Nursing Home Residents Stranded When Care Facilities Go Out of Business
July 30, 2019
During its prime, Skyline Healthcare managed or owned more than 100 nursing facilities in 11 states. But when the company started to fail two years ago, more than one dozen of its facilities were shut down and nearly 1,000 residents were forced to relocate – and many were given barely any warning.
This is not the first time a nursing home has gone out of business and left hundreds (or thousands) of vulnerable residents with limited options, though in a perfect world, it would certainly be the last. A recent NBC News investigation took a serious look at the failures of state and federal authorities in effectively monitoring care facilities across the nation, and also examined ways that the industry is becoming less accountable for providing reasonable levels of care for already at-risk and vulnerable patients.
Types of Nursing Homes
There are three main kinds of long-term care facilities, or LTCFs: nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and skilled nursing facilities. Though all three are categorized as long-term care facilities, each one provides a different level of care and treatment options to patients. Assisted living facilities allow residents to maintain a certain level of independence while simultaneously providing 24-hour supervision, homemaker services (e.g. housekeeping and laundry), and help with managing medications.
Nursing homes give residents less independence than assisted living facilities, but they provide increased supervision and specialized medical care to patients who lack home and/or community-based treatment options, or those who are chronically ill. Most nursing homes feature:
- 24-hour supervision;
- Around-the-clock nursing care;
- Speech-language therapy;
- Occupational therapy;
- Physical therapy, and:
- Daily activities
Skilled nursing facilities share a lot in common with nursing homes, but offer more “skilled” or specialized care options for (usually) higher risk patients. In general, skilled nursing facilities are intended for patients with acute needs, like individuals who recently underwent surgery or were in the hospital.
State and Federal Authorities
Even though there are somewhere between 1.3 and 1.6 million LTCFs in the United States, state and federal authorities have yet to come up with an adequate system for monitoring them. State governments can only oversee facilities operating exclusively within their borders, whereas federal authorities are left to regulate nationwide operations (like Skyline Healthcare).
Some of Skyline’s facilities remain open, despite the fact that more than a dozen have gone out of business due to financial problems and others were shut down because of government-documented abuse and neglect claims. Shockingly, Skyline’s owner retains stake in 53 existing nursing homes across the country to this day – which means that thousands of residents in 53 different homes are facing uncertain futures.
It is necessary to increase both statewide and federal efforts in order to better oversee the safety and operation of long-term care facilities. Although the current administration is attempting to ease fines levied against nursing facilities for neglect and abuse, victims and other injured individuals still have rights. If you would like to learn more about filing a nursing home abuse or neglect claim, please contact a representative at our firm who can answer your questions and direct your call.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Represent Victims of Nursing Home Neglect
Our attorneys are experienced in representing victims of nursing home negligence. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Reading and Lancaster, Galfand Berger serves clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.