When nursing home owners accept assistance from Medicaid and Medicare, they agree to provide a safe environment and quality care for their patients. But when owners chose to pocket the cash instead of provide basic necessities for their residents, neglect and abuse are bound to occur. One such man has been convicted in Atlanta, Georgia (GA) for subjecting patients in three nursing homes across the city to such conditions.
George Dayln Hauser and his wife, an accomplice, were convicted of defrauding Medicaid and Medicare. Complaints from patients, family members, staffers and others rolled in, and the FBI began an official investigation. Evidence was collected and presented to a judge, who deemed the care provided as "worthless." This precendent-setting case is the first in which a defendant was federally convicted for submitting payment claims for worthless services. All three nursing homes were shut down by the state and the patients were transferred to new nursing homes where they were treated with more respect and compassion.
Nursing home abuse comes in many forms. Outright physical abuse may be the easiest to spot, but other types can be more subversive. Inadequate staffing and failure to pay vendors leads to general neglect of patients.
If you have a loved one who lives in a nursing home, be vigilant when you visit. Questions to ask include
- Do nurses and other employees seem tired or too busy to provide proper care?
- Is the food healthy and fresh?
- Is the facility clean and well-maintained?
- Does your loved one have any issues or complaints about where they're staying?
Listen to the answers and consider them carefully.