When searching for a safe home for your loved one, you must proceed with extreme caution. There are many nursing home violations that you should be aware of. We always recommend you start your research online, but this isn’t a guarantee you’ve found a good home. That’s because the way data is presented can be very misleading. Although national rankings have improved, Arizona nursing home violations continue to rise.
For instance, Nursing Home Report Cards shows that Arizona ranked 13th in the country for overall best nursing homes in 2013, and has since jumped to 8th in the country, making them one of the best in the country and one of the most improved. However, what if I then told you that according to data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the number of nursing home violations in Arizona continues to increase. And, according to Families for Better Care’s analysis of CMS data, Arizona actually ranks 37th in the nation in severe health deficiencies in nursing homes.
These are all true statements, yet they all paint a very different picture. How could Arizona’s national ranking improve and be top 10 in the country, yet also be so poorly ranked in health deficiencies in nursing homes and have increased violations every year? The short answer: it depends what data you’re looking at.
Nursing Home Report Cards takes into account many different factors including professional nurse hours per resident, certified nursing assistant hours per resident per day, percentage of facilities with above average health inspections, and more. They then calculate a grade based on comparative rankings. Essentially, if other states are performing worse than your state, your state’s ranking increases. It doesn’t necessarily mean your state has improved. It may just mean that others have declined more than your state has. Another thing to consider is laws vary from state to state.
For instance, in Arizona, the state requires a facility to report number of staffers, but it doesn’t specify direct caregivers. Therefore, it’s not possible to determine how many patients any one caregiver serves. Additionally, Arizona only requires 120-hours of mandatory training for certified nursing assistants. To compare, Arizona requires 1,600 hours of training to obtain a license to cut hair. This can also cause problems in Arizona nursing homes that residents and their loved ones cannot initially anticipate.
Another advantage Arizona nursing homes may have on others is the cycle of inspections. Although the Arizona Department of Health Services’ Long Term Care Licensing Department conducts “regular unannounced inspections” – these inspections take place every 12 to 16 months. This means that nursing homes have a window of time where they can expect a visit.
Interestingly enough, during these visits, DHS investigates complaints against facilities and found that the number of self-reported incidents was actually quite small when compared with the complaints made from residents, residents’ families and Adult Protective Services. In fact, facilities self-reported 17 complaints total compared to 715 complaints by the latter.
What does this information mean to you? It means that you can start your research online in narrowing down homes that are safe, nearby, affordable, etc… but the true determinant will come when touring each facility. That’s why we’ve rounded up what you should look for on a nursing home tour and 5 nursing home secrets you need to know (number 5 is a must for all).
If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected in a home, check out our blog for warning signs, as well as a list of facilities to notify. Then call the expert Phoenix Nursing Home Attorneys at Knapp & Roberts. We have a superior track record of holding assisted living and nursing home facilities accountable when they fail in their duty to deliver proper care, and have won settlements and verdicts in the millions of dollars for our clients.
We understand that placing a family member in a home is often an agonizing decision, made worse when the needed care is not provided. While we cannot undo the damage your loved one has suffered, we can help the patient and family recover monetary damages, sometimes punitive as well as compensatory. Working together, we can reduce the incidence of patient abuse and hold care facilities to a higher standard, allowing our elderly to pass their final years in comfort and the best health possible at their age.
Call Knapp & Roberts today at 480-991-7677 to schedule a free consultation today with a Phoenix nursing home abuse lawyer. There is never a fee unless we recover money for you.
The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona, at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.