As Pennsylvania nursing home neglect attorneys, we pay attention to news about investigations of nursing homes that neglect or abuse patients. In Kentucky, there has been an uproar over how long it takes for the state to investigate reports of abuse and neglect. Families of nursing home patients in Pennsylvania should take note of this conflict in Kentucky, because state budget cuts in Pennsylvania could lead to similar problems here. With state agencies increasingly trying to do more with less, nursing home patients' families should not depend entirely on the state to make sure nursing homes live up to their responsibilities to care for patients properly.
Because of the current recession, it's especially important for families to watch carefully to make sure that their loved ones are receiving proper care in nursing homes. State agencies are severely underfunded and have a limited ability to enforce their own rules. Pennsylvania's 2010-2011 budget will require layoffs from every state agency. More state employees will be laid off if the state does not receive $850 million for Medicaid, which helps to pay for many nursing home patients' care, from the federal government. Even though there are laws and regulations governing how nursing homes should treat their patients, state regulators will be trying to do their jobs with less money and fewer people. Inspections may not happen as often as they should, and follow-up after those inspections to make sure violations are corrected may take longer, or not happen at all. Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers play an important role in continuing to fight for residents' rights. Politicians, possibly looking for donations from nursing home companies, sometimes pressure state regulatory agencies to overlook nursing homes' negligence. Then, poorly run homes can get away with hurting people longer, sometimes until someone dies.
As Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers, we have seen many cases of neglectful and abusive treatment of nursing home patients, including theft and financial exploitation; life-threatening bedsores caused by staff members' poor training, lack of caring, or understaffing; and infections caused by poor hygiene. Unfortunately, government regulators are unlikely to catch and correct all of these violations given their own underfunded circumstances. Sadly, families simply can't afford to trust regulators to make sure that their loved ones are being treated properly in nursing homes.