Despite federal and state laws that require suspected cases of nursing home abuse to be reported to the authorities, more often than not, most cases go unreported. These instances have been investigated by the federal government, who say that despite laws stating that abuse must be reported within two hours, most cases are not reported at all. Law Fuel reports on the story.
More than twenty-five percent of the cases of serious abuse cases in nursing homes are not reported to authorities. This revelation comes from a federal investigation in which the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General’s office felt the need to release an emergency alert.
What is more, in some of the cases where abuse took place, nursing home patients were not provided with medical treatment in cases of physical abuse or sexual assault.
In 2011, nursing homes must report cases of sexual abuse or physical abuse that cause serious harm to residents to the authorities within two hours of the incident being discovered. If the resident does not suffer from serious injuries, the report must be made within 24 hours.
The fine for failing to make the report within the designated time frame can be as much as $300,000.
Of 134 cases, 28% were not reported to police within two hours. Eighty percent of those cases involved the sexual assault of a nursing home resident.
The investigation is still ongoing and the Inspector General’s office is expected to release a full report in a year.