Posted on March 8, 2019

Why? Because we hold them accountable. For too many years, the lobbyists paid by the nursing home industry has been successful at persuading Kentucky’s lawmakers to take away their residents’ rights. The most recent attempt was using their high powered, well paid political operatives to influence Kentucky lawmakers to pass a law that made it more difficult to sue a nursing home over injuries.

They claimed the law helped reduce insurance costs and did away with frivolous lawsuits. In reality, the law did nothing but allow the nursing homes to make more money and shield them from being sued for causing injuries. The law wasn’t fair and it wasn’t just. Thankfully, the law was struck down as unconstitutional by the Kentucky Supreme Court...but I’m sure the lobbyist still try it again.

We Protect Resident Rights and Sue Nursing Homes That Abuse or Neglect

Why do we focus on suing Kentucky nursing homes? The reason is simple. There is a need. Approximately 43% of nursing homes and long term care facilities in Kentucky rated “below average” or worse according to a study by the U.S. Medicare and Medicaid Services. This type of rating generally indicates that the nursing home had very serious problems with the quality of the services they are providing to their residents.

Currently, there are over 34,000 residents living in 284 nursing homes operating in Kentucky. That means that over 120 nursing homes operating in Kentucky are delivering below-average care. This ranks Kentucky nursing homes as some of the worst rated in the entire United States. Many of these nursing homes are located in Jefferson County. There are just as many, however, located in counties from Pike to McCracken. These nursing homes receive, on average, more immediate jeopardy deficiencies from nursing home inspectors (such at the Office of the Inspector General) as the national average. Sometimes, depending on the severity, nursing homes are fined over bedsores, infections (eg sepsis), falls resulting in broken bones or brain injuries) and abuse.

Despite this, many nursing homes continue to cry that they are being unfairly targeted by nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys. They want to cap damages to limit the right of nursing home neglect victims to bring lawsuits for their injuries. In addition, they often try to keep settlements confidential so the general public can’t learn about what occurs in their facilities.

Understaffing Leads to Neglect of Resident Care and Resident Rights

These nursing homes, however, fail to take steps to operate safely. Many nursing homes in Kentucky are short-staffed due to the nursing homes continued attempt to maximize profits. There are often too many residents for the amount of nurses and nurse aids to handle. Kentucky nursing homes, on average, do not reach the federal government’s staffing levels recommendations. Our firm has handled many cases where a client’s loved one wasn’t properly cared for because the staff was overworked. This can result in residents not being fed and becoming malnourished or dehydrated, call lights not being answered for hours resulting in residents not being able to use the restroom, and residents lying on the floor for hours with broken bones after falling in their room.

Nursing Home Lobbyists Prioritize Corporate Profits Over the Care of Your Loved Ones

In recent studies, a larger staff has been linked to better medical outcome for nursing home residents. The laws governing nursing homes in Kentucky, however, are weak. The federal government requires nursing homes to have “sufficient” staffing to meet its residents needs. They also require homes to have a registered nurse (or LPN) on duty at all times. The states are left to establish laws requiring more stringent standards. Kentucky, however, said "no thanks".

This is largely due to the nursing home lobby in Kentucky which pushes the nursing home’s corporate agenda to maximize their profits as much as possible. Bills that have been introduced in Kentucky to require nursing homes to have minimum staffing requirements generally get nowhere although other states have passed similar measures. The main nursing home lobbying group in Kentucky raised over $170,000 in political donations for Kentucky legislature races. This same group, through its lobbying efforts directed at Kentucky politicians, helped defeat bills introduced that were designed to improve the safety of residents living in nursing homes in Kentucky. This same group also helped defect increasing the pay of nursing home staff and a bill designed to reduce bedsores developing in nursing home residents.

Alarming Statistics Rank Kentucky Nursing Homes Very Poorly

Kentucky’s decisions on safety show in the ratings. Just recently, Kentucky had over 50 nursing homes that were rated one-star by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services using their 5-star rating program. Over 70 nursing homes in Kentucky had a two-star rating. Many of these homes have received a Type A citation (the most serious that can be levied) for violations involving resident safety. Again, many of these homes are located in Jefferson County but they are spread from Pike County to McCracken County as well. These same homes ranked at or near the bottom for certain quality of care measures such as bedsores suffered by residents according to a study published by the AARP. The statistics are alarming.

Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Are Here for You

This is why we help victims of nursing home abuse and neglect in Kentucky. The need is there. The residents need a voice. The nursing home lobby is a powerful force in Kentucky and has worked hard to let nursing homes operate however they see fit, even if it comes at the expense of their residents. We hold nursing homes accountable for their wrongful actions.

Has Your Loved One Been Injured in a Nursing Home?

If you believe your loved one is being subjected to nursing home abuse you need to speak with an experienced Kentucky nursing home neglect attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 888.450.4456 to schedule a free consultation.

Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law
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