posted on May 9, 2019
Do you believe that your elderly loved one has suffered injury due to abuse or neglect in a Virginia nursing home? Unfortunately, you are not alone. Statistics show that nursing home abuse and neglect is an alarming problem in our state.
Here, to give you some perspective about the issues that your family may currently face, we provide an overview of those statistics. To discuss the specific details of your case, contact our skilled, experienced and compassionate nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Marks & Harrison. We can provide a timely and free consultation through any one of our 10 offices located throughout Virginia.
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation report, which examined statistics from 2009 to 2015:
These statistics are revealing. The Virginia Department of Health inspects those nursing homes in our state that participate in Medicare and/or Medicaid, which comprises the majority of the state’s nursing facilities. Inspectors conduct inspections roughly once per year, or when the department receives a complaint.
State inspectors issue deficiency citations when a facility fails to meet regulations which are designed to protect nursing home residents and to ensure that they receive the highest quality of care. Therefore, if a nursing home has a high number of deficiency citations, or “deficiencies,” it can raise a red flag about how the facility treats its residents.
Additionally, it is important to look at the severity of the deficiency. CMS places deficiencies into four categories:
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) compiles deficiency statistics and other data about participating nursing homes in the U.S., including Virginia. CMS publishes that information on its Nursing Home Compare website. Also, ProPublica recently launched a feature that repackages the CMS data in an easy-to-read format. The following statistics are largely based on those sources.
According to ProPublica, the Virginia Department of Health monitors 286 certified nursing facilities in our state. During the last three inspection cycles (roughly last three years), state inspectors issued a total of 8,255 deficiencies to those facilities and fined them a total of $6.01 million in penalties.
Level I 213
Level II 7,782
Level III 231
Level IV 29
ProPublica reports that, based on CMS data, the 10 Virginia nursing homes with the highest total deficiencies were:
Nursing Home City Deficiencies Fines
Ashland Nursing and Rehabilitation Ashland 144 $79,142
Envoy of Westover Hills Richmond 111 $202,650
Autumn Care of Mechanicsville Mechanicsville 85 $2,600
Lexington Court Rehab & Health Center Richmond 74 —–
Envoy of Williamsburg, LLC Williamsburg 73 $131,286
Fredericksburg Health and Rehab Fredericksburg 69 $63,291
Fauquier Health Rehab & Nursing Center Warrenton 67 $240,340
Woodmont Center Fredericksburg 67 $61,274
Emporia Manor LLC Emporia 66 $50,635
The Laurels of University Park Richmond 65 $86,461
The types of deficiencies that a nursing home receives upon inspection also says a lot about the risk of abuse or neglect which residents face at the facility. The Kaiser Family Foundation identified the 10 most common deficiencies in certified nursing facilities in the U.S. As you can see in the following chart, a higher percentage of Virginia nursing home facilities have deficiencies than the national average in almost every category. Of note, in two categories – Quality of Care and Clinical Records, Virginia’s nursing home facilities rank in the bottom ten of the entire country. We marked those categories with an asterisk (*).
Top 10 Deficiencies for Certified Nursing Facilities
(percent of facilities with listed deficiencies)
Deficiency Virginia U.S.
Quality of care 68.31* 36.12
Clinical records 61.97* 22.79
Accident environment 53.52 42.03
Infection control 49.30 47.35
Food sanitation 42.25 43.70
Unnecessary drugs 33.80 28.62
Pharmacy consultation 32.39 28.86
Comprehensive care plan 31.69 27.41
Dignity 19.72 21.91
Qualified personnel 8.45 19.68
If you believe that your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in a Virginia nursing home, you should report it to the proper authorities as soon as possible. If you think it is an emergency, you should call the local police. Otherwise, you should report your case to your nearest Department of Social Services or Adult Protective Services in Virginia (APS), which has a 24-hour, toll-free hotline at (888) 832-3858.
You should also contact Marks & Harrison to learn about your rights and options. We are here to assist you in all facets of your case. We can handle everything from working with authorities to investigate the conditions and treatment provided by your loved one’s nursing home to filing a lawsuit that seeks damages such as past and future medical costs, pain, suffering, emotional distress and more. Our goal will be to put an immediate end to your loved one’s mistreatment and to recover all of the compensation which your loved one and your family are due.
Generally, you must bring an action for nursing home abuse or neglect in Virginia within two years from the date of injury. To pursue a lawsuit on behalf of an elderly loved one, you will also likely need to have durable power of attorney or be legally appointed as his or her guardian. If you do not have these matters in place, Marks & Harrison can assist you.
With offices located in Richmond and nine other cities in Virginia, we can meet with you right away. Call or reach us online today to get started with a free and confidential consultation.
Kevin T. Hadden is a graduate of the University of Georgia and University of Richmond School of Law, where he served as President of the Student Bar Association. Today, as an attorney with Marks & Harrison, he focuses his practice exclusively on personal injury law. He has received many accolades for his work, including being named one of the Top 10 Best Attorneys for Client Satisfaction in Virginia in 2015 by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys. He is admitted to practice in Virginia state courts and the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia.