The nursing home crisis in New York State continues to rage on, with more and more facilities being shut down or fined due to egregious mistakes. One particularly harrowing story regarding an elderly care facility in Buffalo attracted the attention of CMS (Center for Medicaid Services), which fined the organization nearly fifty thousand dollars for putting a patient’s health and life at risk.
Though fifty thousand dollars is a great deal of money to the average American, it is a drop in the bucket for nursing home providers, who can generate revenue in the millions. In many cases, it is more cost effective to provide substandard care and pay the fines, rather than bring on additional competent nurses, each of which will cost the company more than fifty thousand.
What makes the Buffalo case so disturbing is that it was not simply the result of poor training or standards, but was a willful disregard of orders from another medical professional. The patient had been discharged from another facility for acute care, with specific instructions not to administer insulin to the individual for a set period of time. Rather than reading and following these orders, staff went rogue.
Though life-saving for diabetics in most situations, insulin can carry heavy risks, particularly with regards to causing blood sugar to fall too low. Though high blood sugar is most often implicated in significant diabetic events, low blood sugar can also result in diabetic coma and death.
If someone you love has suffered due to substandard care in an elderly care facility or other nursing home, it is important to recognize how widespread the problems in this industry have become. Holding businesses accountable for putting profit above safety is one important step to getting care back on the right track. Please contact a lawyer about your case.