All Across Social Media Platforms
Images of naked residents, residents covered in feces and even deceased nursing home residents have been posted on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and other media platforms. In an effort to stop these blatant examples of abuse, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently sent a memo urging nursing homes and state officials to take action.
CMS stated that nursing homes must make sure they have policies prohibiting staff members from taking demeaning pictures of residents, and also asks state officials to investigate complaints and report them to licensing agencies. If nursing homes fail to prohibit this type of abuse, they will not only face fines and citations they may also be at risk of being eliminated from Medicare. When this happens, most homes typically have no choice but to shut down.
Incredible But True
While many states have taken steps to punish nursing homes where social media abuse occurs, some states have failed to take any action. For example, health officials in Iowa discovered it was not illegal for a nursing home worker to post a picture to Snapchat of a nursing home resident covered in fecal material. The reason? The resident’s genitals were not visible in the photo. Thankfully, those officials are working to change the law during the next session of the Iowa Legislature.