NURSING HOMES UNDERREPORT CASES OF POTENTIAL ELDER ABUSE, STUDIES FIND

The Daily Caller | 3/2/2011 | Staff
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Many cases of elder abuse and neglect are not reported to enforcement agencies, according to two new government studies published Wednesday.

The first study found that nursing homes don’t report almost 1 in 5 cases of potential elder abuse to state inspection agencies. The second found that health care providers didn’t report almost a third of potential elder abuse claims. Both studies came from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Inspectors - Homes - Abuse - Cases - %

Even when inspectors came into nursing homes to investigate and confirm abuse cases, 97% of those cases weren’t reported to law enforcement, which is required by law, NPR reported. State inspectors who were a part of the study also seemed unsure of when they were supposed to refer a case to law enforcement, said Gloria Jarmon, the Deputy Inspector General for audit services, according to NPR.

“When they’re not reported and they have a reasonable suspicion…then it would be up to the individual states to do whatever enforcement of their mandatory reporting laws that they see fit,” said Curtis Roy, Assistant Regional Inspector General, to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

OIG - Centers - Medicare - Medicaid - Services

The OIG recommended that The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implement changes to make sure that potential cases of elder abuse and neglect are “identified and reported,” according to the report. CMS agreed to begin implementing the recommendations, which include better training of staff members and tracking “all incidents of potential abuse or neglect.”

“They have agreed with all of...
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