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Investigation: Falsified charts in nursing homes linked to patient care

Marjie Lundstrom
Marjie Lundstrom

Sacramento Bee reporter Marjie Lundstrom recently wrote a two-part series on the falsification of patient records in nursing homes. Her investigation turned up a narrow aspect of nursing home care that has gotten little public attention.

She used public records, court records and patients' stories to document false record-keeping and blatant cover-ups that went right to the heart of patient care. She found cases of altered records to minimize blame and legal liability; filling out charts en masse, out of laziness or necessity because of under-staffing; improperly dispensing medications and therapists that continued to bill Medicare for high-priced therapy for patients too ill to participate.

Finding the patterns linked the falsification issue directly to patient care. In some instances, vulnerable nursing home residents died because their medical charts failed to reflect their true conditions.

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