June 29, 2017
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In what appears to be yet another example of Indiana nursing home neglect and abuse, various news outlets have reported that four employees of the Providence Home Health Care Center in Jasper, Indiana were arrested Monday in connection with battery and neglect of a dementia patient.  The warrants charging them with felony battery and neglect and misdemeanor intimidation.  Two other employees were charged with failing to report abuse of an endangered adult.  Documents filed with the court indicate video shows nursing assistants hitting the patient or rolling the patient over aggressively.

Unfortunately, too many patients are neglected and abused without anyone ever knowing.  There are many types of nursing home neglect and abuse.  It is important to be vigilant in looking for signs of nursing home abuse and neglect.  

It would be interesting to know whether the individuals at issue were involved in prior criminal acts.  A report released in 2011 by the Department of Health & Human Services, Office of the Inspector General found that more than 90% of nursing homes in the US employ one or more people who have been convicted of at least one crime.  Federal regulations prohibit Medicare & Medicaid nursing facilities from employing those individuals who have been found guilty of neglecting, or mistreating residents by a court of law, or who have a finding entered into the State nurses registry concerning abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of property.

The study also found that almost half of the facilities employed five or more individuals with at least one conviction. Unfortunately, there is currently no set standard mandating how a nursing home should conduct their background checks. Only 10 states currently require that nursing homes use both the FBI criminal background database along with state databases. Indiana currently falls among the 33 states that only require a background check using state databases.

If you suspect that abuse or neglect has occurred at an Indiana nursing home facility, you can file a nursing home complaint with the Indiana State Department of Health’s Division of Long Term Care.   Timely reporting of complaints is imperative as the difficulty in effectively gathering  information regarding an incident increases over time.     Once the complaint is filed, the name of the person reporting the complaint as well as any additional medical information given in the complaint is kept confidential.  During the investigation you maybe contacted by the surveyors to further gather information regarding the complaint.  Once the investigation concludes you will be notified of the results.

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