Discussing the Limitations of PA State Nursing Home Inspections

Here is a good article from ABC27 News about the nursing home state inspection process. The article describes how Golden Living nursing homes might be inappropriately adjusting staffing levels during inspections. The article notes that, although inspections are supposed to be unannounced, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s lawsuit against Golden Living alleges that Golden Living increases staff numbers when inspections occur. Sometimes office and administrative staff are used to “provide direct care to residents.” This activity is confirmed by witnesses quoted in the article who had family members staying in Golden Living homes.

These temporary increases in staffing (which are not limited to Golden Living homes) partly explain why so many deplorable nursing home conditions go undetected during state inspections. The fact that state inspections cannot adequately uncover contemptible conditions only increases the importance of allowing lawsuits related to these conditions. It is personal injury attorneys who do the hard and expensive work of interviewing witnesses and hiring experts to hold abusive nursing homes accountable. When we limit the incentive to bring these lawsuits related to nursing home abuse, the filthy and dangerous conditions inside these nursing homes will only get worse.

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