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What is Going on in Indiana?

Published on May 16th, 2020

Indiana gets more money than any other state because of VP Mike Pence yet Indiana has more problems and deficiencies than most other cases. Recently, an investigative report from Tony Cook and Emily Hopkins from the Indianapolis Star analyzed Indiana’s spending of Medicaid dollars for nursing homes.  Abuse and neglect are rampant in Indiana even though more than sufficient financial resources are accessible but siphoned to corporate owners and operators.

The investigation used Aperion Care as an example.  Aperion Care is an assisted living home owned by Shelby County’s public hospital. Generating nearly $1.9 million extra on top of roughly $3.9 million it receives in regular Medicaid payments; the facility has no problem when it comes to financial resources.  Even though Aperion Care is one of the top funded assisting living facilities in the state of Indiana, inspectors with the Indiana State Department of Health recently cited the home for more than 40 violations and deficiencies and ranked the home’s staffing in the bottom 8% of nursing homes nationwide. This is 5 times of the national average. Conditions included soiled furniture, sticky floors, rooms that oozed the pungent smell of urine, patients unable to receive the needed care to prevent infections, pressure injuries, and preventable falls, and the inability to provide medication and/or regular food service.

There are numerous of other cases specifically in Indiana that claim poor care in nursing homes that are owned by county hospitals even though Indiana gets about $679 million a year in extra federal funds available to government-owned nursing homes. This funding is supposed to specifically be dedicated to increasing the quality care in government-owned facilities, specifically staffing since experts have said that quality and availability of staffing is essential to quality care inside of nursing homes.

So, if Indiana is the top receiver of federal funding for nursing homes yet have the worst quality of county hospital owned homes, what is happening to the billions of dollars that are being funneled into these facilities?  County hospitals that own the homes resigned to citing patient privacy laws among other legal restrictions to avoid commenting on specific cases and records, but it makes you wonder what they have to hide.

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