Unnecessary Treatment in Nursing Homes
Nursing home abuse doesn’t always take the form of physical violence. For instance, poor care in a nursing home can have just as many devastating consequences for the health of a resident as physical abuse. Unnecessary treatment in particular, has become especially common amongst unscrupulous nursing home administrators that are attempting to bill for more expensive services than are required. It is, however, possible to hold facilities accountable for this kind of conduct, so if you believe that your loved one’s nursing home is engaging in unfair billing practices or is offering unnecessary care to a resident, it is important to speak with an experienced Tulsa nursing home abuse lawyer who can help advise you.
Nursing Home Reimbursement Rates
How much a nursing home can seek in reimbursement from Medicare and other insurers for the care they provide depends on the type of resource utilization group (RUG) that a resident is in, which in turn is based on the complexity and amount of time dedicated to a particular resident’s care. Typically, residents who receive high levels of rehabilitation services fall into a RUG category that allows facilities to collect the highest level of reimbursement. Unfortunately, in an effort to bill at these rates, many nursing homes have begun offering more intense, expensive, and unwarranted rehabilitation services to residents, putting those individuals at risk of further injury.
How Common is Unnecessary Treatment in Nursing Homes?
Billing state and federal agencies for the unnecessary care of nursing home patients can lead to more than just the loss of millions of taxpayer dollars. Tragically, unnecessary care, especially intensive care, is common in nursing home settings. In fact, in 2018, a study conducted by the University of Rochester Medical Center Department of Public Health Sciences, revealed a disturbing trend of providing unnecessary and dangerous high intensity rehabilitation services to nursing home residents.
Unfortunately, nursing home populations are also some of the most at-risk of suffering from health complications. Besides increasing the pain, exhaustion, and suffering of residents, performing unnecessary treatments can also delay palliative care, and in some cases, can even accelerate a resident’s decline.
Why is Unnecessary Treatment Dangerous?
While many therapies can be helpful, even to those who are approaching the end of their lives, many experts contend that the goals of these therapies can be attained at lower degrees of intensity and that ordering ultrahigh levels of rehabilitation services can prove harmful to patients. In many cases, the benefits of therapies are outweighed by the risks of pain and exhaustion that can increase a resident’s suffering. Others have posited that the focus on maximizing rehabilitative care in nursing homes is actually acting as an unnecessary barrier to the introduction of palliative care.
Speak with an Experienced Tulsa Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
To set up an initial consultation with a dedicated nursing home abuse lawyer in Tulsa about your own concerns regarding the care of a loved one in a nursing home, please call Levinson Law, P.C. at 918-492-4433 today or send us an online message with your contact information.