Between September 26, 2018, and November 12, 2018, 11 children died at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in New Jersey. The children died of the adenovirus infection, but it is possible that their deaths could have been prevented. Staff members of the facility expressed concern about understaffing and delays in obtaining medical care for the children. In addition, the facility had received multiple citations for failures in infection control.
Under-enforcement of Regulations
The repeated infection control issues at the Wanaque Center were found by inspectors to not cause “actual harm” or “immediate jeopardy” to any of the residents of the facility. According to a reportby the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), 95% of all health violations in nursing home facilities are listed as causing “no harm” to the residents. This fails to take into account the very real harm that residents experience when minimum nursing home standards are not being met.
The CMS and state agencies have a duty to ensure that nursing home standards are strictly enforced. These entities have a responsibility to make sure that nursing home residents are not neglected by facilities and that appropriate minimum standards are put into place to protect the quality of care for all residents. Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities are a vulnerable population and rely on government agencies to protect them and to properly enforce regulations.
Trump Regulation Rollbacks
The under-enforcement of existing minimum standards in long-term care and nursing home facilities has been compounded by the rollback of regulations by the Trump administration. The administration has eased up on fines against nursing homes that harm residents or place them at risk. New guidelines discourage regulators from levying fines against nursing homes, even if a resident dies. A moratorium was placed on other Obama-era nursing home regulations, such as the requirement that new residents receive a baseline care plan within 48 hours of admission. These new rules could have a serious effect on the well-being and living conditions of nursing home residents.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a nursing home, you should have an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.