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Study Finds Nursing Homes Under-Report Pressure Ulcers

Patient safety in nursing homes has been a long-standing concern. Multiple government reports, personal injury lawsuits, and academic publications have cited failures in nursing home care, according to a Philadelphia nursing home injury lawyer. According to a recent study published in Medical Care, nursing home operators have “substantially underreported” pressure ulcer injuries in Medicare residents by up to 40%. This article will explain the study results, explore reasons for under reporting, and advocate for the need for third-party data.

Study Results

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) established Nursing Home Compare to publicly report patient safety indicators for guide consumer decisions when choosing a nursing home. However, this system relies on nursing homes to self-report the data for these indicators. A Philadelphia nursing home injury lawyer shares that nursing homes often have a disincentive to report negative outcomes, since this information may dissuade consumers from choosing their nursing home.

The University of Chicago researchers leading the study reviewed records for nearly 500,000 diagnosed pressure ulcers in both nursing home and hospital patients over a 6-year period. They identified that nursing homes self-reported only 59.7% of hospitalized pressure ulcer injuries for long-stay residents.

Pressure ulcers are one of the top health concerns for nursing home patients, as they can be notoriously hard to heal and lead to pain and infection. Preventable bed sores from patient neglect are one of the most frequent care complaints that result in litigation against nursing homes, according to a Philadelphia nursing home injury lawyer.  

Under-Reporting Extends to Other Quality Measures

Another analysis compared nursing home assessment data to independent quality reporting for hospital claims for major falls. It determined that only 57.5% of hospitalized major fall injuries were accurately reported by nursing homes on their assessments. University of Chicago researchers are now scrutinizing the accuracy of nursing home reported data on other quality indicators including urinary tract infections and pneumonia.

This research is yet another example showing that nursing homes frequently under report important health issues for their residents. Self-reporting has long been criticized by plaintiffs’ attorneys and consumer advocates who point out the obvious deterrents for nursing homes in reporting poor outcomes for public scrutiny. Many nursing homes fear that reporting true outcomes data will shine poorly on their facility and deter future residents from selecting their facility for care.

Need for Third-Party Quality Measurements

A Philadelphia nursing home injury lawyer advocates for the need for better quality measurements from neutral third parties. CMS has started to implement methods to obtain third-party data. The agency uses hospital readmission rates as one quality metric that does not rely on nursing home self-reporting. The hospital readmission metric allows nursing home operators to target performance improvement and provides accurate and meaningful information for consumers examining the data. CMS has also added payroll-based journal data requirements to validate staffing reports and obtain more accurate data.

New quality reporting program (QRP) proposals for reporting nursing hours per day and discharge to community may roll out in 2026 and 2027. These measures are founded in claims data and payroll-based journal staffing data, providing a step forward in obtaining quality measure data that is not dependent on self-reporting.

Contact the Nursing Home Injury Lawyer Philadelphia Trusts!

The lawyers at our Philadelphia law firm understand that impact that a preventable pressure ulcer has on nursing home residents and their families. We have seen multiple cases where resident develop severe pressure sores. Many of these sores are complicated by infection and cause severe pain for the resident. If you or a loved one has suffered from nursing home neglect, reach out today to learn about your legal right to pursue compensation for your injuries.

Our legal team offers a free consultation to understand your case and help you understand your legal options. If you decide to use our firm, you will rest assure knowing that our lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that we never earn a fee unless we win money for your case. This allows our clients to pursue justice for their injuries worrying about how to afford legal fees. Our chief concern is achieving the best possible outcome for our clients! Call 888-789-3161 today or send us a message via the online form to get started and speak directly with an attorney.



Contact the Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers at Our Firm

The nursing home neglect lawyers at our firm understand the plight of the nation’s nursing home residents. No one should be subject to neglect and substandard care in long term care facilities. Our attorneys will partner with you to take a stand against underperforming nursing homes and seek compensation for their injuries. Call us today or send us a message to speak directly with an nursing home neglect lawyer.

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