New Mexico has several nursing homes both in the Albuquerque area and throughout the rest of the state which accept patients who receive health insurance through government programs.
As such, the government periodically inspects these facilities to make sure that they are meeting basic health and safety standards.
The number of these facilities that do not meet these standards, even on the most fundamental level, is disappointing.
For instance, based on the recent inspection history of 70 homes in the state, 29 of them, over 1 out of 3, had what the government considers serious deficiencies in their facilities. Over 80% had some sort of flaw in their infection-control programs.
On the whole, the government imposed over $1.5 million in fines on New Mexico nursing homes and also in 24 cases halted benefit payments.
It is also worth pointing out that the government currently has 5 New Mexico homes that are on a watch list since they have a history of health and safety issues.
Facilities in the Albuquerque area were among those which received fines and serious violations. In fact, one home received over $305,000 in fines for 52 violations, 4 of which were serious.
Penalties in themselves do not mean that anyone was actually hurt, but they do suggest that a home might now be paying attention to the well-being of their patients.
Perhaps more importantly, regulatory fines are not designed to compensate victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. In order to receive compensation, victims or their families will have to pursue the proper legal claim.