National Nursing Home Initiative launched by the Department of Justice

National Nursing Home Initiative launched by the Department of Justice

The Department of Justice has launched the National Nursing Home Initiative. United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, John R. Lausch, Jr., joined Attorney General William P. Barr to announce this initiative. This initiative will coordinate and enhance civil and criminal efforts to pursue nursing homes that provide grossly substandard care to their residents.

The country’s worst nursing homes are focused upon this initiative. The Department has already started an investigation into approximately thirty individual nursing facilities in nine states as part of this effort. Attorney General William P. Barr said, “Millions of seniors count on nursing homes to provide them with quality care, and to treat them with dignity and respect when they are most vulnerable.”

He added, “Yet, all too often, we have found nursing home owners or operators who put profits over patients, leading to instances of gross abuse and neglect. This national initiative will bring to justice those owners and operators who have profited at the expense of their residents, and help to ensure residents receive the care to which they are entitled.”

“Protecting older Americans in nursing facilities is a top priority for the Department of Justice,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch.  “We are committed to defending our vulnerable seniors from those who abuse or neglect them.” Several factors are used by the department to identify the most problematic nursing homes. Some of the factors include:

  • nursing homes that consistently fail to provide adequate nursing staff to care for their residents
  • fail to adhere to basic protocols of hygiene and infection control
  • fail to provide their residents with enough food to eat so that they become emaciated and weak
  • withhold pain medication
  • or use physical or chemical restraints to restrain or otherwise sedate their residents
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