Archive for the ‘Nursing Homes’ Category

Nursing Homes Operate Without Insurance

March 17, 2008

…from the OKPNS Confidential Tip Line:

A growing number of nursing homes in Oklahoma are not financially sound and cannot respond to legitimate claims for compensation when one of their residents is seriously injured or killed due to neglect or abuse. The company that operates the nursing home and has the license often is a shell corporation and has no assets, while another company owns the building and the equipment. These nursing home operators also fail to carry liability insurance.

We are working to encourage the Oklahoma State Department of Health to require nursing home operators to prove they have sufficient assets to cover claims of resident abuse or neglect. We are encouraging OSDH to require the nursing homes to show they carry at least a certain amount of liability insurance. If the nursing home operator fails to keep sufficient assets and does not carry liability insurance the officers, directors and shareholders of the nursing home operator would be personally liable to a nursing home resident or their family when someone is abused or neglected.

Based on information provided to the Center, over 20% of the beds in Oklahoma are in uninsured nursing homes. The number is likely a lot higher but since it is not currently required or reported, we have to rely on unofficial methods of collecting the data.

If a nursing home resident is neglected or abused they should have a remedy. We require people who drive cars to carry mandatory insurance, why should nursing homes be any different. Forcing nursing home operators to show they are financially sound in order to have a license to take care of our elderly citizens just makes common sense.

Most nursing home operators are for profit and carrying liability insurance is a legitimate cost of doing business. We recently heard of a story of Mrs. Cloud, a elderly patient of a nursing home in Oklahoma who was dropped and had both of her legs broken.

Unfortunately, the nursing home was being operated by a shell company which did not carry any insurance. The owner of the building, also a corporation, disclaimed any responsibility for the operation of the nursing home and represented that it did not have any liability insurance which would cover neglect or abuse of a resident.

Mrs. Cloud, who has endured much suffering and multiple surgeries due to the negligence of the nursing staff was left with no remedy. This is wrong.

Contact the Oklahoma Center for Consumer and Patient Safety here.

The Oklahoma Foundation for Consumer and Patient Rights takes on big industries and the politicians every day in legislatures, the courts and in the media. We also provide a number of resources for consumers to make informed decisions in the marketplace and as patients. The Foundation for Consumer and Patient Rights is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. We rely upon the support of people like you.