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Federal Audit Discloses Lapses in Oversight at NC Nursing Homes

A report from the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services revealed that North Carolina state officials failed to provide adequate follow-up to verify correction of deficiencies found in North Carolina’s nursing homes in five percent of the cases. In 2015, there were 3,850 reported deficiencies that required correction. The OIG looked at the records for a random 100 and found the state had not verified corrections in five cases. If that rate held, there would have been 193 cases where corrections could not be verified.

According to the Carolina Public Press, North Carolina’s Nursing Home Licensure and Certification Section released a statement saying the state only concurs in one of the five instances OIG cited. “Nonetheless,” the statement reads, “North Carolina concurs with the OIG’s recommendations.”

The five percent error rate OIG found for North Carolina was significantly lower than rates for some other states. For example, New York and Kansas failed to verify corrections in 52 percent of their deficiencies. The report did not indicate how many nursing home residents might have been affected by the uncorrected deficiencies.

At Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban, our interest is in the health and welfare of nursing home residents. The OIG’s audit is a small sample, representing only two percent of the reported deficiencies. It presents a slim basis for concluding a survey of all 3,850 deficiencies would have uncovered the same rate of failed corrections and not a significantly higher number.

This audit should get the attention of anyone who has a loved one in a nursing home. You must be your loved one’s advocate. If there are deficiencies in service that put your loved one at risk, you must demand corrections and see that those corrections are made. If the nursing home does not address your issues to your satisfaction, talk to us.

Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban represents nursing home residents throughout Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina who have suffered from abuse and neglect. Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience. Call us at (888) 351-1038 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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