Despite the time that has passed since the last peak in COVID-19 cases, the virus’s effects are still rampant in North Carolina’s nursing homes. While facilities remain understaffed and overcrowded, state and local health departments struggle to keep annual health inspections up-to-date, putting residents at risk of serious harm and worrying their loved ones.
Due to strict 2020 visitor restrictions during the initial coronavirus outbreak, health inspectors could not access the facilities for annual inspections like they typically would, building up a backlog that the overwhelmed health departments are now trying to erase with depleted personnel. This ongoing struggle has led to a staggering increase in nursing home abuse and neglect cases in even the biggest and most reputable long-term care facilities. Here’s what you need to know if you have a loved one residing in a North Carolina nursing home or assisted-living facility.
Problems in Nursing Homes Continue to Escalate
This ongoing staffing crisis has affected even the most well-known healthcare corporations. For example, Accordius Health, the biggest nursing home company in North Carolina, is facing numerous nursing home abuse lawsuits.
Accordius Health has been fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for nursing home violations in 2022, with one of the most extreme cases at the Salisbury location involving a resident swallowing a mouse. After a staff member witnessed the incident, a doctor was not immediately notified. This resulted in the facility being hit with a $100,000 fine and placed in immediate jeopardy. When placed in immediate jeopardy, you could lose federal reimbursement. However, the immediate jeopardy has since been lifted.
Accordius Greensboro is facing a lawsuit claiming that they placed a resident back into bed after a fatal fall instead of performing a thorough examination, routinely checking in, or taking the resident to the ER. This led to the resident suffering a brain bleed and eventually dying from her injuries.
After an investigation into federal records, it was found that Accordius Greensboro went 2.5 years without an annual standard health inspection. Over the past three years, the 24 nursing homes accumulated $3.6 million in fines, with 12 locations even being hit with payment denials by Medicaid. This has left countless families worried about the care they select for their elders.
How to Find a Nursing Home You Can Trust
There are many ways you can determine whether a nursing home can provide your loved one with adequate care well ahead of their placement. For example, you can learn about the facility through tours and site visits, where you can gauge the environment and observe how staff members interact with residents. You can also access information on inspection and staffing scores by utilizing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’s (CMS) Five-Star Quality Rating System.
If you’re in the process of selecting a nursing home for a loved one, we encourage you to check out our guide for Choosing a Nursing Home in North Carolina. Here, we offer tips that can help inform your decision-making process. We also recommend consulting with an experienced and trustworthy nursing home abuse and neglect attorney, who will help ensure that your elderly family member is in good hands. At Henson Fuerst, our nursing home lawyers will speak to you at no charge upfront to bring you and your family peace of mind during this critical time.
NC Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Who Are Here For Your Family
Instances of nursing home abuse and neglect are difficult to talk about and devastating to experience. It’s easy to feel helpless when navigating long-term care for your loved one, which is why it’s our mission to help you and your family. If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected in their nursing home and have questions about what to do, speak with the well-versed attorneys at Henson Fuerst. We will thoroughly investigate your case and seek justice on behalf of you or a loved one.
Contact us today by submitting a form below or calling our office toll-free at 919-781-1107 for a free legal consultation.