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Government database flags facilities for nursing home negligence

Many elders in Wyoming live in nursing homes. The events that may have led a particular resident to choose this option often vary from patient to patient. However, those residing in such facilities should not have to fear that nursing home negligence will cause them injury, illness, or, in worst cases, death.

A U.S. government website has implemented a database that flags nursing facilities with a warning icon if they have received "severe citations" for abuse, neglect or exploitation. A spokesperson for the federal government said the idea behind the warning flag system is that nursing home companies can compete for highest quality care. The government rep also said that having a facility flagged should serve as incentive to the nursing home in question to come into compliance with the law.

Not everyone supports the new warning system. Some nursing home officials have said they believe it will be a deterrent to facilities regarding reporting of abuse or neglect incidents. The officials in question also said the system may cause a potential resident to hesitate in choosing a specific facility, even if that facility best fits his or her needs. The flag system appears to show that negligence is more problematic in some regions than others, such as in Florida, where 25 nursing homes received the warning icon in the database.

Wyoming assisted-living patients or family members who are able to legally act on behalf of a patient should definitely report any suspicious incidents or signs of nursing home negligence. Doing so might wind up saving someone's life. Sadly, it is often only after an injury or death has occurred that negligence or abuse comes to light, in which case, a recovering victim or loved one of a deceased victim can take steps to file an injury claim against those deemed responsible for damages.

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