An overwhelming majority of Georgia nursing homes have not been inspected since 2020. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the state currently ranks at the bottom of the heap when it comes to conducting inspection surveys of nursing facilities.
Across the country, most states were unable to inspect nursing homes to ensure that these were in compliance with safety and hygiene protocols last year. Unfortunately, this has resulted in backlogs across the country. However, the situation is dire in Georgia. In our state, the backlog has meant that most nursing homes have not been subjected to inspections. In fact, nearly 93% nursing home facility have not been subjected to inspections in 16 months. Only one other state fares worse than Georgia in this regard.
Typically, nursing homes are subjected to inspections at least once every 15 months, and these inspections are conducted through survey teams that are sent into the nursing facilities. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is asking states to resume the process of inspections and re-certifications of facilities without further delay.
Hopefully, Georgia will begin the process of inspections soon. The state has already allocated funds in its budget for increasing nursing home inspections. The 2022 budget contains allocations for more than $12 million that will be used to increase efficiency. The money will be used to increase the workforce for inspections of nursing facilities. This should not only help clear some of the backlog that has resulted since 2020, but may also help to conduct more timely inspections of nursing facilities in the future.
When nursing homes are not regularly inspected, the risk to their vulnerable residents is high. The longer a nursing home goes without regular inspection, the higher the risk of neglect, abuse or worse to its residents. It is time that Georgia stepped up inspections of the state’s homes now. Georgia administration officials say that while infection control inspections of nursing homes have been conducted in 2020, other surveys have lagged. The officials believe that there will soon be a return to pre-2020 levels of inspections and re-certifications.
In Georgia, nursing homes experienced heavy infection tolls in 2020. Infection control is one safety protocol that needs to be followed even more thoroughly as we move through 2021. It is also important to focus on other parameters of nursing home safety, including fall prevention and medication errors to ensure that residents receive the care they require.
The Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers at the Katz Law Firm represent persons injured as a result of nursing home abuse and neglect in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia. If you believe that your loved one is being mistreated or abused or suffering neglect in a nursing home, talk to an Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer at the Katz Law Firm and determine if you can file a claim for damages. Nursing homes can be held accountable when injuries occur on their premises as a result of abuse or neglect. Talk to a lawyer at our firm and discuss your loved one’s case.