Poor quality care is preventing some nursing homes in Tennessee from accepting new residents. In the past several years, there has been a substantial increase in the number of complaints directed to health and safety of the residents.
Accusations of serious safety violations are getting attention from state inspectors. At Nashville’s RiverPark Health Center, a complaint of a resident fall caught investigators’ attention. The complaint alleged that following the fall, the nursing home staff ignored the resident’s cries for help. It turns out the resident had broken his neck and eventually died from his injuries. The investigation revealed that not only did the staff act improperly following the fall, the staff conducted no internal investigation to determine if its employees acted improperly.
As the result of the above incident, the state suspended admissions at RiverPark. In 2007, the State of Tennessee suspended admissions at 16 different nursing homes. State investigators say their forceful actions are the result of directives from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Suspending admissions is important in that it forces nursing home owners to correct violations in order for them to stay in business. Most nursing homes are ‘for profit’ facilities are are paid a daily stipend for each resident. A diminished resident population, means lower profits.
Nursing home investigators in all states have difficult jobs. Often they enter facilities where administrators and nursing home employees work together to cover up past wrongdoings. Further, many of the victims of the safety violations are unable to communicate or may be severely injured or dead. The investigators role is crucial to promoting the health and safety of the particularly susceptible nursing home residents. Click on the news clip below for more information about nursing home violations in Tennessee.