Lawmakers Prioritize New Nursing Home
Bowling Green Democrat Jody Richards will not be Speaker Pro Tem in the next House session, but he plans to aggressively push the local agenda in Frankfort.
For the first time since Rep. Richards came to the statehouse in 1976, Republicans control the Commonwealth’s House of Representatives. Nevertheless, he believes his “history of treating the minority party fairly” will help propel some projects forwards, such as the proposed Bowling Green veteran’s nursing home. Legislators have already pre-filed two bills on the subject for the upcoming session; Rep. Richards sponsors one and plans to co-sponsor the other one. He wants construction to begin on the facility “as soon as possible.”
Some other legislative priorities include a better job training infrastructure, more protections for the aluminum industry, and more transparency in the Kentucky Retirement System.
New nursing care facilities are in quite a spot in the current economic environment. The shareholders, whether they are private investors or government bureaucrats, usually want these facilities to turn a profit as quickly as possible. Although the senior citizen population is expanding rapidly, these profits are not easy to generate, so many nursing home administrators are tempted to cut corners.
In the late 2000s, the Great Recession drove Health and Human Services reimbursement rates down, and they have only partially recovered. At about the same time, HHS changed its payment formula. As a result, the average nursing home loses $25 per day per patient in Medicaid reimbursements.
Nursing Home Abuse
To make up for the shortfall, some administrators cut payroll costs by reducing staff levels or by reducing employment qualifications and thereby reducing the workers’ wages. These cuts create an environment that fosters patient abuse.
- Resident on Resident Violence: A thinly-spread workforce is less able to monitor and control petty disputes, and when these disputes become violent, there may be no one to respond, especially if the situation occurs at night or at another non-peak time.
- Caregiver Violence: Overworked staffers sometimes take out their frustrations on residents, and since so many of them are physically frail, a tiny amount of force often causes serious injury.
The nursing home owner is responsible for the negligent acts of the facility’s employees, in nearly all cases.
Nursing home abuse touches many Kentucky families. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Mumfordville, contact Attorney Gary S. Logsdon. Our firm has a small-town atmosphere and access to nationwide resources.