Nursing Home Abuse in Maryland

Nursing Home Laws and Regulations in Maryland

Maryland is a relatively small state, but has a population of 5,773,552 people. With a population so big, there is an inevitable need for nursing homes. Which is why Maryland has a total of 228 nursing homes statewide. Of those 228 nursing homes, 45% of them are for-profit as opposed to non-profit or government ran facilities. Laws and regulations are put in place on the state and federal level for all facilities to abide by.

Regulations Regarding Nursing Homes

Each resident of a nursing home has right under both Maryland and federal law. This is known as the Resident’s Bill of Rights. Any violation of this bill could cost the nursing home up to $10,000 per incident. As a resident of a nursing home, rights include:

  • The right to receive information about the nursing home
  • The right to participate in your own care
  • The right to privacy and confidentiality
  • The right to be treated with consideration, respect, and dignity
  • The right to be free from physical, verbal, sexual and mental abuse
  • The right to visits from friends, family, advocates, ombudsmen, social services providers, and doctors, as you choose
  • The right to make independent choices
  • The right to complain about problems
  • The right to examine your medical records
  • The right to a safe and secure transfer or discharge

Along with the Resident’s Bill of Rights, regulations are also put in to place pertaining to the facility itself. The Code of Maryland Residents, or COMAR, goes into depth on topics such as admission and discharge, resident’s representative, special care units, pharmaceutical services, and relocation. Another topic listed in COMAR is the nursing services. This specifies the staff regulations that the facility needs to abide by, including having a licensed nurse on-site 24 hours a day to provide bedside care to assure each patient receives the following:

  • Receives treatments, medications, and diet as prescribed
  • Receives rehabilitative nursing care as needed
  • Receives proper care to prevent decubitus ulcers and deformities
  • Is kept comfortable, clean, and well-groomed
  • Is protected from accident, injury, and infection
  • Is encouraged, assisted, and trained in self-care and group activities

There are many laws and regulations that go into precise detail regarding resident care. This is to ensure that each resident is cared for appropriately.

The Statistics

As of 2015, there have been 3 or more complaints in 40% of Maryland’s nursing homes, while 29% had no complaints at all. Maryland ranks 25th nationally with an overall score of 3.3 on a 5 point scale. There is always room for improvement with anything, but especially nursing homes. In Maryland, the average monthly cost for a nursing home residence is $8,448. Therefore, one would expect to receive the care and attention they need for over 6 figures a year. Sadly enough, there are many cases of abuse and neglect that take place in nursing homes. Nationwide, there is an instance of abuse in almost 1 in every 3 nursing homes. In one report, over a 2-year period, there were close to 9,000 cases spanning from 1999-2001. Also nationwide, some 1.6 million people reside in 17,000 nursing homes and 11,000 of them are for-profit businesses.

In June of 2015 in Baltimore, MD., there was an 85 year old woman who was allegedly neglected, which led to her death. There was a video which showed the staff of the nursing home facility ignoring the resident’s call for help. The family of the resident is now suing for $30 million.

Final Note

Laws and regulations are put in place for a reason. Both the state and federal law govern the expectations of nursing home facilities. If the law is broken, then there will be a penalty to pay. There is a tedious process put into place before a facility can be licensed, and once licensed the facility must abide by all laws and regulations put forth.

Sources:

https://suburbanstats.org/population/how-many-people-live-in-maryland

http://takingcareofmomanddad.com/NursingHomes/Regulations/

http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/comarhtml/10/10.07.02.12.htm

http://www.peoples-law.org/nursing-home-resident-rights-0

 

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