Last month this blog discussed the large number of people that have become victims to medical negligence at long-term health care facilities. This issue had gained national attention due to the increased presence of long-term care facilities nation-wide. The New York Times has reported that the Senate Finance Committee has opened an investigation into the wrongful deaths and allegations of abuse at long-term care hospitals. The Senate investigation will focus on the Select Medical Corporation. This is a for-profit corporation that runs a total of 89-long-term care hospitals throughout the states.
The Senate committee has the power to launch an investigation because it oversees Medicare funds. They decided to investigate the many stories of poor treatment and patient deaths at the long-term care hospitals. These facilities will treat approximately 200,000 seriously ill patients a year nationwide, yet they rarely have full-time physicians on staff. The facility in question allowed a dying patient’s heart alarm to sound for 77 minutes before any nurses responded. While Select stated that they terminated a clinical involved in the incident, others have subsequently ensued.
Long-term hospitals are unique because they do not treat specific types of patients or offer services unavailable in regular medical centers. They have to transfer a patient back to a hospital if they suffer any medical emergencies. One large long-term care conglomerate is Kindred Healthcare. Kindred operates three long-term hospitals in Illinois, including one in Chicago. If you believe that a loved one has fallen victim to poor patient care at a long-term hospital, please consult a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer. To read more about the Senate investigation, please check out the link.