Elder Healthcare Fraud and Abuse
It is unlawful for elderly patients in nursing homes and long-term care facilities to be neglected by their caretakers. Nurses, doctors, and caretakers have a legal responsibility to take care of their patients in a manner that is ethically sound, but unfortunately this is not always the case. According to California Penal Code 368, it is illegal to inflict physical pain or mental suffering on an elderly person. The Penal Code explains that elderly people are essentially to be treated like minors and children, because they are often times under medication and do not have the same physical and mental capabilities as adults.
Not receiving proper care is an umbrella term that can mean many things. While technically anyone is capable of committing elderly abuse, it is usually the caregiver of the elderly person(s) in question that faces charges. It is also important to remember that failing to provide services and practices that help avoid suffering can also constitute healthcare abuse.
Common examples of elder healthcare fraud and abuse include:
- Financial abuse
- Illegally using an elderly person’s funds or assets
- Nursing homes or caretakers ignoring fundamental needs for their patients such as hygiene, nutrition, and/or protection from potential hazards
- Excessive billing
- Doctors billing elderly patients for services that were not performed or that were unnecessary
Elderly citizens are often times victimized because they are easy targets; their survival depends on the people enlisted to take care of them, and therefore they often times have other people making decisions for them.
If you or someone you know is the victim of elder healthcare fraud and abuse, it is important to enlist an adept and experienced attorney to fight for your case. Call Frank Barbaro & Associates today for a free consultation at (714) 705-6390.