In 1996, Dr. Edward C. “Terry” Watters became concerned about one of his patients who lived in a Maryland nursing home. He had been treating her for a sight-threatening condition, which seemed to be getting worse since his previous visit.
Dr. Watters checked her chart and was appalled to find that his treatment orders had not been followed. A staff member noticed him notating this lapse in the patient’s chart and urged him not to do so: it would cause problems for the nursing home with state reporting agencies, as well as financially.
The staff member expressed no concern for the pain or discomfort the patient may have suffered because of the nursing home’s negligence.
Despite the staff member’s request, Dr. Watters continued to note in the patient’s chart when treatment procedures hadn’t been followed. He was eventually told that his notes had been removed from the chart to protect the nursing home.
That did it.
Time for Action
Dr. Watters and a partner, Dennis Steele, learned how to obtain and interpret government reports on nursing homes. They gathered information, analyzed data, and assembled their findings. The results of their efforts revealed
- physical abuse;
- evidence of neglect, such as untreated bedsores; and
- “cold-hearted decision-making” by nursing home administrators and state officials.
What evolved became MemberoftheFamily.net, a website devoted to providing information on nursing homes in the United States. The site originally was available to Veterans Administration offices in D.C. and North Carolina; it has been available to the public since 1999. Currently, the site provides information on approximately 16,000 Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes in the United States.
The website provides a number of helpful resources:
- a registry of U.S. nursing homes;
- easy-to-read online reports based on recent government surveys of U.S. nursing homes, including fire safety violations and substantiated complaints;
- the National Nursing Home Watch List of facilities that have been recently cited for violations or that have substantiated complaints;
- the Nursing Home Honor Roll of nursing homes that had no cited deficiencies; and
- a state Ombudsman list.
Access to the reports is available for a monthly fee.
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.