Nursing Homes: Improved Oversight Needed to Better Protect Residents from Abuse, Statement of John E. Dicken, Director, Health Care, Testimony Before the Committee on Finance, U.S. Senate   [open pdf - 205KB]

From the Document: "Nationwide, about 1.4 million elderly or disabled individuals receive care in more than 15,500 nursing homes. These nursing home residents often have physical or cognitive limitations that can leave them particularly vulnerable to abuse. Abuse of nursing home residents can occur in many forms--including physical, mental, verbal, and sexual--and can be committed by staff, residents, or others in the nursing home. Any incident of abuse is a serious occurrence and can result in potentially devastating consequences for residents, including lasting mental anguish, serious injury, or death. News stories in recent years have noted disturbing examples of nursing home residents who have been sexually assaulted and physically abused. However, little is known about the full scope of nursing home abuse, as incidents of abuse may be underreported. [...] My testimony today highlights key findings and recommendations from our June 2019 report, which examined: 1. the trends and types of abuse occurring in nursing homes in recent years, 2. the risk factors for abuse and challenges facing stakeholder agencies involved in investigating abuse in nursing homes, and 3. CMS's [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] oversight intended to ensure that nursing home residents are free from abuse."

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