The New York Times recently reported that is a nationwide shortage of health care workers in long-term nursing facilities. This has long been suspected as a fact, but new federal data shows for the first time significant fluctuations in staffing on a daily basis, with significant shortfalls on weekends. Since the inception of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, Medicare has been gathering and publishing staffing data for more than 14,000 nursing homes. Medicare then provides a rating of the facility based on the data. (Prior to 2010, the Medicare ratings were based on unverified staffing reports.) Family members of loved ones in these facilities notice the shortfall of staff on weekends and find it truly baffling since the number of residents and their daily needs do not fluctuate widely so the need remains consistent. Lack of staff means less care for residents who need it and can lead to bedsores, missed doses of medications, and other accidents including falls and the inability to get to the bathroom on time. For residents who already experience health issues, these complications can be even more painful and potentially fatal. Nearly 1.4 million people are cared for in skilled nursing facilities in the United States so this is a universal issue affecting all facilities regardless of location. Medicare does not require a staff-to-resident ratio; however, it does stipulate that a registered nurse be on duty for eight hours per day and a licensed nurse should be on duty twenty fours per day. Since 2014, health inspectors have cited one in every eight nursing homes for having too few nurses.
The attorneys at Sauder Schelkopf have recovered over $200 million on behalf of their clients. We are skilled litigators with extensive courtroom experience.
We Want to Hear From You
If you or a loved one is a resident at a skilled nursing facility and has experienced physical problems as a result of short staffing or lack of care, please contact the lawyers at Sauder Schelkopf by filling out the form on this page.