When you think of a nursing home, you naturally think of a place where the elderly and other people unable to completely care for themselves reside. In many cases, a stay or a residence in a nursing home is a requirement. However, there are some cases where people that do not necessarily need to be in such a facility are held there, sometimes illegally.
According to an impressive New York Times story by Katie Thomas, Sheri Fink, and Mitch Smith, it’s been revealed that there are hundreds of thousands of Medicaid patients confined to nursing homes that do not require care or assistance around the clock.
Growing evidence indicates that it is cheaper to allow disabled patients that are able to remain in their homes to stay there rather than to place them in a nursing home. However, Medicaid offers limited caregiving reimbursements.
If a patient does not require institutional care, confining them to a nursing home is illegal. Two decades ago, the Supreme Court made the decision that unless it is medically necessary to commit a disabled person to an institution, they may remain in their communities. The Obama Administration opened investigations into more than 50 cases of wrongful nursing home confinement. The investigations have reached settlements in eight states.
South Dakota was recently the focus of a scathing report by the Justice Department regarding wrongful confinement practices. This report indicates that these practices are some of the most egregious in the country.
The story in the Times captured the horrific conditions endured by patients wrongfully confined to nursing homes. One particular case is that of former AT&T manager Marvin Dawkins. Dawkins was admitted to a nursing home after being paralyzed and spent 11 years in the facility due to bureaucratic red tape and other issues. Dawkins now has his own apartment and holds a job and socializes with friends.
“I determine what happens to me,” Dawkins told the Times. “I was there at the nursing home basically just laying in bed and watching TV. I didn’t think it was much of an existence.”
If you have been the victim of abuse or neglect while a resident of a nursing home, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the law offices of Schenk Smith. Our attorneys will work to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.