In a recent report, The Washington Post detailed how widespread this problem really is, as evidenced by the atrocious findings associated with the HCR ManorCare facilities. Read on to learn more, and call Brown & Barron, LLC at (410) 698-1717 if you or a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse today.
What Happened with HCR ManorCare
The second-largest nursing home chain in the U.S., HCR ManorCare was owned by the Carlyle Group, a rich private-equity firm. The Carlyle Group never secured the funds to properly maintain its facilities, and as records obtained by The Washington Post illustrate, 25,000 residents experienced health risks and neglect from 2013-2017.
When state inspectors first visited an HCR ManorCare nursing home last year, there was immediate evidence of neglect, including call buttons that were rarely attended to. Without the assistance they needed, many residents were left to soil themselves in their rooms, and one disabled man with long fingernails claimed they were only clipped “once in a blue moon.” Other discovered counts of neglect included a woman dying of uterine cancer who sat on a bedpan for so long she had visible bruises; a man who was given so many opioids for his pain problems that he ended up in the hospital; a church trip where one staff member was supervising 6 seniors and a resident fell backwards on a wheelchair ramp, resulting in a brain hemorrhage; and a nurse’s aide who tried to lift a paraplegic woman all on her own, only to accidentally drop her on the floor, where she fractured her hip.
Debbie Bojo, whose mother was a member at the Pottsville home, stated that the facility was overrun with roaches and ants. “It was horrible—my mom would call us everyday crying when she was there,” said Bojo. Michelle Maldonado, whose father was also receiving care at the Pottsville facility, told The Post that “one time we came in to visit him and he was sitting there in a wheelchair naked, with just a blanket on him — no pants, no underpants.”
Examining the chain’s 230 locations, The Post found health code violations at ManorCare went up by 26% every year between 2013 and 2017, with the yearly number rising from 1,584 to nearly 2,000. The company was given citations for medication issues, failing to treat bed sores, not providing services such as injections, colostomies, and prostheses, and not helping patients eat or maintain personal hygiene. Looking at serious violations specifically, The Post concluded the number rose 29% in the 3 years preceding ManorCare’s bankruptcy filing.
At the Pottsville ManorCare facility, lawsuits also began to increase a few years ago, with the number of suits filed against the company rising from 1 to 10 in the years since Carlyle took over.
Although HCR ManorCare told the post that the number of health violations at nursing homes has risen in general over the past few years, data indicates that violations at ManorCare Homes rose three times faster than the national average. While Carlyle has said that the company’s financial issues were a result of cuts to Medicare in 2011, The Post notes that similar companies did not fold under the same constraints, nor did they engage in widespread violations. The Post also writes that the documents HCR ManorCare submitted to the government indicated they were extremely understaffed compared to similar facilities.
“It was a very good place to work — and then it wasn’t,” said one nurse’s aide who left in 2013. “They just didn’t seem to have the money. The Hoyer lifts [equipment for moving patients] started breaking down and it was hard to get them fixed. They switched to cheaper supplies. Residents started complaining.”
The Post goes on to note that private-equity firms have invested a lot of money in nursing homes in recent years, causing concern among many about who is looking out for the well-being of America’s senior citizens. “People will wonder whether this pure capitalism is appropriate in nursing homes,” Oxford professor Ludovic Phalippou said. “The health and welfare of the old people who live there depend on them.”
If You or a Loved One Have Been the Victim of Nursing Home Abuse, Act Now.
Nursing homes should not be motivated chiefly by profit. Private-equity money has no place in long-term residential care, and at Brown & Barron, LLC, we are committed to fighting companies that take advantage of you or your loved ones in the interest of meeting a bottom line. Our attorneys have acted as lead trial counsel in over 100 cases, and received multiple million-dollar verdicts for our clients. At Brown & Barron, LLC, we aren’t afraid to fight nursing home abuse and neglect cases in court, and we will always work tirelessly to secure you the settlement you deserve.