see the name of the facility, as well as its address and phone number. Each facility receives ratings in the form of one to five stars. The rating scale includes the following categories: much below average, below average, average, above average, and much above average. The more stars a facility has, the better care they provide.

Each nursing home is rated on their health inspections, staffing, and quality measures. An overall rating is provided based on those scores. The higher a health inspection rating, the fewer health risks a resident could face. The staffing rating is based on the facility’s staffing hours for Registered Nurses, Licensed Practice Nurses, Licensed Vocational Nurses, and Nurse aides. Quality measures look at the quality of care residents receive.

With this tool, you can choose up to three nursing homes to compare. If you find a facility you like, the website will provide you with information, including what type of facility they are, how many residents they hold, who owns the facility, and additional characteristics and services.

Nursing Home Deficiency Reports

The Nursing Home Inspect tool from ProPublica allows users to compare nursing homes in a state based on their deficiencies and the imposed penalties within the past three years. Inspection reports can also be searched. The app uses data from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The tool rates facilities by severity with an alphabetical scale that goes from A to L. A is the least serious severity score, while L is the most serious. If you search for nursing homes in Illinois, you’ll find that the majority of facilities are given a D rating. A D rating suggests there is no actual harm, but there is the potential for minimal harm that doesn’t pose immediate jeopardy.

When the initial search results appear, you’ll see the date the last inspection was updated, the nursing home’s name, the city and state it’s located, the number of deficiencies they were charged with, and the severity rating. To learn more about the inspection report, you can click on any nursing home. You’ll be provided with comprehensive information on their offenses.

Illinois’ Quarterly Reports on Nursing Home Violations

The Illinois Department of Public Health provides Quarterly Report of Nursing Home Violations. The nursing homes included on their reports have been determined to be in violation of the Nursing Home Care Act. Some facilities included on the reports have been recommended for decertification for violations in patient care.  The reports include information on the facilities, the type of violation they were charged with, and the resulting fine or penalty.

If you access the tools above and realize there’s a possibility that your loved one’s nursing home is dangerous, it’s likely you’ll want to remove them from the environment as soon as possible. In Illinois, nursing home residents must be discharged or transferred from a facility at their request or at the request of their legal guardian. We can answer any question you may have about your loved one’s nursing home rights. To learn more, contact us today.



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