State Risked Lives By Placing Patients In Nursing Homes, Attorneys
October 11, 2004
DENVER, COLORADO--Colorado's Medicaid agency is jeopardizing the health and safety of some patients with severe disabilities by taking them out of rehabilitation hospitals and moving them to ill-equipped nursing homes, attorneys claim in pre-lawsuit documents filed recently.
According to the Rocky Mountain News, three people died -- and another came close to dying -- after being transferred to nursing homes in late 2001 and early 2002, and again late last year.
Lawyers representing the families of two of those patients accuse the state Department of Health Care Policy and Financing of risking patients' lives in order to save money. The average cost of housing a person at a rehabilitation hospital ranges between $500 to $600 a day, while housing a patient in a nursing home costs just $150 a day on average.
But such facilities are not equipped to deal with patients who, for example, need their breathing tubes suctioned out on a regular basis, the attorneys say.
"Putting price tag on life?" (Rocky Mountain News)