When the time comes to make the difficult decision about which Wisconsin nursing home to place your loved on in, there are some factors to consider to be sure you choose a facility that will provide the best care for your relative. When it comes to the health and safety of nursing home residents and nursing home abuse reporting, Wisconsin places the burden of proof on the victim as opposed to the aggressor.
“Tort Reform” laws passed in 2013 make pursing lawsuits for abuse and neglect in nursing homes trickier than it would be in other states. That’s because the “tort reform” law made nursing home inspection reports inadmissible in court as evidence. Maybe the court system is trying to cover up the widespread complaints and violations reported at nursing homes by preventing the prosecution of elder abuse in Wisconsin. Maybe the law accidentally included nursing home inspection reports in the exclusion list. One thing is for sure; a problem exists and it will only get worse unless negligence and abuse are punished.
90% of Wisconsin nursing homes were cited by the CMS in 2014
If your loved on has been the victim of physical or emotional abuse; negligence; or sexual assault while in a care facility, consult with an experienced legal team. Despite the actions of Wisconsin lawmakers that have proven more effective at covering up abuse in nursing homes, many lawsuits been victorious. An experienced nursing home and memory care abuse attorney can help determine what steps to take next.
Families for Better Care Rating: C Grade
Families for Better Care is a non-profit advocacy group who examines and rates every nursing home in America and issues a Nursing Home Report Card grading nursing homes in each state according to their performance in certain categories of care.
The most recent report is from 2014 when Wisconsin nursing homes were given an overall grade of “C” and ranked 24th out of all 50 states. Some of the most serious problems are:
- An alarming 60% of nursing homes scored below average in the health inspection category.
- More than 90% of nursing homes were cited with at least one deficiency and 25% of those were cited for serious deficiencies. A nursing home receives a deficiency citation when it has broken state or federal law and has been given notice that the deficiency must be corrected.
- A “D” grade in professional nursing hours spent per patient.
Wisconsin Ratings by Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services
The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) uses a five-star system in rating nursing homes based on certain criteria including:
- Home inspection reports.
- Quality of nursing staff.
- Number of direct nursing hours spent per patient.
- Rating based on 11 different criteria relevant to clinical and physical needs of patients.
Wisconsin rates 3.5 out of 5 stars by CMS.
Citations and Fines for Safety Violations in Wisconsin Nursing Homes
CMS cites nursing homes with deficiencies and fines them when they do not remedy the problem that resulted in the deficiency. The key to understanding the seriousness of the statistics includes:
- A deficiency means the facility violated a state or federal law and must submit a plan for correcting the deficiency within 10 days of receiving notice of it.
- A severe deficiency is one where a patient was in “immediate jeopardy or actual harm” and the violation “resulted in resident injury, abuse, neglect or death.”
- When the deficiency is not corrected, the facility is fined.
- When CMS suspends payment to a facility, it means that it will not pay for any services until the deficiency is taken care of.
Wisconsin’s CMS record as of the end of 2014, the last year for which statistics are available relevant to those looking for homes for their loved ones, includes:
- 8,944 deficiencies.
- 189 serious deficiencies.
- A total of $3,195,417 fines imposed.
- 45 suspensions of payment by CMS.
Who is in Charge of Regulating Wisconsin Nursing Homes
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Assisted Living and Nursing Care Home Resident Care, is responsible for regulating and licensing nursing homes. The Division of Quality Assurance (DQA) provides oversight and conducts unannounced visits to monitor compliance. Contact the Ombudsman to report any problems or abuse.
How Can I File a Lawsuit for Nursing Home Abuse?
If you or a loved on has suffered neglect, abuse, or mistreatment at the hands of trusted caregivers and medical workers in a nursing home we can help. Call Baron & Budd at 866-612-0246 today to schedule a free case review and we will get in touch to determine whether you have a solid claim. Our nursing home abuse lawyers have over 30 years of experience advocating for victims of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse in care facilities.
Wisconsin Nursing Homes on the SFF Watch List
Bridges of Appleton
2915 N Meade St
Appleton, WI 54911
Beloit Health and Rehab
1905 Hart Rd
Beloit, WI 53511