Yet another bill has been introduced to try to cap non-economic and punitive damages when nursing home residents and their families attempt to hold nursing homes accountable for abuse and neglect. Read the full article here. The article reiterates what the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid has found in the quality of care in this nation’s nursing homes and summarizes the outrage that should be present over such a bill:
Clearly, there are some serious deficiencies in the quality of care offered by some of our nursing homes that need to be addressed. Why, then, would we want to severely limit one of the only means of recourse for families who find that their loved ones have been neglected and/or abused? That’s what this legislation would do. It would make it harder for nursing homes to be held accountable for abuse or neglect.
The only means to make a nursing home accountable is to make them pay for their mistakes so that, in the future, maybe they won’t make the same mistake twice if they know it will continually cost them. It is the only incentive to ensure your loved ones are properly cared for–every day. Without the threat of punitive damages, in particular, nursing home management will calculate the risk of reducing staff to lower levels, keeping records and doctor’s orders with less caution and having an attitude of “this is just a business” even more. Make sure such bills do not become law. Call your State Representatives to oppose any such measures. Anything else will only contribute to the notion that the value of the lives of the elderly–and others who must live in nursing homes–are worthless. In this great country, we simply cannot allow that to happen.