Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | July 14, 2011

Are our nation’s elderly nursing home population being care for by criminals?

In March 2011, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its findings from a survey of 260 nursing facilities randomly selected from among the nation’s 15,728 Medicare certified nursing facilities.  The survey sought to determine whether individuals employed by those nursing facilities on June 1, 2009 had ever been convicted of any type of crime.  Shockingly the findings of the survey show that:

  • 92.3% had at least one employee with a criminal conviction
  • 47.8% had at least five employees with criminal convictions
  • 16% of all employees had convictions after their date of employment
  • 73% of post-employment convictions occurred after the first year of employment

The survey found that 43.6% of convictions were crimes against property, 20.3% DUI, 16.2% drug-related, 11.9% driving-related other than DUI, 13.1% crimes against persons, and 26.4% other. Medicare regulations bar employment of persons convicted of abusing, neglecting or mistreating nursing facility residents or misappropriating their property. However, the survey did not attempt to determine whether the victims of the person and property related crimes were residents of nursing facilities.

Hello Washington, we have a problem!

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