In the United States, 94 percent of nursing homes were cited for violations of federal health and safety standards in 2007. The report said that 17 percent had violations that caused "actual harm or immediate jeopardy" to nursing home patients, as stated by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, Daniel R. Levinson. These issues included infected bedsores, medication mix-ups, poor nutrition as well as nursing home abuse and neglect.
The report lists that two thirds of nursing homes are owned by for-profit companies and 27 percent are owned by nonprofits. Six percent are owned by government entities. 94 percent of for-profit companies were cited for deficiencies last year, compared with 88 percent of nonprofit homes and 91 percent of government homes. Some nursing homes have failed to supply a sufficient staff that has the proper clinical knowledge to successfully care for patients. According to research, people receive better care at homes with a higher ratio of staff to patients.
More than 1.5 million Americans live in the 15,000 nursing homes across the country. As the "Baby Boomers" age, the number of elderly and disabled living in nursing homes will only increase. Typically only once a year nursing homes are inspected. They are required to meet specific federal standards to be able to participate in Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare and Medicaid cover about tow-thirds of the nursing home residents which costs about $75 billion a year.
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