According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1.4 million Americans currently reside in nursing homes. In the coming years, as individuals of the baby boomer generation continue to age, this number is expected to increase exponentially.
Remember that headline? It was printed in the New York Times about a year and a half ago. It came as something of a surprise to many: suing nursing homes doesn't result in better care? How can that be, they wondered.
We are talking about a lawsuit filed by the New Mexico Attorney General's office. The suit accuses a multi-state nursing home chain of deliberately understaffing its care facilities in order to maximize its profits. That skewed staff-to-patient ratio is responsible for patients not receiving the appropriate care, according to the complaint.
The 10th largest nursing home chain in the U.S. is under fire in a federal lawsuit filed by the New Mexico Attorney General's office. The complaint takes the unusual approach -- one that the attorney general hopes will be easier to prove -- that the organization itself, rather than the workers, is responsible for lapses in patient care.
The headline says it all. Earlier this week, Health Commissioner Niray R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H., declared that influenza is prevalent in the state. To date, 45 counties and all boroughs of New York City have confirmed cases of the flu. While the statement may not have meant much for the average citizen, for health care workers, the declaration had an immediate impact: If they have not received a flu shot this year, they must wear a surgical or procedure mask anywhere that patients may be present.