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Lack of transparency may enable nursing home negligence

Many Wyoming families are currently facing serious problems regarding substandard care of elderly patients in nursing homes. Some have already suffered devastating losses when loved ones succumbed to injuries suffered due to acts of abuse. Others suspect nursing home negligence but aren't sure where to turn for support to rectify their situations.

A representative in another state has been speaking about lack of transparency. In fact, he believes that the reporting process for adverse incidents in nursing homes is so secretive that it actually enables negligence and abuse to continue. Surprisingly, local law enforcement agencies may not even be aware of crimes that take place because information from nursing home abuse reports is not typically made available to them.

A Pennsylvania state representative has proposed legislation that would require full disclosure when the Pennsylvania Departments of Health, Aging and Human Services formally investigate allegations of nursing home negligence or abuse. The proposed bill currently has eight co-sponsors. The legislator was inspired to propose a bill after learning that out of 1,800 substantiated claims of nursing home abuse in Pennsylvania between 2009 and 2015, only three were filed with the state attorney general's office for prosecution.

Elder advocates have been highly supportive of the newly proposed legislation, saying it's about time laws require more transparency to help eliminate nursing neglect and abuse problems throughout Pennsylvania and other states as well. Another care advocate said part of the problem is that many people are hesitant to report suspected neglect or abuse situations. Incidents that are reported (and often substantiated) are usually quite serious. A Wyoming elder law attorney can help investigate and address any nursing home negligence incident in this state.

Source: readingeagle.com, "State representative wants to shine a light on nursing home abuse", Nicole C. Brambila, Feb. 10, 2018

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