Hundreds of state investigations in 2015 concluded numerous nursing homes across Kentucky were in non-compliance with nursing standards of care. The state Office of the Inspector General (OIG) compiled a list of each of its investigations and findings in 2015. Among some of the most egregious violations are the following:
- A Western Kentucky nursing home that ignored a resident’s complaint of urinary pain and removed the “voice valve” to prevent the nursing home resident from complaining of pain. The resident’s urinary catheter had come lose, leading to a urinary tract infection, bleeding, and emergency room hospitalization.
- A Northern Kentucky nursing home that ignored a resident developing a pressure sore for over a week, including not informing the resident’s family or attending physician. This in turn led to the development of a Stage III pressure ulcer, including yellowing, sloughing, and redness on the sacral area.
- A Central Kentucky nursing home that failed to have an infectious disease control policy, allowing for the development and spread of scabies which infected 15 of 16 sampled patients. No treatment, contamination, and eradication policy existed or was followed to control scabies.
- A Louisville-area nursing home that failed to notify family members or the attending physician after residents suffered repeated falls, including residents who suffered hematomas and other serious conditions as a result of their falls. Additionally, the OIG also found this facility was in a state of disrepair, with molded walls, puddles on floors, waxy buildups along doorways, and toilets soiled with urine/feces.
These are only a few of the findings for 2015 released by the OIG, but they all indicate a broader problem facing seniors in Kentucky and across the nation—nursing homes across the country are vastly underserving our elderly.
However, there is a bright side to all these dark facts, as society begins to realize the plight faced by those in nursing homes. In April 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the creation of ten regional taskforces for Elder Justice that will include federal and state prosecutors, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), state Adult Protective Services agencies, Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs and law enforcement.
In fact, one such Elder Justice regional taskforce office will be based right here in Louisville in the office for the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky. Department of Justice official Stuart Delery noted that seniors count on nursing homes to provide quality care, but said “all too often we have found nursing home owners or operators who put their own economic gain before the needs of their residents. These task forces will help ensure that we are working closely with all relevant parties to protect the elderly.”
Additionally, as we noted in our blog late last year, Kentucky recently adopted a new regulation requiring background checks of all new employees. This regulation is part of an effort to combat persistent issues in Kentucky nursing homes which contributes to ongoing patient neglect from unqualified staff. Kentucky continually ranks among the worst states in the country for nursing home abuse and neglect.
Here at the Poppe Law Firm, we proudly represent residents and their families who suffered abuse and neglect in nursing homes across Kentucky and Southern Indiana. If you or a loved one has been injured or suffered an avoidable accident causing serious injury in a nursing home, please do not hesitate to contact us online or by phone at (502) 895-3400. Nursing home residents, our seniors, and our family members deserve justice for when they suffer nursing home abuse and neglect.