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Some hospices criticized for patient neglect and abuse

At Futterman, Sirotkin & Seinfeld, LLP, we have seen numerous heartbreaking cases in which clients’ loved ones were abused or neglected by nursing home staff. As experienced New York nursing home abuse lawyers, we believe everyone has the right to be treated with care and dignity in their twilight years. If you have a loved one in a nursing home facility, you may be worried that he or she is not receiving the best quality care. The same can be said if your relative is terminally ill and being cared for in a hospice setting.

Traditionally, states Forbes, hospice centers were created to give dying patients extra care during their last days. The first hospices often centered on providing spiritual services as well as compassionate care to ease the suffering of terminally ill patients and comfort their relatives. Most were small businesses or non-profits that focused on a high standard of care.

Today, however, hospices have been shifting toward a big-business industry, especially since Medicare covers some hospice services. Fewer hospices are non-profit businesses now, with more than 1.6 million people being cared for every year in hospices across the country. Medicare pays billions of dollars toward hospice care; however, the agency requires that patients’ illnesses will result in their death within six months.

This, of course, may raise the potential for abuse. Additionally, many hospices have become understaffed. Patients have been experiencing a decline in their quality of care from workers who are exhausted, rushed and overworked. As a result, there have been multiple allegations against hospices of patient abuse and fraud.

You should not have to worry about your loved one being treated poorly during his or her last days. Please visit our site on elder abuse and negligence in health care facilities to learn more about your legal rights.

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