Abuse in Modern For-Profit Care Organizations
In the modern US, for-profit medical care causes severe debate. In particular, it involves abuse with regard to elderly patients as recent data shows. In order to solve these issues, lawsuits and specific regulations should be strengthened. Currently, for-profit health care organizations often focus on profits rather than care. Insurance companies cut benefits for elderly people while claiming that their care is not medically necessary.
Nursing homes miscalculate mortality rates and search ways to cut off benefits and deny claims. Many elderly Americans suffer abuse from nursing staff and inadequate care leading to infections, dehydrations, and deaths (American Association for Justice, 2010). Physical and verbal abuse takes place, as well as improper medical prescriptions and financial exploitation (McCool, Jogerst, Daly, and Xu, 2009). For example, for-profit organizations are more likely to overbill their clients thus, preventing elderly people from receiving the service they need. For-profits manage their costs aggressively through employing fewer employees. During 2003-2008, the ten largest for-profit nursing care chains involved about 37% fewer nurses than government-run and non-profit organizations. Such situation creates risks for patients. As a result of overbilling and cost-cutting, for-profit facilities earn a 20% profit. However, it is not used for patient care but returned to investors (Timko and Rodriques, n.d.). Lawsuits and regulations can help to manage this situation.
Civil justice system is able to uncover abuses by for-profit nursing homes and insurance companies. Lawsuits affect institutions’ profits and thus, can encourage them to change their practices. Therefore, the right to sue is of great importance for patients and their families (American Association for Justice, 2010). Stricter government regulations concerning the number of nurses (per patients) can affect for-profits’ care services. In addition, better training of medical personal can be useful. On the whole, as abuse is common for modern for-profit care organizations, changes are needed.
American Association for Justice. (2010, October 7). Civil justice system uncovers abuse and neglect of elderly Americans. Retrieved from https://www.justice.org/news/civil-justice-system-uncovers-abuse-and-neglect-elderly-americans.
McCool, J. J., Jogerst, G. J., Daly, J. M., and Xu, Y. (2009). Multidisciplinary reports of nursing home mistreatment. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 10(3), 174–180.