The race for money is causing deterioration in care and nursing home negligence in Kentucky is an avoidable consequence of it. The quality of care is strikingly different from claims these facilities make to lure residents. Many of these assisted care centers are short on doctors, nurses, and aids severely crippling their ability to offer intensive care and rehabilitation.
Grace Fulgate entered a Kentucky nursing home nourishing a yet-to-be-healed knee following a surgery. Her family thought she would have the best care and live a queen’s life for a short term, until her knee fully recoverd. But the expectations turned into unpleasant experiences and she returned home with an amputated leg due to neglect of caregivers. The caregivers were “too busy to attend her” when the severely restricted resident sought help to go to a bedside commode. Aides even refused to help asking the “knee-surgery” Fugate to do on her own. The resident walked on her own after the aides “lowered the guard rails on the bed.” She fell off the toilet and her operated knee was opened up.
This was not enough for her caregivers to help her. She was left until paramedics arrived. Urine passed into the injured knee causing infection and Fugate was medically resuscitated from unconsciousness traced to loss of blood. Fugate underwent multiple surgeries to stop infection in her knee. But all efforts were in vein and her leg was amputated after two-month-long hospitalization. Her nursing home negligence lawsuit filed in a Kentucky court led to $7.5 million in damages.
About 22 percent of nursing home residents staying up to five weeks suffer from some form of “harm” due to negligent care, claims a report of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General made public in 2014. Another 11 percent become subject to “temporary injury.” Figures show that nursing homes received $2.8 billion of Medicare to treat injuries received at their facilities.
While hospitals are discharging patients early to reduce costs, nursing homes, notwithstanding reports of negligent long-term care, are trying to lure patients offering short-term rehabilitation. For example, a patient is discharged by a hospital within a week of hip replacement surgery. He or she needs care and rehab for weeks and home is not the place for that. Here, nursing homes play their card offering to provide short-term rehabilitation.
However, a nursing home is built for “long-term care toward the end of life.” They do not have facilities for intensive care and the danger of infections lurks always. But the lust for Medicare dollars can be a strong incentive for a business.
This overburdens nursing homes in all states, including Kentucky, and the already infamous care standards dwindle further. Additionally, the threat of harm, injury, infection, and lack of adequate support impact the quality of lives of residents. And above all, many of these refuse to admit lower-paying Medicaid residents to make room for those covered with Medicare payments.
No Improvement in Care
Money minting has only improved profit margins, not care standards. Lapses in care and death continue as before as is the number of nursing home abuse and negligence claims in Kentucky. Direct care lacks significantly and even nutritional food and accident-free environment continue to be distant dreams for many residents. Sexual and financial exploitations have been more frequent than ever. But basics, such as monitoring, abuse reporting, and individual care planning, are a far cry in these facilities. Bedsores and dehydration continue to claim lives in the absence of adequate medical care.
Our expert KY nursing home neglect lawyer offers to assist plaintiffs pursuing claims against negligence at care centers. If you have reasons to believe that a resident is subject to nursing home negligence or abuse in Kentucky, please contact us or call on 1-866-447-0150 to discuss the best course of action.