The abuse to the elderly in Oklahoma nursing homes is inexcusable.
What makes you angry?
I’ll tell you what ticks me off: seeing an elderly patient, living in a nursing home because they’re unable to care for themselves, and watching the disinterested, unmotivated, and oblivious staff treat the person as if they’re not really a person. This mistreatment is one reason I became a lawyer. I’ve chosen to do something about this and I will make the bad nursing homes pay for the injustice they cause in Oklahoma!
Nursing Homes in Oklahoma make huge Profits while Patients suffer
There’s a problem in our society when nursing homes rake in huge profits while rendering substandard care to the patients. How could this be? Well, a large majority of nursing homes receive Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements from the government. So whether or not the patient likes or approves of the care they are receiving from the nursing home, the government pays the nursing home anyway.
This is not the typical arrangement we normally see in the free marketplace. Generally, a business is competing for customers, and tries to solicit customers with promises of good service. If the customer doesn’t like the service, they take their business elsewhere. Yet, nursing homes are a unique type of business, because they service customers who, because of illness, old age and/or disability, are unable to pay directly for the care. So the government, through Medicare/Medicaid pays the nursing home on the patient’s behalf. The nursing home gets paid whether the customer (i.e. patient/resident) likes the service or not.
One Reason Nursing Home Care is so bad in Oklahoma: The Nursing Home Business Model prioritizes Profits over Patients
Take a moment and imagine this type of business model. From the standpoint of the nursing home executive, the nursing home corporation gets paid per number of residents/patients. From this perspective, they are motivated to increase the “census” (i.e. the number of residents) and decrease their payroll, as well as other expenses. This translates into hiring fewer than necessary staff, and also paying that staff less-than-competitive wages. And when you pay less-than-competitive wages, you end up with less-than-qualified workers.
I sometimes wonder if nursing homes recruit their staff from prison parole-officer referrals?
And then when a patient is mistreated, neglected, or abused and injured, the nursing home doesn’t want to compensate their own victim. You don’t have to settle for that. Nor does your loved one who is in that home right now. I am experienced in nursing home claims and litigation. And I’m not afraid to take these cases to trial. In fact, I welcome the opportunity and believe that trying these cases often results in better outcome than settling for what the nursing home is willing to pay!
Look out for inaccurate notes and record keeping in long-term care facilities in Oklahoma
Part of the job of a nursing home abuse lawyer is obtaining the medical records and then reviewing them in detail. It is very common in nursing home practice for nursing homes to “doctor” their books after the fact. Often, the notes recorded by a nurse may have been entered days or weeks after the purported date of the notes. Some nursing homes have monthly staff meetings where a head nurse goes through all the books and enters in proper notes. This means that the nursing assistants who are the primary care givers may or may not be properly administering care. Maybe the CNA (certified nursing assistant) performed that hourly check on the patient with a pattern of falling, or with a heart condition. Or maybe they skipped 5 out of 7 check-ups that day. But a few weeks later, the nursing home has a chief staff person who will go back, fill in the paperwork so that it appears that the CNA really did perform those check-ups. This is nothing other than fraud! Yet, upon information and belief, this may be a common practice in the industry!
Oklahoma Nursing Homes Rank very low on a National Scale of Nursing Home Quality
Another terrifying fact is how Oklahoma nursing homes compare to other facilities around the country. According to a USA Today survey of the federal government’s own data, tracked by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, more than a quarter of all Oklahoma nursing homes are of 1-star quality (on a five-star scale)!
What you can do about abuse to the elderly in Oklahoma Nursing Homes
First, you can file a complaint with your state’s board or agency that over sees regulation of nursing homes. In Oklahoma, that is the State Department of Health.
Next, if you or your loved one, or anyone you know, has been harmed or neglected while inside a nursing home, contact an experienced trial lawyer, skilled in nursing home abuse lawsuits immediately. You can call our Google voice number any time of day, 24/7, and as long as you leave a message, it will be transcribed and sent to us by email and we will get back with you as soon as we can. You can also send us an email directly using this website. Our Nursing Home abuse and neglect lawsuits are always taken on a contingency basis: We do not charge the client anything unless we win and we finance all litigation expenses!
Oklahoma City attorney Travis Charles Smith stops elder abuse!