If you were to look at just one criteria for selecting a nursing home, I’d tell you to look at the facilities staffing levels. Sure, its nice to have a sparkly new facility and perhaps a gourmet chef, but when it comes down to patient care nothing can take the place of a sufficiently staffed facility with properly trained men and women.
In order to assure that nursing home patients are adequately cared for, some states such as California have legislated minimum hours of care provided to patients on a daily basis. While the number is of course somewhat arbitrary and varies substantially from patient to patient, the patient care requirements do provide somewhat of a floor with respect to minimum staffing requirements for nursing homes.
In other words, the minimum daily time requirements really translate to the number of staff nursing home owners must hire to legally operate their facilities.
A class action lawsuit filed in California against Skilled Healthcare Group, Inc., alleges that corporation failed to provide patients at their facilities with the minimum staffing levels set forth in California law.
According to Michael Thamer, a lawyer representing the nursing home patients in this case, “The message from he top is simple: state beneath the budget.” Thamer goes on to say, “This corporate greed is what has kept the defendant from adequately staffing their facilities.”
A jury will soon make a determination as to the sufficiency of the allegations made by the nursing home patients and the damages they are entitled to. In addition to compensatory damages related to Skilled Healthcare’s under-staffing at their facilities, the lawyers for the nursing home patients also seek statutory damages based on the residents age and the amount of money they pay the facilities every month.
Despite the fact that Skilled Healthcare filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001, the company appears to be thriving. In the past five years, the company has acquired nursing homes in Texas, Illinois, New Mexico, Kansas, Nevada and California.
Read more about this nursing home lawsuit here.
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