CHARLESTON, W.Va., May 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Charleston attorney Jeff Stewart of The Bell Law Firm has begun an outreach effort to alert West Virginians that the rights of nursing home residents will be reduced when a new law takes effect in July.
"For the second time in three years, the West Virginia Legislature has passed a bill that restricts nursing home residents' rights instead of trying to protect them from abuse and neglect," Stewart said. "Two years ago, they passed Senate Bill 6. This year, they passed Senate Bill 338, which will cut in half the time abused nursing home patients have to take legal action and restrict where they can file lawsuits. This serves only to increase nursing home profits, which already went up 260 percent in just a year according to the West Virginia Health Care Authority's 2016 annual report."
The report shows that West Virginia nursing homes' net profits increased from $9.6 million in 2014 to $25 million in 2015. Senate Bill 338, which will go into effect July 1, can be expected to increase those profits further.
"To alert West Virginians of these changes, we are embarking on an outreach effort," Stewart said. "It will include paid public notices in daily and weekly newspapers, as well as radio stations, across the state. The effort also will include information packages distributed at senior centers and among other senior and community groups."
The goals of the outreach efforts will include ensuring that West Virginia citizens know the new rules, encouraging people with questions to contact their own attorneys or The Bell Law Firm, and educating voters on the choices being made by legislators to increase profits of nursing home corporations at the expense of senior citizens.
Stewart said the outreach effort is intended to educate the public but not provide legal advice. Individuals with questions should seek counsel from their attorneys. Those without attorneys may contact The Bell Law Firm at 800-342-1701 to get answers to their questions.
Each day, many nursing home residents in West Virginia are mistreated and abused. Such abuse includes improper medication management, lack of proper care, isolation, malnutrition, dehydration and falls that could be prevented.
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SOURCE The Bell Law Firm, PLLC