If your loved one suffered a serious injury at a nursing home, and they can’t explain how it happened, consider contacting a nursing home abuse lawyer at our firm for help. Each year, many injuries that occur at nursing homes are considered “injuries of unknown origin or source.” This means that the person investigating the injury cannot determine how it occurred. Unfortunately, too often these injuries of unknown origin are truly due to nursing home abuse or neglect. A nursing home abuse lawyer can help investigate serious injuries that occur at a nursing home and get to the bottom of what really happened.
What is an Injury of Unknown Source?
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has defined an injury of unknown source as meeting the following criteria:
- The source of the injury was not observed by any person or could not be explained by the resident
- The injury is suspicious because of its extent, location, the number of injuries at a time, or the number of injuries over time.
A nursing home abuse lawyer at the Wieand Law Firm is experienced with these types of injuries and can help your family investigate the circumstances surrounding the injury and determine if the resident was abused or neglected.
Reporting Requirements for Injuries of Unknown Source
An injury of unknown origin must be thoroughly examined, as it is inherently suspicious for potential abuse or neglect. The State Operations Manual requires that:
- 483.12(c) In response to allegations of abuse, neglect, exploitation, or mistreatment, the facility must:
- 483.12(c)(1) Ensure that all alleged violations involving abuse, neglect, exploitation or mistreatment, including injuries of unknown source and misappropriation of resident property, are reported immediately, but not later than 2 hours after the allegation is made, if the events that cause the allegation involve abuse or result in serious bodily injury, or not later than 24 hours if the events that cause the allegation do not involve abuse and do not result in serious bodily injury, to the administrator of the facility and to other officials (including to the State Survey Agency and adult protective services where state law provides for jurisdiction in long-term care facilities) in accordance with State law through established procedures.
While injuries of unknown source are required to be reported to state agencies and adult protective services, many nursing homes fail to make these mandatory reports. A nursing home abuse lawyer can help residents and their families fight back against nursing homes who abuse and neglect older adults.
Office of Inspector General (OIG) Review of Potential Abuse and Neglect at Nursing Homes
A 2016 Office of Inspector General review of Medicare Claims showed that many as one-fifth of all high-risk emergency department treatments for nursing home residents may have been due to abuse or neglect. Additionally, the review determined that the nursing home failed to report many of these incidents according to federal requirements.
Review of 256 sampled high-risk Medicare claims showed that nearly 20% of the claims were the results of incidents of potential abuse or neglect, including 24 claims that involved an injury of an unknown source. The injuries reported with these claims of abuse included head injuries, other bodily injuries, medication over-administration, falls, and medical events. Of these 51 claims associated with potential abuse, 43 were not reported to state survey agencies for review or investigation.
A nursing home abuse lawyer will not tolerate abusive and neglectful conduct by a nursing home. We believe that residents deserve to receive quality care and be free of abuse. Our lawyers will fight for residents and their families who have suffered unnecessarily from nursing home abuse or neglect.
Injuries that May Indicate Nursing Home Abuse
Not all injuries in nursing homes are due to abuse. But if your loved one suffered one of the following injuries, and the reason for the injury is not immediately apparent, consider reaching out to a nursing home abuse lawyer.
- Broken Bones or Fractures
- Head Injuries
- Pressure Ulcers
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer at the Wieand Law Firm, LLC Today!
Call the Wieand Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation of the incident. Our nursing home abuse lawyers will discuss your legal options and let you know if you can file a claim for compensation for the injuries sustained. Call 215-666-7777 or complete the online form on our website to speak directly with an attorney about your case.