Your parents’ health is extremely important to you. If your parent needs full-time care in a nursing home, you try to choose a good nursing home that takes care of your parent’s needs. But a sad reality is that some nursing homes do not meet appropriate standards of care.

The inspector general’s office from US Health and Human Services recently investigated unreported cases of neglect in nursing homes. The investigation found an estimated 6,600 cases in 2016 of unreported neglect and abuse.

What the investigation found

When patients on Medicare are in nursing homes, the nursing homes must report incidents of neglect to Medicare. The investigation used Medicare billing records to find evidence of unreported neglect. The auditors found 37,600 times when nursing home residents went to the emergency room for problems that could relate to neglect. Then state inspectors reviewed which instances nursing homes should have reported as neglect or abuse. Of all the instances, inspectors agreed that 6,600 instances of potential abuse or neglect went unreported.

Some nursing homes try to hide neglect or abuse

The investigation reveals that many nursing homes fail to provide patients with proper care. Not only are the nursing home administrators allowing their employees to neglect and abuse residents; nursing homes are also hiding this abuse from the residents’ families and government regulators. Additionally, many nursing home residents are unable or unwilling to speak up about the neglect and abuse.

Nursing homes are responsible for your parent’s care

When you put your parent in a nursing home, you want the nursing home to have excellent care. But if there are signs that nursing home employees neglect or abuse your parent, you want to make sure the mistreatment is stopped and that the responsible parties are held accountable. If you are unsure of how to do that, you may want to consult an attorney.