Corruption Breeds Neglect

The Advocate published a letter from Bruce Blaney explaining the corruption that leads to the abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults in long term care facilities.

“The pandemic has revealed life in nursing homes to be at best risky and often lethal. Even before that institutional model killed 3,000 people during the pandemic, the legislative auditor had exposed life-wasting and inhumane conditions in Louisiana nursing homes: rampant bedsores, routine use of physical and chemical restraint, and pervasive clinical depression. Of note is the reality that 90% of seniors would choose to live at home if support were available.

So why, given the will of the people and these inhumane conditions, do nursing homes continue to absorb 70% of the long term care budget? The story is quite simply one of state corruption.

The summary example was exposed in a two-year (2016-18) federal Department of Justice investigation of Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) collusion with the nursing home industry. DOJ found that LDH had illegally confined 4,000 people with serious mental illness in nursing homes. In confining thousands, LDH had aggrandized the nursing home industry by at least $238 million. Beneath that corruption was the industry’s contributions to the governor of as much as $720,000.

What Louisiana demonstrates is that corruption can prevent the emergence of a person-centered in-home support system that is attainable, but for the lack of political will and integrity.”


director, Louisiana Supported Living Network