Cost of Neglect
McKnight’s reported that the average cost of insurance liability claims was lower for skilled nursing settings by more than $20,000 when compared to assisted living in CNA’s annual Aging Services Claim Report. The analysis provides insight into the claims and potential risk factors aging services organizations face.
The costs include defense attorney fees, expert fees, court costs, and eventual verdict or settlement. For SNFs, the average claims cost was $245,559 in 2021. $267,174 for assisted living. In regards to pressure injury claims, two-third involved a resident’s death with an average total incurred loss of $261,828.
It would be a lot cheaper to provide safe staffing and not neglect residents. Shameful.
The most frequent allegations in nursing homes are injuries from preventable falls. Those traumatic injuries account for 36.1% of closed claims. The authors acknowledge:
Closed claims involving residents with a history of falls resulted in a higher average total incurred of $242,232 in the 2021 dataset. Knowledge of a previous history of falls may result in a higher expectation being placed upon the facility to implement additional measures in order to prevent recurrence.
If it is predictable, then it is preventable. Nursing home residents by definition need assistance and supervision to prevent injuries from traumatic incidents. Neglect in the form of pressure injuries, ignoring changes of condition, and improper delays in care and treatment are also common.
Full findings from the analysis can be found here. The profit motive promotes shortcuts and increases neglect and abuse. We can do better.