Like every other aspect of healthcare, there are specific regulations related to how facilities for the elderly need to operate in the state of Mississippi. These are meant to protect the residents of the home from neglect and mistreatment, as well as make sure there are procedures in place for their safety in case of natural disasters or other problems. The state also provides procedures for filing formal complaints when evidence of misconduct or deviation from relevant standards is discovered.
Relevant state regulations
The state has created an agency called The Division of Health Facilities Licensure and Certification. Receiving a license from the state to provide care is contingent on this division’s continued approval. Compliance with their guidelines also affects the ability of a program to apply for participation in federal Medicare and Medicaid programs to receive funding. This agency along with the relevant local government is continuously engaged in the process of monitoring healthcare providers to ensure the highest quality of care. The most recent data shows that there are over two hundred facilities within the state that are regulated by this agency.
Despite these regulations and oversight, neglect and abuse still does occur frequently because of the sheer number of facilities and people involved. It is impossible to see everything that happens and know about each individual instance of mistreatment.
How to research potential problems
The state recommends that consumers do some research on each facility to see if there have been any recent complaints or incidents regarding improper conduct. They provide a nursing home search tool for all certified homes in the state. Aside from meeting the relevant minimum standards for a care facility, they should conduct criminal background checks on employees, have disaster plans in place to ensure resident safety, and continually monitor the health of those in their care. The regulations can also vary depending on whether the specific place in question is engaged in basic senor care, hospice services, an Alzheimer’s unit, or various other classifications. It is especially important to remain vigilant in situations involving specialized care, as some elderly people either may not remember instances of abuse, or facilities that are generally compliant with regulations may have specific problem employees who are responsible for mistreatment. Part of the process of researching any potential provider should include a visit to the site and a brief inspection to get a sense of any possible problems.
For those who believe one of their family members may be abused or neglected by a nursing home or similar facility, it is important to retain the services of an expert lawyer. A lawsuit can help pay for any additional medical expenses incurred because of the improper conduct of the facility.
Get legal help in Mississippi now
If any of these issues regarding nursing home abuse or neglect concern you, it is possible to speak with a local lawyer today. Attorneys licensed in Mississippi who specialize in all aspects of elder law can discuss the specifics of a course of action with you. If it appears that a lawsuit of or other legal action is appropriate, they will give further details regarding any information they may need from you and the potential value of the damages caused by the nursing home.