Patient Abuse

 

The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates and prosecutes acts of abuse, neglect or exploitation perpetrated upon any resident in a health care facility that receives federal funding.

The MFCU sometimes receives reports from various State administrative and law enforcement agencies of abuse and neglect in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. In many cases, abuse can go undetected for a long period of time because the victim is unable to communicate the abuse to the proper authorities. In addition, the victim is often dependent upon the abuser and may be afraid to complain for fear of reprisals. It is vitally important, therefore, that other persons be aware of the signs of patient abuse or neglect and report those instances to law enforcement agencies. While the signs of patient abuse and neglect are numerous, a few include:

PHYSICAL ABUSE

  • Frequent unexplained injuries or complaints of pain without obvious injury
  • Burns or bruises suggesting the use of instruments, cigarettes, etc.
  • Passive, withdrawn, and emotionless behavior
  • Lack of reaction to pain
  • Injuries that appear after the person has not been seen for several days
  • Patient reports physical abuse

SEXUAL ABUSE

  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Injuries to the genital area
  • Difficulty in sitting or walking
  • Fear of being alone with caretakers
  • Patient reports a sexual assault

NEGLECT

  • Obvious malnutrition
  • Lack of personal cleanliness
  • Habitually dressed in torn or dirty clothing
  • Obvious fatigue and listlessness
  • Begging for food or water
  • In need of medical or dental care
  • Left unattended for long periods of time
  • Patient reports neglect

To report allegations of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation, download or print COMPLAINT FORM or call your local law enforcement office.