A review of the nation’s nursing home inspection reports by the Congressional Government Accountability Office (GAO) lists Alabama among nine states with the worst records of nursing home inspection accuracy, saying inspectors missed serious problems in more than 25 percent of all inspections from 2002-2007. The report said most states still fared dismally, missing at least one serious deficiency in 15 percent of all inspections.
Other states on the “worst reporting” list are Arizona, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina and South Dakota.
Results of the report were published in the New York Times May 15, which says the study “reveals a widespread ‘understatement of deficiencies’ including malnutrition, severe bedsores, overuse of prescription medications, and nursing home resident abuse.”
The study was requested by Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis., Chairman, Senate Special Committee on Aging). They have introduced a bill to upgrade nursing home care and increase penalties for federal standards violations.
Beasley Allen hears from people every day who are shocked and grieved to find their loved ones have suffered at the hands of the very people they expect to provide expert care and compassion. Certainly, increasing penalties seems like a step in the right direction.
David P. Sloane, a spokesperson for the AARP, which lobbies for older Americans, praises the effort, quoted by the Times as saying it is “one of the most significant nursing home reform initiatives” in two decades.