According to a recent study conducted by the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), the conglomerate nursing home chains consistently have more deficiencies than their non-profit and even government-controlled counterparts. The study, which compared ten of the largest nursing home chains, provided evidence that the largest nursing home chains tend to provide the poorest quality care. The results pointed to under-staffing issues in an effort to increase profits as a driver of these poorer ratings.
One major nursing home chain is Golden Living nursing homes, and they have certainly had their share of lawsuits in recent years, with several of them relating to substandard wound care, sexual abuse, battery, and other cases concerning poor quality care in their facilities.
In 2013, Golden Living settled a suit with the United States Attorney, which alleged that the facility was committing Medicare, Medicaid and Veteran Administration fraud due to providing documentation, monitoring, treatment and prevention of wounds that was worthless and inadequate to patients between January, 2006 and May, 2011. While this is a civil matter at the time of settling, actual determination of liability was not made.
As a result of Golden Living’s settlement, six facilities that are located in the Atlanta area were required to implement policies and procedures to ensure compliance with regulations and statutes related to patient care. Additionally, an independent monitor was required to oversee the facilities for five years.
A 71-year-old patient placed in a Golden Living facility lost 20 pounds within 20 days of entering the facility. The drastic weight loss was due to dehydration and malnutrition, which occurred even with the nursing home staff making notes in the patient’s chart multiple times due to his lack of eating. Subsequently, the elderly man’s family, who alleged that the patient’s death from kidney failure and brain damage was due to the severe dehydration, brought a lawsuit against Golden Living.
A CNA at a Golden Living facility in Muncie, Indiana was charged with battery/abuse against an individual who was physically or mentally disabled after she slapped a 94-year-old resident in the mouth. The resident, who was unable to speak due to a stroke, had become agitated when the CNA was changing dressings on her feet. The only witness to the incident was another CNA, who reported the abuse. The family also brought a civil case against the CNA charged with battery in the incident.
Golden Living was also named in a lawsuit concerning sexual abuse of a resident. The lawsuit alleged that a CNA disrobed an elderly patient who was paralyzed due to a stroke, and fondled him – all against the resident’s will. This same CNA was also accused of sexually abusing another patient in the facility prior to this complaint. The CNA was also facing charges of misdemeanor battery.
Golden Living nursing homes has had their share of lawsuits, ranging from fraud to mediocre care to abuse and neglect. As this is one of the largest nursing home chains in the country, it does lend credence to the study results from UCSF.
Abuse and neglect in a nursing home are serious violations, and may be criminal as well in some cases. If you believe your loved one is being abused or receiving subpar care, you need to report the facility to the authorities, and contact a lawyer about your senior’s situation.