Entire Nursing Home Found Guilty of Abuse
Written by NHAbuseGuide on May 25, 2015
Every year, nursing homes get reported for elderly abuse or neglect. Obvious, just one incident of this is one too many. However, according to the attorney general, there’s been a rash of such incidents in New Mexico. All of the incidents have happened at homes that fall under the same chain.
An Ongoing Battle
Last month, the attorney general struck, but this was just one of many attempts that office made at Preferred Care Partners Management Group. It actually started back in December. The first charge was simply an allegation that the company didn’t have enough staff for the number of people they looked after. The natural result was that elderly people were suffering from neglect.
Preferred Care Partners Management Group is no small operation either. The chain has facilities throughout the south and even up into the Midwest. Their homes can be found in:
This past lawsuit followed a fairly novel approach in order to get its point across. Essentially, it looked at the number of hours required to get through essential tasks like helping a resident to the restroom, bathing them, feeding them, etc. Once they had these numbers in place, it was fairly simple math for New Mexico to allege that there was no way local Preferred Care Partners Management Group homes were doing their job.
Preferred Care Responds
The company targeted by the attorney general’s claims has fought back. According to Preferred Care Partners Management Group, New Mexico is taking aim at problems that existed in facilities prior to the company acquiring them.
Another thing the business has going for it is a recent piece that showed up in the New York Times. The article highlighted a little-known practice of law firms securing contracts with the attorney generals of states like New Mexico. These contracts essentially put the law firms in charge of going after local companies in return for a cut of whatever they can land for the state.
Part of the article, which obviously received national attention, actually focused on the current case against Preferred Care Partners Management Group. Back in 2012, it alleged, a private firm came to Gary King, the Attorney General of Mexico at the time, to take on the case. Hector Balderas, the current attorney general, later initiated a lengthy review before he took over back in January.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Balderas said the review was due diligence to ensure the case had merit. However, after hearing story after story from the families of residents and former employees, he said it became clear he had to act.
After his initial lawsuit, Balderas actually doubled down, filing an updated version to include more of the stories he had heard. An attorney representing Preferred Care Partners Management Group did not make a public statement in response, aside from saying that these new claims were being reviewed.
The accusations being made against the elderly home company are not pretty. Stories of elderly people being left in soiled diapers and sheets because previous shifts didn’t get to them are prevalent. One resident fell multiple times a day because no one heard others calling for help. Then there was the gentleman who was given a cheeseburger to eat with no supervision, despite the fact that he was only allowed pureed food. He ended up choking on it.
You can never spend enough time researching a home for your elderly loved ones and then checking in on them (often by surprise). However, if you ever suspect something is wrong, report it to the authorities and call an attorney ASAP.