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Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer: Does Your Nursing Home Deserve Its High Rating?

Are you considering suing a nursing home for negligence? A nursing home neglect lawyer can provide support for families who are still reeling from the sudden death of a loved one in a nursing home. You may be shocked by evidence of nursing home neglect, especially if you selected a nursing home with a high national ranking and positive reviews. Unfortunately, appearing on a highly regarded list of top nursing homes is easier than you might expect.

High COVID-19 infection rates did not prevent nursing homes from appearing on Newsweek’s list of top nursing homes for 2021. The New York Post recently reported that four of the “deadliest nursing homes” in New York appeared on Newsweek’s list of best nursing home facilities. Their names have since been removed, but the Post also reported that one of the nursing homes continued to use the Newsweek “Best Nursing Homes” logo on their site even after they had been removed.

Consumer Beware: Rating System Not Always Clear

Newsweek partnered with the business data platform Statista to create their list of top-ranking nursing homes. They state that they use “performance data, peer recommendations and the facility’s handling of the COVID-19 threat” to evaluate each long-term care facility. But that data might not always offer a clear picture, and relatives should always look for a second opinion and consult with a nursing home neglect lawyer if they feel they have been misled. For instance, Newsweek gave St. Catherine of Siena Nursing & Rehabilitation of Smithtown, New York a top ranking, while U.S. News rated their long-term care services as “average.” Their long-term care score suffered from a lower-than-average rating for pressure ulcer (a.k.a. bedsore) prevention.

Applicants should also note that nursing homes with the same name don’t always have the same rating. Two nursing homes, both called “New York State Veterans’ Homes” appeared on Newsweek’s list of best nursing homes. But another nursing home, New York State Veterans’ Home in St. Albans, Queens, did not. In fact, the St. Albans New York State Veterans’ Home has come under scrutiny after staff gave the experimental COVID-19 drug hydroxychloroquine to patients. A daughter of one such patient stated that she did not believe this medication was appropriate, given her father’s age and health history.

New Nursing Home Neglect Cases

When COVID-19 tore through New York nursing homes, it left many of the facilities short-staffed. According to Nursing Home Abuse Justice, “Lack of support, resources …can also lead to abuse, especially from people who feel overwhelmed or resentful.” The New York Attorney General’s 2021 report states that many nursing home residents suffered as a result of ongoing staffing issues, which only worsened with the onset of the pandemic.

The threat of Covid-19 is not going away with the new availability of vaccines. AARP data shows that even as the availability of vaccines increases, COVID-19 still poses a major threat to nursing home residents. As of January 2021, there was an average of 9.2 COVID-19 cases per 100 nursing home residents in the U.S.

Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer Wants to Know: Do the Numbers Add Up?

The Attorney General’s report indicated that COVID-19 cases may have spiked in New York due to a lack of safety compliance among staff and policies that encouraged sick staff members to report to work. In New York, officials estimate that around 15,000 elderly nursing home residents have died of COVID-19, but New York has only reported around 8,500 COVDI-19 nursing home deaths. This is because the state only counts the deaths of patients who died on the premises of the long-term care facility and not those who died later at the hospital. The New York governor did not respond to requests for the complete numbers in a timely manner, and the governor only recently acknowledged that his office should not have delayed supplying the Department of Justice with relevant statistics.

Nursing Home Neglect Settlements

Recent legislation has made it more difficult for a nursing home neglect lawyer to sue nursing homes for negligence. In New York, the attorney general has begun investigating nursing home responses to the pandemic. Hopefully, this investigation will result in more nursing home abuse settlements. If you believe you may have a case, the nursing home neglect lawyers of Fitapelli Kurta can evaluate your case for free. Call (877) 238-4175 or email info@fkesq.com.