New Mexico AG Files Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit Against Major Skilled Nursing Chain
A national nursing home chain now faces a nursing home abuse lawsuit from The New Mexico Office of the Attorney General filed in the first week of April, claiming that staffing problems in particular made decent care at homes run and managed by Preferred Care Partners Management Group – based in Texas – impossible.
The nursing home abuse complaint said that consistently low staffing at the company’s nursing homes left elderly patients in soiled diapers or urine-soaked beds for hours, sometimes all night. Many residents fell and broke bones or suffered concussions because their calls for help went unanswered, and they tried to get up themselves.
Although the company is based in Texas, it runs nursing homes all over the country, including in New Mexico. The attorney general’s office said that other states, who face similar problems with nursing home chains including Preferred Care Partners Management Group, have contacted the office. There could be more state-based nursing home abuse lawsuits in the future.
The novelty of New Mexico’s nursing home abuse lawsuit involves calculating how many minutes it takes nurses or nursing aides to complete basic tasks, like feeding, bathing, or taking a resident to the bathroom. The number of residents are also considered to get a basic idea of exactly how many hours should be worked by care staff to maintain a minimum standard of care. That number is then compared to how many actual hours were worked by doctors, nurses, and nursing aides.
New Mexico reported, in their nursing home abuse lawsuit, that they found up to 50% of the hours needed were not worked.
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, who took office in January, said that he would pursue the lawsuit in part to protect the elderly and vulnerable residents of New Mexico, but also because he wanted to ensure that residents, their families, the state, and the federal government got the care they paid for in a nursing home.
The nursing home abuse complaint further states that, since 2008, nursing homes have made $236 million in revenue. Medicare and Medicaid programs run by New Mexico paid for 80% of that cost, meaning that the abuse and neglect could be seen as government fraud.
Also noted in the complaint is 450 nursing home abuse and neglect complaints, filed between 2011 and 2014. This number includes complaints against Preferred Care, but involves other nursing homes as well.
Preferred Care said through a spokesperson that the nursing home abuse lawsuit has no foundation, and that the staff hired by the chain are compassionate.
Learn more about: Federal Nursing Home Regulations
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As South Carolina’s population ages, and more retirement-aged people move to the South to take advantage of the warm weather and low cost of living, there are more and more elderly patients entering nursing homes. Many of these residents will face some type of nursing home abuse, whether it is neglect, physical abuse, verbal, mental, or emotional abuse, financial abuse, or even sexual abuse.
If your loved one lives in a long-term care facility, and has suffered some form of nursing home abuse, you do not have to suffer in silence. The South Carolina nursing home abuse attorneys at the Strom Law Firm defend victims’ rights. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the events that transpired, and to see how we can help. Contact us today. 803.252.4800