Pennsylvania Seeks to Improve Nursing Home Quality with Nursing Home Task Force
Created in 2015, the Nursing Home Quality Task Force has its genesis in a lawsuit the attorney general of Pennsylvania filed against an organization, Golden Gate National Senior Care, LLC, which runs numerous nursing homes across the United States. The suit, “alleges deceptive and unlawful business practices.” These practices including understaffing, which the Attorney General alleges left, “residents thirsty, hungry, dirty, unkempt and sometimes unable to summon anyone to help meet their most basic needs, such as going to the bathroom.” Understaffing is a common cause of nursing home abuse. Golden Gate manages and operates 36 facilities here in Pennsylvania.
Seeks to Improve Quality
The lack of appropriate treatment by nursing homes and long-term care facilities is not unique to Pennsylvania. Nursing home abuse is a growing problem across the country due to the increase in elderly and the decrease in funding. The nursing home task force will examine the issues in Pennsylvania’s nursing homes, which number over 700, as well as look at “the policies and procedures related to complaint management.” The goal is to improve the care nursing home residents receive as well as create a more efficient complaint system when the quality of care is inappropriate.
The Attorney General’s allegations are aimed at 14 nursing homes managed by Golden Gate here in Pennsylvania. Those homes are in “Phoenixville, Lansdale, Harrisburg, Camp Hill, Altoona, Clarion, Gettysburg, Mount Lebanon, Monroeville, Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre, Tunkhannock, Erie and Pottsville.” The suit is based on interviews with residents’ family members and certified nursing assistants who previously worked at the facilities. The complaint focuses on issues including understaffing and failure to provide care. Issues included in the suit:
- Use of diapers since residents could not get help going to the bathroom. Those individuals were left in soiled diapers for extended periods.
- Risk of bedsores due to improper care.
- Failure to provide proper exercises.
- Failure to provide showers or other hygiene services.
- Waking residents at very early times, failing to timely dress them.
- Failure to escort residents to the dining hall which sometimes caused them to miss meals completely.
- Long waiting periods when residents called for assistance, sometimes no assistance at all.
- Falsifying records to suggest residents received services they did not.
- Temporarily providing improved staffing to fool state inspectors. Failing to provide enough staffing otherwise.
In summary, the Attorney General alleges that the facilities denied proper care and basic human dignity to its residents, as well as engaged in deceptive marketing and other inappropriate and harmful conduct. The AG asks for those who have complaints about Golden Gate to contact it through its website by clicking on File a Complaint and then choosing Health Care.
Golden Gate denies the allegations.
Civil Lawsuits Regarding Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse
Residents of nursing homes in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and throughout the United States have a right to be treated with dignity and respect. They also have the right to receive the proper medical care. If you have a loved one who resides in a nursing home or long-term care facility and believe he has been a victim of nursing home abuse or medical malpractice, please contact our nursing home abuse attorneys. Our team is led by a nurse/attorney.