BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – When your loved ones enter nursing homes, you expect they’ll get the best of care.
But a recent government report shows that Medicare pays $4.4 billion every year treating injuries caused by nursing homes.
“With these studies we’re hoping the federal government will do more to improve care and safety in the health care environment,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Senior Analyst Jeremy Moore said.
Last week, a woman wandered away from this nursing home just north of Akron. She died of exposure.
In the Mahoning Valley, a resident died of exposure in 2012 after leaving her assisted living home in Niles.
Problems at the nursing homes range from not making sure patients got enough water to falls and bedsores.
“Be aware of the facilties’ concerns in the past have been,” Ohio Area Agency on Aging Long Term Care Ombudsman Stacey Bettura said. “It’s a good opening conversation, with them, to say, “I see you had some concerns in these areas. What are some of the things that you’ve done to address them.”
The government publishes these concerns and fines on a website. Locally, two nursing homes have serious issues.
One, Concord Care Center, was placed on a special watch list and fined $23,000. Another Vista Center of Boardman, was fined $49,000. Concord Care Center has since improved its standing with the federal government.
Both centers declined to give an interview for this story.
Experts said it is better not to rely solely on websites to make the choice of a nursing home.
“Information from a website is very important,” Ohio Area Agency on Aging Long Term Care Ombudsman John Saulitis said. “What’s most important is to actually go and see for yourself, is this some place that I would like to have my mom or dad live.”