New Mexico’s Nursing Home Condition Realities

Most people in New Mexico know at least one family who has a loved one living in a nursing home. Many are in this situation themselves as more and more people in the baby boom generation move to ages where such care may be needed. Anyone who needs this type of care for a relative should be able to trust that their loved one is well treated. Unfortunately, that does not always happen.

The New Mexico legislature enacted a law some years ago that made it legal for people to put video surveillance cameras in resident rooms in nursing homes. These cameras must be purchased by the resident and the resident or their representative must receive written approval from any roommates and provide notice to the facility that the camera will be installed. All footage captured must also include a time and date of the recording. 

The purpose of these cameras was to help spot, and ideally prevent, abuse or neglect of patients. Based on some recent reports, it is not looking as though this has happened. The Albuquerque Journal notes that a ProPublica review of 76 facilities over the course of roughly three years found 36 nursing homes to have serious deficiencies.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have 12 levels of identified infractions rated from A to L with J, K and L being the most severe. Of their certified nursing homes in New Mexico, 115 have recently been rated with J, K or L violations. These are said to pose immediate risks to the safey and health of residents. 

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