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Threat of a Massachusetts Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawsuit May Not Be Enough to Improve Facility Care

Our Boston injury lawyers are familiar with the toll that Massachusetts nursing home negligence can have on a patient, and we want to remind you that if you suspect abuse or neglect, you should remove your loved one from the assisted living facility immediately. Unfortunately, are nursing homes that are not doing enough to provide patients with better nursing care.

According to a new study, not only are high-quality nursing homes named defendants of nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuits as often as their lower quality counterparts, but also, litigation-or even the possibility of a lawsuit-doesn’t seem to be enough of a consequence to compel assisted living facilities to provide better care. The study, led by Law Professor David Studdert, from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and David Stevenson, a Harvard Medical School associate professor of health policy, can be found in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

For the study, five nursing home chains in the US provided information about nursing home neglect and abuse lawsuits that were filed against them between 1998 and 2006. The data included 4,716 complaints against 1,465 assisted living facilities. On average, each nursing home was, on average, sued once ever two years.

The most common harms alleged in the nursing home abuse and neglect complaints were:
• Bedsores
• Dehydration • Malnutrition • Too much weight loss • Physical abuse • Verbal abuse • Medication mistakes • Injuries from fall accidents
Claimants received nursing home negligence compensation in 61% of the cases. Average compensation was nearly $200,000.

The researchers said that based on 10 measures of quality analyzed, the nursing homes that did the best on these measures were only a little less likely than the facilities that didn’t fare as well to become a defendant in a nursing home neglect or abuse lawsuit. The same goes for assisted living facilities that provided the most nurse’s aide hours per resident a day.

Victims of Boston nursing home neglect or abuse may be hold the assisted living facility liable for personal injury.

Lawsuits Aren’t Improving Nursing Home Care: Study, BusinessWeek, March 30, 2011
The New England Journal of Medicine

Related Web Resources:
Nursing Homes, Massachusetts.gov
Nursing Home Checklist, Medicare.gov

More Blog Posts:
Boston Nursing Home Negligence Can Lead to Food Choking Accidents, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, February 22, 2011
Danvers, Massachusetts Nursing Home Abuse: Lynn Woman Convicted of Assault and Battery on an Elderly Person, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, February 4, 2011
One More Reason Why Massachusetts Assisted Living Facilities Should Prevent Boston Nursing Home Neglect: Elderly Who Have Had Sepsis at Higher Risk of Physical and Cognitive Impairments, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, October 28, 2011
Contact our Boston nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers today.