The federal government established a rating system for nursing homes more than a decade ago to help patients and caregivers more easily compare nursing homes. This rating system is comprised of largely unaudited data that nursing homes supply to the federal government and has become an important tool that nursing homes use to try to woo potential customers. Unfortunately, and probably not surprisingly, recent investigations have found that nursing homes are gaming the system by submitting false information to the federal government to improve ratings. Prosecutors in California have recently sued the country’s largest chain of senior living communities for allegedly manipulating the federal government’s rating system. See the linked article on this topic from the New York Times: HERE.
We often get contacted by families in Ohio regarding concerns about the care that their loved ones received in a nursing home. Frankly, some of the care is flat-out-awful. In situations where the quality of care is concerning and leads to injury, the lawyers in our firm often suggest contacting the Ohio Department of Health to request an investigation into the care. The Ohio Department of Health has a team of professionals that investigate claims of substandard care in Ohio nursing homes. In our experience, the investigations performed by the Ohio Department of Health are well done and oftentimes serve to hold nursing homes accountable for poor care. Ultimately, the civil justice system is the best way to hold nursing homes accountable for poor care.