Across the United States, 1.3 million Americans reside in nursing homes in approximately 15,500 facilities. Many people receive excellent care, but according to a report in April 2019 issued by the U.S. Senate, about 3% of the nursing homes across the nation are deemed problematic. This equates to about 400 facilities.
"In total, there are 618 nursing homes across New York State. Of the nursing homes listed in the Congressional report, 17 of them are facilities located in New York and have been designated as giving subpar care." — Howard Raphaelson, Personal Injury Lawyer at Raphaelson & Levine.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit organization that focuses on major health care issues, about 101,500 New Yorkers reside in nursing homes. Sadly, this means thousands of people aren’t getting the care they need or deserve. Some of the care received may even be abusive or neglectful. While any sort of mistreatment should never occur, the reality is that it does. Probably more often than is known.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) established a 5-star rating system with the goal to drive quality improvements and publicize information on nursing homes so families can make the right decisions for their loved ones. Factors that tie into ratings include staffing levels, health inspections, injuries, hospitalizations, and management of medication.
U.S. News published a ranking of the nursing homes. According to their 2019 rankings report, only 2,969 of the 15,500 facilities in the nation were deemed to be “high performing” in long-term care, short-term rehab, or both. They further drilled down the CMS ratings by state. They found a mere 18 nursing homes in New York State received an overall rating of 5 out of 5. Another report in 2019, this one by LoHud, further elaborates on the 5-star rating system for nursing homes. According to the data they published, here is how New York’s 618 facilities performed.
On average, nursing homes are found to have seven violations a year, and the low-performing 1-star facilities typically have even more. Sadly, residents living in low-rated nursing homes often suffer from neglect, abuse, malnutrition, bruising, sores, or sexual assault, to name a few.
Despite nursing homes located in New York State being required to comply with both federal and state regulations and laws regarding the bare minimum level of resident care, many clearly aren’t making the grade. What are some of the causes of these low 1-star rankings?
Inadequate or poorly-trained staff also leads to problems such as abuse, improper use of restraints, wrongful dispersion of behavior-modifying drugs, and far more incidences of bedsores and other health-related issues that could be easily avoided with good routine care.
People who have low income and have their care paid for by Medicaid are more likely to be denied access to New York’s top nursing homes, according to a Buffalo News report published in July 2019. The report notes about one-third of the poor people who come to better-rated New York nursing homes for care are often not admitted. This is despite the fact there are regulations prohibiting discrimination based on economic status. Their numbers show almost 22,000 people who are low-income are two times as likely to be admitted to 1-star facilities. On the other hand, patients using Medicare at the time of their admission to a nursing home were more likely to be placed in a 5-star facility. The reason for this seems to be linked to the fact Medicare pays significantly more money per day to nursing care facilities than Medicaid does.
Every nursing home resident or patient in New York State is protected by both federal and state law. Under the state’s Department of Health’s Resident’s Rights, people have several rights, including dignity, respect, and a comfortable living environment. They are also entitled to quality care, freedom to make their own decisions, and the right to receive treatment without discrimination. Additionally, all patients have the right to be free from any and all kinds of abuse. New York State’s Health Department maintains the list of Resident’s Rights in its entirety on its website. (https://www.health.ny.gov/facilities/nursing/rights/ ).
Sadly, statistics indicate almost 25% of nursing home residents experience at least one instance of physical abuse. This doesn’t even take into account verbal, mental, emotional, sexual abuse, or financial abuse. What’s also scary is that many of the statistics associated with poor nursing home care only include documented cases. There are many more incidences that go undocumented.
New York State publicly discloses the names of the nursing homes that frequently are more closely looked at by investigators to resolve issues that have been documented. CMS refers to these facilities as participants in the Special Focus Facility program.
New York Nursing Home Facilities specified in the most current Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) lists are:
1 star New York nursing home facilities is presented below, as published by the Long Term Care Community Coalition:
If nursing homes on the Special Focus Facility program list don’t correct the issues occurring in the facilities that have been documented, they risk being cut off from Medicare and Medicaid.
When you place a loved one in a care facility, you have the right and expectation to believe they’ll be properly cared for in a clean and caring environment. Any intentional harm or neglect by nursing home staff is unacceptable. if you suspect your loved one is being subjected to any kind of abuse in a nursing home or are seeing some warning signs that might signal abuse is occurring, the compassionate and experienced attorneys at Raphaelson & Levine can help. We'll investigate the situation, ask the hard questions, and make certain your loved one gets the care they deserve.
The Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm is proud to be regarded as The Voice Of The Injured. Since 1992 the lawyers at our firm have helped victims secure more than $500 million in settlements and verdicts. If you’d like to learn more about nursing home abuse or would like a free consultation, contact us today at 212-268-3222. You can also contact us online to schedule a consultation.