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When you place your elderly loved one in a nursing home facility, it isn't an easy decision. You are likely met with agony over the choice you have to make between attempting to care for your loved one on your own or reaching out for help from medical professionals within a nursing home facility that can provide the round-the-clock care that some elderly require. Needless to say, you definitely want to make sure that your loved one will be well cared for if you do maket the decision to place them in a nursing home facility.

However, I was appalled to read that Medicare paid $5.1 billion for poor nursing home care in 2009. These nursing care facilities weren't meeting basic federal requirements. The report, recently released by the Department of Health and Human Services, revealed that 1 out of every 3 times that an elderly individual ended up in a nursing care facility, they landed in a facility that failed to meet federal quality of care standards for the highest possible levels of mental, physical and psychological well-being.

Essentially, not only are elderly nursing home residents going without the crucial care they need, taxpayers may be paying for facilties that endanger residents' health. For example, investigators also estimate that in 1 out of every 5 stays, patients' health problems weren't addressed in care plans. The report was based off of 190 patient visits to nursing homes in 42 states and represented about 1.1 million patients in 2009.

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