October 14, 2019

October 14, 2019

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Over 50 VA Nursing Homes Found to Have Caused “Actual Harm” to Veterans

Recently, the Department of Veterans Affairs released inspection reports of 99 VA nursing homes across the country, and the results are staggering. Out of the 99 VA nursing homes inspected, 52 were cited for deficiencies that caused “actual harm” to veterans.

Inspectors the nursing homes from April through December 2018. Eight facilities were found to have caused “harm” to veterans as well as put the veterans’ health and safety in “jeopardy.” In three facilities, the inspectors found the veterans’ health and safety was in “immediately jeopardy.”

The inspectors found that the staff at over two dozen VA nursing homes failed to take steps to ensure that their residents’ pressure ulcers had properly healed or to prevent new ones from developing. In a VA facility in Cincinnati, a resident had five bedsores in six months, but in spite of this the inspectors found that no one had moved him for several hours.

In more than 50 veterans’ homes, inspectors found that the residents weren’t being properly monitored by staff or were exposed to hazardous conditions. In addition, many VA nursing homes failed at taking steps to prevent and control infection, arguably one of the most fundamental responsibilities in caring for already at-risk patients.

Inspectors found that two out three VA nursing homes the staff often didn’t follow simple infection prevention protocols, like wearing sterile gowns and gloves when treating residents. They also cited several VA nursing home for failing to meet standards of care in as many as 10 key categories, such as treating residents with dignity.

More than seven years ago, the Government Accountability Office had published a report to the U.S. Senate, which found that a high percentage of veterans at the facilities were in pain. Unfortunately, this trend does not seem to have changed much, as inspectors in 2018 cited 29 VA facilities for failing to ensure their residents weren’t suffering from serious pain.

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About this Author

 Denise Mariani, Stark Law Firm, Lawrenceville, New Jersey, Nursing Home Liabilities, Patient Arbitration Lawyer
Shareholder

Denise Mariani is a Shareholder and Chair of the Nursing Home Negligence litigation group. For over 20 years, she has fought tirelessly to defend the rights of those who have been injured or killed through the negligence of others. As the Chair of the Nursing Home Negligence litigation group, Ms. Mariani has found her passion representing the families of residents and patients who, through negligence or abuse, have died or been seriously injured in a long-term care facility.

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609-895-7345
Sharri Warfel, Shareholder
Shareholder

Sherri L. Warfel is a Shareholder and trial attorney in Stark & Stark’s Nursing Home Litigation Group. Ms. Warfel concentrates her practice in representing victims of abuse and neglect in nursing homes and other medical facilities. She handles cases involving claims of pressure ulcers, fractures or injuries from preventable falls, infection, abuse, and death. Ms. Warfel also maintains a personal injury practice for clients injured in accidents. She is a seasoned trial attorney and litigator who has settled and tried hundreds of cases in her years of practice.

Sherri's primary areas of focus are in nursing law, nursing home negligence, and accident & personal injury law. 

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey

Education

  • J.D., Rutgers Law School, 1998 
  • B.S., The College of New Jersey, 1995 
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