One of the essential roles of nursing home staff is to ensure the residents’ safety and well-being. Now, it has come to light that some facilities for the elderly are improperly administering vitamin intravenous (IV) infusions without signed doctors’ orders.
This would not seem to be a big deal because IV therapy delivers fluids directly into the residents’ veins that rehydrate or provide nutrition to people who cannot eat food or drink water.
But a quarterly report by the Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General determined that the IVs were administered by outside vendors to increase the facilities’ reimbursements from Medicaid. The vendors also did not follow the Medicaid policy by indicating the amount, dosage and flow rate of these infusions.
This scam is part of a national trend where elder care facilities are endangering their residents while taking money from the government. While mistakes happen, even in healthcare, the agency investigation is looking for intentional fraud that is widespread and systematic.
Family not there to confirm dosages
Advocates for families of the elderly in facilities claim that the IV is not the only improper treatment administration. They claim that there have been changes to medication and dosage during the pandemic. Family’s act as extra sets of eyes to make sure that elderly loved ones receive doctor-prescribed treatment. Hopefully, the recent change that allows a few visitors in the facilities can help alleviate the worry over these medical changes. Nevertheless, the IVs of vitamins cause concern if facilities are genuinely trying to run up their Medicaid payouts.