We rely on nursing homes to take care of our loved ones and provide them with the care necessary to keep them happy and as healthy as possible. We also trust the Tennessee Office of Health Care Facilities to monitor and regulate nursing homes in order to make sure nursing home patients are receiving the highest standard of care. Unfortunately, the office is not doing their job and is putting our loved ones directly in danger for neglect or abuse.
The State Comptroller’s Office is investigating the Office of Health Care Facilities (HCF), which is responsible for ensuring quality of care in hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical treatment facilities. The investigation so far has found the HCF is not conducting complaint investigations or standard surveys for Tennessee nursing homes within reasonable or required time constraints.
Tennessee Office of Health Care Facilities Dangerously Behind on Inspections and Response Time
A total of 25 cases of complaint investigations were sampled from a much larger pool of cases regarding complaints where patients faced immediate danger. Of these 25 cases, an investigator from the HCF did not respond to a single one on time. The only cases the office seems to investigate in a relatively timely manner (albeit, still not within the required time constraints) are in fact less immediate cases where patients were not in an immediately dangerous situation.
Surveyors from the HCF are required to investigate immediate jeopardy complaints within two days. The recent audit showed the average response time for immediate jeopardy situations was 74 days. Some took as long as nine months to receive a response.
Nursing homes are supposed to be surveyed every 15 months (max), but the recent audit shows the HCF does not survey more than half of its homes on time. Instead, these surveys are conducted on average once every two years.
It stands to reason the homes we trust with our loved ones abide by the standards the Office of Health Care Facilities is charged with upholding. If the HCF is not doing its job to survey and investigate these facilities, how are we to know our family and loved ones are treated with respect and care? Our loved ones deserve better.
Nashville Personal Injury Attorney Urges You to Be Aware of Red Flags Indicating Abuse
You want to make sure your loved ones are well-attended at their nursing home, but it is impossible to monitor the conditions 24/7. The following are signs of possible neglect or abuse:
- Broken bones from slip and fall accidents
- Unexplained marks and bruises
- Unreasonable or unwanted restraints
- Overmedication and frequent sedation
- Quick and unexplained weight loss
Stanley A. Davis is an injury attorney in Nashville who helps victims who have suffered from nursing home abuse and other personal injuries.
“Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.” Isaiah 46:4