Key Points of This Article:
- Michigan is ranked as one of the top states for nursing home deficiencies.
- During the pandemic, 60% of the state’s facilities went without a health inspection.
- Michigan nursing homes have accrued $19.1 million in penalties due to deficiencies.
In previous years, reports have been issued naming hundreds of U.S. nursing homes as having persistent records of poor care, abuse, and neglect. Of those facilities that were named, ten were from Michigan. Those facilities included:
- Cambridge East Healthcare Center
- Clarkston Specialty Healthcare Center
- The Laurels of Coldwater
- Medilodge of Midland
- Medilodge of Livingston
- Medilodge of Sterling Heights
- Medilodge of Southfield
- Metron of Belding
- Samaritas Senior Living in Saginaw
- Schoolcraft Medical Care Facility
Often, poor nursing home conditions and abuse occur when there is a lack of inspections and staff are left unsupervised and poorly trained. Unfortunately, when this occurs, it can put facilities at risk of losing funding which can shut them down—but this then leaves many families and their loved ones without a facility to place them in for proper care.
During the pandemic, there was a rise in nursing home abuse once again as federal health inspections were paused. Michigan has 34 county-owned nursing homes that accept Medicare and Medicaid, along with many other private facilities, that are required to undergo annual federally mandated health inspections.
However, due to COVID, 60% of the state’s facilities went over a year without standard inspections. When inspectors started returning in April, they found a number of compliance issues and severe deficiencies in operations.
Deficiencies are reported by inspectors during routine visits or after a complaint is filed, and they find that the facility has failed to meet a federal requirement. According to news reports, “CMS data shows the average number of deficiencies in U.S. nursing homes is 8.3; while the average number found in Michigan facilities is much higher—13.8, and that many facilities in the state—including those that are county-owned—have not had a health inspection since 2019.”
According to another report, of the 435 nursing homes in Michigan, 176 have serious deficiencies, 417 have infection-related deficiencies, and 253 have payment suspensions. These facilities have accumulated around $19.1 million in penalties.
Millions of nursing home residents require care due to functional impairments, cognitive impairments, and chronic conditions—making them significantly vulnerable. For this reason, they require a high level of nursing home care. Unfortunately, many facilities do not meet the standard needed to provide this kind of care and attention.
While nursing home accidents can happen without anyone being to blame, illness and injury occur when trusted caregivers neglect, abuse, and take advantage of their patients. Unfortunately, many issues go undocumented until it is too late, putting residents at risk.
Abuse and neglect in nursing homes can occur in various ways, including:
- Decubitus ulcers (bed sores)
- Misuse of antipsychotic drugs
- Medication errors
- Infectious diseases
- Physical restraints
- Wrongful eviction
- Heat illnesses and heat stroke
- Wandering and elopement from facilities
- Pain management
- Clogged breathing tubes
- Physical abuse
- Sexual assault
- Verbal abuse
- Wrongful death
- Wandering and elopement
In Detroit and Michigan, there are state laws that criminalize elder neglect and abuse. If perpetrators are caught, they can be charged and face time in prison. It is incredibly important for loved ones and others to file a report if they suspect abuse or neglect is occurring in a nursing home facility.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration, warning signs that an elder may be suffering from neglect or abuse include:
- Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, scratches, hair loss, abrasions, and burns
- Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, anxiety, and unusual depression
- Bruises around the breasts or genital area from sexual abuse
- Sudden changes in financial situations
- Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, and abnormal weight loss
- Behavior such as belittling, threats, and other uses of power and control by staff
- Strained or tense relationships, frequent arguments between the caregiver and elderly person
If you suspect something is amiss, report your concerns immediately to any of the following resources:
- Bureau of Health Services Abuse Hotline: 800-882-6006
- Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc.:
- Developmental Disabilities: 800-288-5923
- Mental Illness: 800-288-5923
- Attorney General 24-hour Health Care Fraud Hotline: 800-24-ABUSE (800-242-2873)
- Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (DHS), Adult Protective Services. Statewide 24-Hour Hotline: 855-444-3911
Discovering your loved one has been abused by a trusted facility or caregiver can be extremely stressful and traumatic. With and office in Detroit and throughout the state of Michigan, the team at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. is available to offer compassionate care and guidance to the families of abused and neglected elders. We can offer you resources and support to your family during this trying time.
Please contact us at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) for a free phone consultation or visit us online to send our team a message. There is no fee unless we win your case.