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Was a private-equity firm behind rise in nursing home neglect?

The decision to seek a nursing home placement for a loved one is seldom taken lightly. The majority of these placements provide excellent quality care for the residents without any negative complications. Unfortunately, there are Kentucky residents whose loved ones have been a victim of nursing home neglect that may have led to serious adverse health problems.

According to a recent in-depth report by a respected news journal, one chain of nursing homes recently was forced into bankruptcy after suffering serious financial consequences after it was bought out by a private-equity firm. The report indicated that the chain, HCR Manorcare, was purchased by the Carlyle Partners V in 2011, and shortly afterward, the quality of care that residents received appeared to have taken a downward turn. Using quality care figures correlated by Medicare, the report stated that health-code violations increased by an estimated 26 percent.

The Washington Post report analyzed the number of violations spread over the facilities that were run by HCR Manorcare and compared them to other facilities. There was a higher number of serious violations that adversely impacted the well-being of the estimated 25,000 residents cared for in these institutions. The blame for the failing quality of care has been placed on the financial woes that the private-equity group was experiencing.

Representatives from HCR Manorcare claim that the Post misrepresented the figures and that the quality of care at its facilities was comparable to its competitors. However, former employees reported that the homes suffered from serious staffing shortages that likely were a result of cost-saving measures implemented by the company. At one home, a former worker reported that the ratio of patients to nursing aides was 60-to-1. Kentucky residents who suspect that their loved one has suffered from nursing home neglect, as evidenced by falls, bed sores or infections, may seek a remedy for their monetary losses through the civil courts.

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Goode Law Office, PLLC
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Lexington, Kentucky 40504

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