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Nursing Home Rating System Proves Misleading for Families

Doctor with Elderly Patient

An investigative reporter at The New York Times recently explored the potential for negligence at highly rated nursing homes in Los Angeles and around the country.The results are likely to have many families shocked and concerned for their loved ones’ well-being.

At Ellis Law firm of Los Angeles, our nursing home abuse lawyers are deeply disturbed by this report. We would like to extend an invitation to families in the LA area who may have been victimized by abuse at nursing homes and misled by faulty nursing home rating systems. Simply call us today to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation to discuss your legal rights and recourse.

Flawed rating system for nursing homes

According to The New York Times, the Medicare rating system used to sort out the top-notch nursing homes from the subpar ones is subject to rampant abuse by the nursing homes themselves. The rating system relies primarily on data that is reported by the nursing homes, rather than by independent investigators, and this data is not subject to review by Medicare or another impartial organization. This means that a nursing home rated a “5” – the highest rating and a supposed mark of excellence – could very well be characterized by negligence or even abuse of its vulnerable residents.

In fact, the criteria used by the Medicare rating system to determine these ratings are questionable, insofar as there are only three areas of evaluation. The nursing homes self-report two of these measures, which are quality statistics and staff levels. Only the third measure is independently reported, which involves the results of annual health inspections. That the Medicare system does not take into consideration consumer complaints, government enforcement actions, or fines seems to be a shocking oversight.

In fact, nursing home abuse lawyers in Los Angeles and elsewhere may represent clients of loved ones who live in top-rated nursing homes, yet have suffered from negligence or abuse at the hands of their caregivers.

“Top” nursing homes under fire

Families in the Sacramento, CA area who are looking for a luxurious, top-rated nursing home for their loved ones might visit Rosewood Post-Acute Rehab. As one enters the lobby, one is greeted by cathedral ceilings, luxury furniture, and artistic paintings. Rosewood is one of the 15,000-plus nursing homes throughout the U.S. to have earned a “5” from the Medicare rating system. At first blush, it looks like an ideal environment for the care of loved ones.

Upon closer inspection, however, one would find that Rosewood has been the subject of more than 100 complaints from 2009 to 2013. Another consumer complaint tracking organization places that number at 164 complaints, which is more than twice the average for California. Some Rosewood residents disagree with the high rating, pointing to a lax standard of care at the facility. The state even ordered the nursing home to pay the maximum fine – $100,000 – for its role in the death of a resident in 2006. She had been given a fatal overdose of her medication.

Rosewood is just one of the many nursing homes in California and throughout the country that have had complaints of negligence and elder abuse.

Californians can turn to LA nursing home injury attorneys

At Ellis Law firm, we have the tools and specialized knowledge necessary to fight back against negligent nursing home staff. Californians who believe their loved ones may have been victimized by nursing home neglect or abuse are invited to contact our lawyers in Los Angeles to schedule a free case review.

We’ll put our investigative resources to work for you to determine who is responsible for your loved one’s injuries. A lawsuit filed against the responsible parties can help obtain compensation for your loved one’s injuries and other losses. Call 1-800-INJURED today for your complimentary case evaluation.