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Phoenix Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

In the next four years, the population of Arizona citizens over 65 is predicted to be more than 25%. This is one of the fastest growing elderly populations in the entire country, and that means that nursing care facilities and assisted living facilities are under closer inspection for quality care. In 2015, the number of reported abuse cases for the entire state increased by nearly 19% from the number reported in 2014.

Arizona Attorney General

In the event that seniors living in nursing facilities are being sponsored by Medicaid or Medicare, any accusations of abuse are investigated by the Attorney General’s office. Abusing a patient is in direct violation of the Medicaid or Medicare policy, so a conviction could also carry a fraud charge.

The Elder Justice Act of 2010 requires that only staff, owners, and contractors of federally funded health care facilities report suspicions of elder abuse in Phoenix nursing homes. If a report must be made, the Adult Protective Services can be reached at 877-SOS-ADULT. There is also a 24-hour help line designed for seniors, from the Area Agency on Aging, which can be reached at 602-264-HELP.

Adult Protective Services

If the alleged abuse takes place in the home or at a nursing home facility without Medicare or Medicaid involved, then the APS would be called instead. When you reach the APS, they will ask you for your name and relationship to the victim. You can request to remain anonymous when the case is investigated if you prefer.

You’ll also be asked for as many details as you can give pertaining to the abuse. If the situation involves immediate danger, calling 911 or the local Phoenix authorities will get emergency services there to help with immediate healthcare concerns. You will also be asked for the names of anyone—relatives, healthcare professionals, facility staff, friends—who may have known about the abuse and did not report it.

After you have made your report and given information, the APS will begin an investigation of their own. They can provide information and help that can lead seniors and concerned family or friends to the right resources for the situation, as well. The goal of the APS is to keep the elderly person in their home, or their independent living situation, for as long as possible.

Taskforce Against Senior Abuse

The Attorney General’s Office also oversees TASA, the Taskforce Against Senior Abuse. This taskforce is largely to help build communication and research efforts into instances of elder abuse in Phoenix and surrounding areas. It also acts as an avenue to help the Attorney General identify elder abuse crimes that fall into their jurisdiction.

Other state groups like APS, the Division of Aging and Adult Services, and the Ombudsman Programs can find themselves working on the same case from different angles. TASA provides a coordinated effort to keep every case running smoothly. It is made up mostly of volunteer advocates.

Contacting TASA can be done through their toll-free hotline 8440894-4735.

Arizona’s Area on Aging

The Area on Aging is another group that works to ensure that the elderly citizens of Phoenix are given the best care possible. Their focus in recent years has been on the rise of financial abuse of elders in Arizona.

Financial abuse in a nursing home occurs when private property is stolen, identity is stolen, or when employees exploit personal information they know about the patient to steal money. These cases can also include Medicaid and Medicare fraud, where healthcare professionals falsify records in order to receive higher payments from the federal government.

 

Sources:

 

https://www.azag.gov/seniors

 

http://ktar.com/story/944195/report-abuse-of-arizonas-elderly-increases-as-aging-population-grows/

 

http://www.daily-times.com/story/news/local/2016/03/25/two-lawsuits-filed-against-local-nursing-homes/82260832/

 

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