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Insurance Fraud May Constitute Elder Abuse

Nursing home residents may be subject to mental, physical or sexual abuse by staff members who are supposed to take care of them. In addition, healthcare fraud is a sign of abuse that many don't think about. This may occur when a facility charges the government for services that weren't rendered or for services that it doesn't cover. Private insurance companies may also be billed incorrectly for services a resident may receive.

In some cases, procedures may be performed even when they aren't medically necessary. This can have a negative consequence for the health and safety of a patient. Residents may also be pressured to sell personal information or have their information stolen. Inaccurate medical records may be used to justify charging an insurance company for medication or for a procedure. However, having the wrong information about a patient may increase the chances of a misdiagnosis or other future medical errors.

Abuse is more likely to occur when a facility doesn't have enough staff to properly oversee patient care. Families are encouraged to take appropriate steps to keep tabs on their loved ones. This is especially important when a resident has limited cognitive function. Nursing facility staff are encouraged to speak up if they see a patient being abused or suspect that abuse is taking place.

If nursing home negligence results in a resident's injury or death, the facility where the incident occurred may be liable for damages. The resident's family may be entitled to compensation for medical bills as well as a reduced quality of life. An attorney may obtain evidence of abuse such as inconsistent medical billing practices or changes in a resident's mental or physical condition. Expert witnesses may be asked to verify that negligence caused harm to a resident.