How to Track Nursing Home Abuse
Putting a loved one in a nursing home facility is a difficult, sometimes heart wrenching decision. We all want the people we care about to be given stellar treatment that protects a resident's dignity and overall well-being. The last thing we want to see is our loved ones being abused in a nursing home. Unfortunately, many nursing home abuses go unreported and therefore are not published. Because funding is sometimes tied to keeping documented cases of abuse to a minimum, many nursing facilities have found ways around reporting all cases honestly. But there are ways to look up the name of a nursing home in federal inspection data and see whether it has been cited for sexual abuse or other issues in the past three years.
First, you start by going to the federal Nursing Home Compare website (https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html) to look up facilities by name or location. On the first page of results, you will see a star rating for the facility based on factors such as staffing levels. A history of abuse or other inspection problems will typically be reflected in the "health inspection" rating. Once you find the facility you are looking for, click on the health inspection rating to see a summary of the facility's most recent inspection. From there, click on "View all health inspections." For details, go to a specific date and click "View full report." From the main profile page for the facility, click on "Penalties" to see if an inspection resulted in fines or payment denials.
Many people choose which nursing facility to put a loved one in by a referral by a doctor or friend. Others use a company's website or an actual tour of the facility. By using the federal Nursing Home Compare website, one can use objective data to help in making the right decision.