New York nursing home closed for negligence fights back

Nearly everyone in Albany can agree that a nursing home that fails to take care of its patients should face some kind of discipline. Nursing home negligence is unacceptable, in part because its victims are vulnerable adults and the elderly, many of whom are unable to get the help they need on their own. In some of the most extreme cases of nursing home neglect or abuse, the New York government will pull an operator's license, closing the nursing home entirely.

A Rochester nursing home that was closed in 1999 after the state took away its operating license for neglecting patients is fighting back and saying that the state wrongfully closed the nursing home. According to court filings, the nursing home has said that officials with the New York Department of Health unfairly and unlawfully retaliated against the owner of the nursing home after he had challenged the Department's regulations.

Meanwhile, the Department has pointed to several incidents of nursing home negligence, including one man who died after the nursing home allegedly failed to treat his pneumonia. The Department also found 30 reports of substandard care coming from the facility.

When a nursing home patient is abused or neglected, the nursing home should be held responsible. Nursing home staff members are health care professionals whose sole responsibilities are to the vulnerable populations who are in their care. If they ignore these duties, nursing home patients can become seriously injured or die. When things become so severe that the Department of Health needs to step in, it may be an indication that the nursing home operator should not be allowed to run the health care facility any longer.

Source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, "Beechwood nursing home case goes to jury," Gary Craig, June 26, 2012

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