A Florida nursing home negligence case that was filed in July 2014 alleges that the Florida nursing home, its management companies, and two former administrators of the nursing home are responsible for the poor care and the resulting death of the nursing home resident who had lived in the nursing home from April 22, 2011 until April 7, 2013, when she died.
The nursing home wrongful death claim alleges that the defendants failed to monitor the resident for signs and symptoms of infection, they negligently failed to prevent the resident from becoming dehydrated and then they failed to timely and appropriately respond to her dehydration, they inadequately treated her bedsores, and they failed to provide her with adequate hygiene, etc., which led to the resident developing urinary tract infections, eye and jaw infections, a fungal tongue infection, infection of her wounds, and MRSA that led to sepsis, leading to her death.
The lawsuit alleges “lethal negligence” and “civil conspiracy” by the defendants: the defendants allegedly failed to increase the nursing home’s staffing to properly deal with an increase in the severity of the health conditions of the residents. The Florida nursing home lawsuit further alleges that the money received on behalf of residents for their nursing home care was paid to an entity that wrongfully claimed non-profit status.
As is all too often the case involving the ownership, operation, and management of nursing homes in many U.S. states, different corporate entities were responsible for the ownership, for the operation, and for the management of the Florida nursing home. The management company, in turn, had a parent company. Both the management company and its parent company received a percentage of the nursing home’s revenues as their management fee, the lawsuit alleges.
The deceased resident is survived by six children. One daughter was named as the personal representative of the resident’s estate, and she was the one who filed the nursing home wrongful death claim alleging that the various corporations involved in the ownership, management, and operation of the nursing home where her mother died were all responsible for her mother’s injuries and death.
Nursing Home Profits
A November 2012 report from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General entitled “Inappropriate Payments To Skilled Nursing Facilities Cost Medicare More Than A Billion Dollars In 2009” stated, “we found that SNFs [skilled nursing facilities] billed an estimated 25 percent of claims in error in 2009. Medicare inappropriately paid $1.5 billion for these claims. This represents 5.6 percent of the $26.9 billion paid to SNFs in 2009.”
Based on a sample of claims from for-profit nursing homes, 30% of the claims were determined to be improper whereas the percentage was 12% for non-profit nursing homes. The trend has been that nursing homes are converting from non-profit status to for-profit businesses: of the $105 billion in nursing home revenues in 2010, 78% went to for-profit nursing homes (the percentage was 72% in 2002). Medicare payments are responsible for approximately one-third of nursing home revenues, Medicaid for about 50%, and private payers account for the remainder.
From 2008 to 2012, federal prosecutors brought 120 civil and criminal cases against nursing homes and related individuals that were resolved, which was twice the number of cases that were brought and resolved during the previous five-year period.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries or other harms as a result of care (or the lack of care) provided by a nursing home in the United States, you should promptly seek the legal advice of a local nursing home claim attorney in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect, or nursing home mistreatment case, if appropriate.
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