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Miami Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

In the most recent census data, the United States government showed that the total population of Florida, which numbers over 20 million people, is made of up around 20% elderly citizens, those who are age 65 or over. With this number growing roughly a quarter percent every year, the population of citizens in need of nursing care and medical attention is growing rapidly.

Cases of nursing home abuse in Miami are not uncommon, but none have made as much news as the 21.5-million-dollar settlement against the Plaza Health Network.

Plaza Health Network

In 2015, after violating state and federal regulations regarding the care of patients, as well as committing multiple cases of Medicare and Medicaid fraud, the Plaza Health Network of Miami was ruled against by a judge of Miami-Dade County. The seven nursing homes that make up the network have a long history of abuse and neglect complaints.

In fact, the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration showed that over the course of three years, some 191 deficiencies were found in the services provided by the facilities. This included instances where bedsores were allowed to become infected after weeks of neglect, improper use of medical equipment like catheters, and paying kickbacks to doctors who referred patients to the facilities in order to help them collect Medicaid payments.

The Medicaid payments received over those three years totaled near 130 million dollars, and nearly all was related to falsified records of physical therapy that either didn’t happen, or was unnecessary for the patient. One location has racked up more than double the national average of deficiency reports since opening its doors.

Yet another in North Miami has over three times the national average of deficiencies, including failing to provide emergency medical care, failing to safeguard against cross contamination when cutting pills, and putting patients in danger.

The settlement is largely being paid back to the government for the false Medicaid payments that were collected.

Agency for Health Care Administration

The FloridaHealthFinder.gov website is run by the Agency for Health Care Administration, and is a single website where all the information on laws for elder care and abuse can be found. This website helps citizens understand their rights, how to report cases of abuse, and helps put them in touch with other services that can help at this stage of life.

There is also a comparison section that shows how nursing care facilities in Miami and all over Florida compare. You can even search the public records for lawsuits and allegations that reveal how often a facility comes under investigation for cases of elder abuse and neglect.

This website also provides a financial resources section, which details what kinds of protection seniors have from financial abuse and exploitation.

Working with an Elder Abuse Lawyer

There are many legal firms in the Miami area that deal with cases of elder abuse. If there is an investigation into accusations of abuse, a lawyer can represent your interests and work with the investigative team. When you present your proof to a lawyer, and they evaluate their ability to earn you a favorable ruling, they may want to enter into a mediation step. This is the step that leads to settlements, like the multi-million-dollar settlement by Plaza Health Network. This step gives the defendant an easier, more private way to make remuneration for their actions. The statute of limitations on filing a lawsuit after a mediation round is 60 days, so if the liability and damages discussed are not agreed upon, the courts may be contacted for a case for up to two months after.

 

Sources:

http://www.pwdlawfirm.com/initiating-a-lawsuit-for-negligent-care-at-a-nursing-home/

 

http://www.floridahealthfinder.gov/LandingPages/ALF.aspx

 

http://www.pendaslaw.com/miami-nursing-home-chain-cited-for-negligent-care/

 

http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/12

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