Small Business Brief

Medical & Services

3 Common Nursing Home Problems and What to Do About It

Putting a loved one in a nursing home is one of the most difficult decisions you’ll make in your life. Chances are, if you’re considering a nursing home, your loved one is experiencing serious medical or cognitive issues that you are no longer equipped to handle. 

So, when you choose a nursing home, you want to find somewhere that you know will care for your loved one with the diligence and dignity they deserve. 

Unfortunately, there are all sorts of nursing home problems you may encounter. Here are three of the most common ones and how to deal with them when they arise. 

1. Improper Administration of Medication

You put your loved one in a nursing home because you wanted them to have care that you were unable to provide. 

And while minor errors are inevitable, you have to trust that your loved one will receive the proper medication from medical professionals entrusted with their care. Unfortunately, improper administration of medication is all too common in nursing homes. 

Make sure that the nursing home knows about all medications your loved one is taking. They should know dosages, times, potential side effects and any potential interactions to watch for. 

2. Poor Care for Medicaid and Medicare Users

If you’ve ever dealt with a bad nursing home, you’re probably familiar with this sentence, “Medicare/Medicaid doesn’t cover that.” 

Here’s the thing: a patient in a nursing home through Medicare or Medicaid is entitled to exactly the same level of treatment as any other patient in that facility. 

Any such claim that Medicare or Medicaid doesn’t cover a service is wrong. The Nursing Home Reform Act explicitly prohibits nursing homes from restricting services based on Medicaid or Medicare eligibility. 

To be clear: a nursing home is legally obligated and maintain identical policies and practices regarding the transfer, discharge, and provision of services for all patients in their care, regardless of payment source

Nursing homes also like to claim that they lose money on Medicaid and Medicare patients, usually in the context of unacceptable medical care. They are either lazy or incompetent, and this is not a valid excuse to provide subpar treatment.  

If a doctor performed subpar surgery because they were paid less for that surgery, you wouldn’t accept it. You would sue them for medical malpractice. 

So, if a nursing home tries to use Medicare or Medicaid as an excuse for an unacceptable quality of care, inform them that they’ll find out from a nursing home abuse lawyer how that story is going to end. 

3. Evictions

Nursing home evictions are a huge problem for the industry – so big, in fact, that the federal government is cracking down on illegal nursing home evictions

Under the Nursing Home Reform Act, a resident can only be evicted for six reasons: 

  1. The resident failed to pay
  2. The resident no longer requires nursing home care
  3. The resident’s medical needs cannot be met in a nursing home
  4. The resident’s presence endangers the safety of other residents
  5. The resident’s presence endangers the health of other residents
  6. The nursing home is going out of business

A nursing home CANNOT evict a resident because a Medicare or Medicaid bill took too long to process. They also cannot evict a resident because they are being “difficult” or refusing medical care. 

Don’t Fall Victim to Nursing Home Problems

When you find yourself dealing with a bad nursing home, they like to make you believe that you don’t have options. 

Here’s the truth: you do not need to accept nursing home problems at face value. Your loved one deserves quality care, and you are relying on the nursing home to provide that care. 

If you need more advice on how to deal with nursing homes and other end-of-life concerns, check out our blog for more useful tips.