Hospitals Send Some Patients to Poor Nursing Homes

If a nursing home has a poor rating, many people might ask why family members would send their loved ones to that facility. Sometimes, these facilities come recommended by the hospital and families are not made aware of the rating until it’s too late.

88-year-old Elizabeth Fee’s belly was so distended that she looked pregnant after days of nausea and intestinal complaints. A nurse heard a scream, followed by Fee throwing up like a faucet. Fee then passed out.

The facility where Fee passed away in 2012 was affiliated with a respected San Francisco Hospital, sharing California Pacific Medical Center’s name. Fee had just undergone hip surgery. Her family was pleased with her care in the hospital and decided to choose the nursing home the hospital encouraged.

There was a problem. Laura Rees – Fees’ oldest daughter, said that she was never told that the facility had received Medicare’s worst rating for quality – one star. She also claims she was never made aware of repeated citations for substandard care, including delayed responses for calls to aid, disrespectful behavior towards patients, and insufficient interest in patient’s pain levels.

Fee had an obstructed bowel and state investigators faulted the home for several lapses in her care.

39% of nursing facilities have been cited by health inspectors over the past three years for harming a patient. Yet case managers at hospitals do not share objective information or their own knowledge about the quality of nursing facilities.

Hospitals cite their recalcitrance to a little-known government decree that prevents them from specifying or limiting choice in a nursing facility. Yet the rule does not prevent the hospital from sharing information about quality.

In fact, few hospitals go the extra mile to help family members by providing quality information. Only about 4 of every 16 do so.

However, the government may change this by requiring hospitals to provide quality information about prospective nursing facilities to patients. However, more than a year after the proposal, what exact information should be provided has yet to be determined.

If you believe that a loved one may be the victim of abuse or neglect while in a nursing home, you do not have to fight alone. Call the law offices of Schenk Smith. We can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today.