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Feds launch National Nursing Home Initiative to fight neglect

On March 3, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the launch of the National Nursing Home Initiative, which is designed to crack down on negligent nursing home owners and operators in New Mexico and across the nation. The department has already begun investigating around 30 nursing homes in nine states.

According to a statement released by U.S. Attorney General William S. Barr, many nursing home owners and operators put profits over the care of their patients, and this can lead to grossly substandard care, abuse and neglect. The mission of the National Nursing Home Initiative will be to help various civil and law enforcement agencies coordinate and improve their efforts as they target the nation's worst nursing homes.

The new department will use a number of factors to determine which nursing homes it needs to target. These factors include consistently failing to provide adequate nursing staff, failing to follow basic hygiene and infection control protocols, failing to adequately feed and hydrate residents, failing to provide prescribed pain medication and using inappropriate physical restraints or sedatives to control residents. According to experts, patients who are subjected to such protocols and conditions can suffer pain, needless indignities, injuries, illness, starvation and even death.

Nursing home neglect can come in many forms, including failure to monitor patients, failure to prevent bedsores, failure to provide prescribed medication doses, malnutrition and sexual assault. Families who suspect that their loved ones may be suffering from nursing home neglect or abuse might benefit from contacting a law firm about their case. Attorneys might be able to investigate the facility and determine if it is failing to provide the standard of care. If so, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit against the home seeking compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, mental anguish and more.

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