For Profit Nursing Homes Overcharge and Patients Suffer

January 24, 2013 by Nicole Barto

In Tennessee and all across the country, families place their elderly loved ones in nursing homes each year. When doing so, they expect that their loved ones will be properly taken care of and looked after. Unfortunately, many nursing homes are understaffed, overworked, and improperly trained. This can and unfortunately often leads to nursing home abuse and neglect for many patients.

According to a federal report, the U.S. nursing home industry overcharges Medicare by $1.5 billion a year for treatments patients do not really need or fail to receive. Thirty percent of for profit nursing home claims were considered improper compared to twelve percent of claims from non-profit nursing homes. According to the report from the inspector general’s office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in nursing homes, seventy-eight percent of $105 billion in revenues go to for profit in 2010 which is up from seventy-two percent in 2002, according to the latest government report.

Life Care, based in Cleveland, Tennessee, has denied wrongdoing despite a claim that a Life Care Center in South Carolina placed an eighty year old woman who could not keep her eyes open in a standing frame for eighty-four minutes of psychical and occupational therapy two days before her death. This case is just one in several where Life Care has overcharged for unnecessary care. Many U.S. for profit nursing homes have been faced with cases of pushing patients, having patients that were visibly soiled or had bed sores among other cases of improper care and treatment.

According to 2010 law issued during President Barack Obama’s first term, health care providers are encouraged to form “accountable care organizations” that combine doctor practices with hospital groups, which could add to their pricing power. The November study that found $1.5 billion in improper nursing-home bills equal to about five percent of total Medicare outlays to the facilities was by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services office of inspector general. This study followed a 2010 OIG report that found for-profit nursing homes were nearly twice as likely as nonprofits to bill Medicare at the highest rate for patients of similar ages and diagnoses.

Cases similar to this one occur all too often to people all over the United States and even to Tennessee residents. If you feel that someone you love or care about has been improper cared for or neglected while in a nursing home and you have been overcharged for that care, we recommend that you contact one of our caring and knowledgeable Tennessee nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys right away. We care about our clients and will work with you to make sure you get the compensation you deserve for what you have suffered.

Contact us online or call us at 800.705.2121 to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your legal options.