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Congressman Calls for Answers from HHS About Elder Abuse

After the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a very critical report finding that more than a quarter of nursing home abuse incidents go unreported, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) urged the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to release all of the data that it possesses about nursing home abuse. Hatch is the Chairman of Senate Finance Committee, which oversees the Medicare and Medicaid programs. In his letter, Hatch stated that he was troubled by the potential for abuse and neglect in the nation’s nursing homes and stressed the need for a solution to protect senior citizens. More specifically, Hatch questioned whether HHS planned to reevaluate its processes and procedures with regard to potential abuse or neglect or take any actions against facilities where abuse and/or neglect went unreported, as per the OIG report. He also questioned the “lag in enforcement” of a federal rule requiring all long-term care employees to report “any reasonable suspicion of a crime” to law enforcement officials.

The OIG report was notable for the oversights of the long-term care industry in hiring aides who had a history of criminal convictions. According to the report, aides with substantiated findings of abuse or neglect were 3.2 times more likely to have been previously convicted of a crime against another person; a full 19% of those aides found to have committed abuse or neglect had at least one prior criminal conviction.

As Sen. Hatch states, you need to educate yourself about the potential abuse and neglect of seniors that may exist in various senior living facilities nationwide. If your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect at the hands of a caretaker, no matter what the setting may be, you or your loved one could have a valid personal injury claim. This type of situation makes it essential to contact an experienced Wisconsin neglect and abuse attorney in order to protect your rights and obtain the financial relief that you deserve. Certain individuals have an obligation under the law to report suspected abuse or neglect of an elderly individual or nursing home or other facility resident. Those who fail to do so must face the consequences of their actions. Hold negligent Wisconsin care providers responsible for their actions. Contact Boller & Vaughan today and learn how we can help you.