Earlier this year, in January 2016, two separate lawsuits were filed against one specific New Mexico nursing home. Both lawsuits alleged that loved ones died due to the neglect of the nursing home. Both lawsuits alleged their loved ones suffered from “malnutrition, weight loss and dehydration.”
Nursing homes in the state of New Mexico rank 45th out of 50 for resident care quality
It should not surprise anyone that these lawsuits were filed. The surprise should be that there are not more nursing home abuse lawsuits when the multitude of problems associated with New Mexico nursing homes come to light. Homes in this state are ranked among the worst in the entire country. If you know someone who was injured or died in the care of a care facility, consult with an attorney experienced with nursing home abuse lawsuits who can provide you with the opportunity to seek justice and accountability.
Before considering a nursing home for your loved one in New Mexico, please (at a minimum) review the following information.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Star Rating
CMS use a five star rating system to rank nursing homes on a variety of factors. Some of those factors include:
• How they perform in home inspections.
• Nursing staff quality.
• How much time the nursing staff spends with each patient.
• Quality exhibited when 11 criteria are analyzed which concern how they meet the clinical and physical needs of their patients.
At the end of 2015, CMS gave New Mexico nursing homes an overall rate of 3 stars with 45 percent of homes receiving 2 stars or less. The homes were ranked 45th out of the 50 states.
Families for Better Care: Ratings
A well known advocacy group, Families for Better Care (FBC) gives states a letter grade based on comparisons between nursing home errors and performance compared to other states.
For 2014, the most recent year for which FBC has given grades, New Mexico received an overall grade of “F” and ranked 41. This was a little better “F” than the one the homes received in 2013 when the homes were ranked at 46. According to FBC, the homes are “chronically understaffed.” FBC executive director commented that, “New Mexico’s failing grade shows that nursing homes continue to be riddled with problems.”
Understaffed nursing homes neglect residents, leading to seriously dangerous situations including skipped medication, giving residents the wrong prescriptions, malnourished and dehydrated patients.
Specific Problems in New Mexico Nursing Homes Found by CMS
Every year, CMS inspects every nursing home and reports on its deficiencies and shortcomings. CMS then publishes a chart comparing deficiencies from the last three reporting periods on file. An updated report published in March 2016 compiling statistics for the previous three years noted the problems with New Mexico nursing homes:
- Out of 74 homes, 1,287 deficiencies were issued. A deficiency means the home violated state or federal law.
- A full 70 deficiencies were considered serious, almost one per home. A serious deficiency means a resident was in immediate danger of either injury or death due to abuse or neglect.
- Fines were imposed in 67 cases due to the failure to correct a deficiency.
- In 15 cases, CMS refused payment due to the failure of the facility to correct a deficiency.
Who is in Charge of Regulating and Licensing New Mexico Nursing Homes
Nursing homes are regulated by the New Mexico Department of Health, Public Health Division, Health Facility Licensing and Certification Bureau. The New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department has an ombudsman program for investigating nursing home complaints and working to resolve issues. Services are free. In 2014, the ombudsman found nearly 80 percent of all complaints were verified.
Who Can Help Me File a Lawsuit for Nursing Home Abuse in New Mexico?
The nursing home abuse lawyers at Baron & Budd have over three decades of experience fighting for victims suffering at the hands of caregivers. If you or a loved one has experienced an injury, death, or illness because of mistreatment or abuse at a nursing home, call 866-612-0246now to schedule a free case review.
New Mexico Nursing Homes on the SFF Watch List
Sagecrest Nursing and Rehabilitation
2029 Sagecrest Court
Las Cruces, NM 88011