New York nursing homes have been an important aspect of caring for our aging population for quite some time. Other facilities such as New York assisted living facilities and New York adult homes have grown in popularity as of recent years. In contract with nursing home facilities which provide more medical-based care, these two types of facilities help with daily chores and tasks while providing limited medical assistance. The rise of assisted living and adult home facilities are undoubtedly due to the advances in medicine have afforded people to live longer and generally healthier lives.
Just as how some hospitals are publically run, some counties run many nursing homes. These New York nursing homes were able to stay afloat initially. But now that so many more individuals are living much longer, this means that their stays in New York nursing homes, New York assisted living facilities, and New York adult homes much longer too. Recently, the struggling costs of New York nursing homes have been called into question due to their high costs. To meet these needs, insurance companies have increased their rates because they have begun to lose money which has caused soaring insurance costs. And now, a recent publication from the New England Journal of Medicine found that states who have expanded Medicaid under the U.S. Supreme Court’s Affordable Care Act decision have reduced adult mortality rates by more than 6% as compared to states who did not!
So how can we lower the costs of New York nursing homes?
Yesterday, I wrote about the costs of New York medical malpractice and the possible—but not ideal—solution of capped New York medical malpractice caps. Reducing the costs of medical malpractice is certainly going to be difficult to do. However, today I have come across an interesting article regarding New York nursing home costs and over-medicating.
A study has recently found that about one-third of central New York’s nursing homes have higher than average numbers of patients with antipsychotic drugs. With the national average of about 23.9% and the state average at 21.7%, central New York nursing homes range between 6.6% to a whopping 37.7%! These drugs are designed to treat major mental and mood disorders. However, these drugs are not approved for dementia and could also be careful to elderly people. But more and more doctors are prescribing these drugs “off-label” and for people with dementia. Last year, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General found that Medicare paid out more than $309 million for antipsychotic drugs.
The inspector general of Health and Human Services, Daniel R. Levinson, said that “Government, taxpayers, nursing home residents, as well as their families and caregivers should be outraged and seek solutions.”
I think over-medication of patients is a major cost to this state and need to be addressed. While yesterday it is certainly much more difficult to address and change, particularly because you are dealing with victims of New York medical malpractice who already suffered a harm, here we are dealing with victims of New York medical malpractice who are undergoing a harm currently which can reduce costs. As a result, this will also help the quality of life for individuals living in these New York nursing homes. Being over medicated will only suppress and harm residents more than not medicating them at all. We know that many doctors do practice defensive medicine to prevent lawsuits, and this is likely true with nursing homes even though it has never been studied. Reducing the instances of defensive medicine in nursing homes which has resulted in over-medicating will assist in reducing the operating costs of nursing homes.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] . You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.