Abuse reports increasein Ohio nursing homes

DeWine’s office uncovers ‘shocking’ treatment


COLUMBUS — Abuse complaints in Ohio nursing homes nearly doubled so far this year compared with 2012, with 63 new cases filed in just the past month, according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Mr. DeWine said his office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has opened 131 cases to investigate abuse and neglect allegations at Ohio nursing homes in 2013, compared with 74 cases during the same period last year.

About half those complaints were received since June 6, when Mr. DeWine announced that his office will “aggressively” investigate nursing homes that allegedly provide residents with inadequate or abusive care.

He made that announcement Friday at Autumn Health Care, a Zanesville nursing home where his investigators used surveillance cameras to uncover what he called “absolutely shocking and disturbing” treatment of residents.

It was the first use of surveillance cameras in such an investigation. Cameras were placed in patient rooms with the knowledge of the patients and their families but without knowledge or approval of the nursing home.

The state began license-revocation proceedings after the investigation.