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DOJ will crack down on nursing homes

Some nursing homes in West Virginia do not just provide inadequate care, but their efforts to look after their residents are “grossly substandard.” In the past, they would only have to worry about civil fines and the possibility of losing Medicare funding. Now, the Department of Justice is launching an initiative that could result in criminal penalties against executives from these nursing homes.

Nursing homes are subject to federal inspections because they receive money from the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Sometimes, these inspections reveal shocking examples of poor care, yet there are few circumstances under which the executives from the nursing home can be criminally liable. Now, the DOJ is in the middle of investigating 30 homes for possible criminal or heightened civil action.

The DOJ has a unit that is devoted to elder abuse. This can include things such as nursing home abuse, neglect and financial fraud. This unit is coordinating the effort to possibly hold some of the worst-performing nursing homes in the country accountable for their misdeeds. Some of these nursing homes are so devoted to their bottom line that they have slashed staffing to a bare minimum and fail to provide adequate care in the name of profits. The worst examples of treatment that led to heavy civil fines could now be accompanied by an indictment.

Nursing home abuse is something that is legally actionable. Families may be able to receive financial compensation if their loved one has been injured at a nursing home that provided poor care or abused their loved one. To begin the process, families may contact a nursing home abuse attorney to discuss their possible claim. The attorney may advise them about the merits of their case and how they would begin a possible court case against the nursing home.

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