Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have a responsibility
to provide reasonable care for their residents – especially because
they serve some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Unfortunately,
many Indiana nursing homes have failed to meet this obligation, and as a
recent Indianapolis Star investigation makes clear, county hospitals may have profited at the expense of nursing
home residents across the state.
According to reports, Indiana received $679 million in Medicaid funding
for nursing home residents over the last year, more than any other state
nationwide. Despite this abundance, Indiana nursing homes still rank 48th in staffing levels, a key indicator of nursing home quality. The AARP
also regularly ranks Indiana as one of the worst states for the elderly and as
one of the 5 worst states for long-term care.
How Have Nursing Homes Declined in Indiana?
During their investigation, reporters at the Indianapolis Star discovered
that at least $1 billion in total Medicaid funding had been diverted to
Indiana hospitals, at the direction of Marion County chief executive Matthew
Gutwein. By buying up nursing homes and exploiting federal and state regulations,
Gutwein and the county hospitals managed to redirect high levels of funding
over the last several years, under the guise of helping the entire healthcare system.
This strategy has had serious consequences for Indiana nursing homes, which
have continued to see high rates of injuries, abuse, and neglect. Recently,
the families of several deceased nursing home residents
decided to file wrongful death lawsuits, alleging that their loved ones suffered in inhumane conditions before
passing away. These family members attribute the neglect to a lack of
adequate staffing at the facilities.
Many of these cases involved the following types of negligence:
- Lack of urgency in responding to a serious medical condition or injury
- Failure to keep the facilities and residents clean
- Concealing problems from family members and loved ones
- Failing to provide proper supervision for disabled and injured seniors
- Lack of necessary equipment, such as ventilators and walking aids
- Bedsores and other medical “never events”
Filing a Nursing Home Claim
If you believe that your loved one endured serious injuries as a result
of poor staffing at an Indiana nursing home, you may be entitled to bring
a lawsuit against the facility and other responsible parties. Because many
nursing home claims must be reviewed by a state medical review panel, it’s important
to discuss your case with a lawyer before moving forward. At Wagner Reese,
our caring attorneys believe in holding negligent nursing homes accountable
for hurting vulnerable residents – and we are ready to provide the
skilled and experienced counsel that you deserve.