KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Instances Of Elderly Abuse Rampant, HHS IG Investigators Find

Investigators in the the Health and Human Services Inspector General's Office have been auditing cases of abuse in nursing homes. They issued an "early alert" on their finding because the situation was so dire.

The Associated Press: Abuse In Nursing Homes Unreported Despite Law
More than 1 in 4 cases of possible sexual and physical abuse against nursing home patients apparently went unreported to police, says a government audit that faults Medicare for failing to enforce a federal law requiring immediate notification. The Health and Human Services inspector general’s office was issuing an “early alert” Monday on its findings from a large sampling of cases in 33 states. Investigators say Medicare needs to take corrective action right away. (Alonso-Zaldivar, 8/28)

NPR: Serious Nursing Home Abuse Often Not Reported To Police, Federal Investigators Find
Government investigators are conducting an ongoing review into nursing home abuse and neglect but say they are releasing the alert now because they want immediate fixes. These are cases of abuse severe enough to send someone to the emergency room. One example cited in the alert is a woman who was left deeply bruised after being sexually assaulted at her nursing home. Federal law says that incident should have been reported to the police within two hours. But the nursing home didn't do that, says Curtis Roy, an assistant regional inspector general in the Department of Health and Human Services. (Jaffe, 8/28)

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