The inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services issued an alert Monday warning of widespread sexual and physical abuse of seniors in nursing homes — and many instances aren't being reported to police or other agencies.
The preliminary results of a larger audit, which will be issued in the next year, found 134 Medicare enrollees who lived in nursing homes from 2015 through 2016 had gone to an emergency room for injuries tied to potential abuse or neglect.
Why it matters: The HHS inspector general does not issue alerts or release preliminary audit results often. But the watchdog agency wanted to push the information out early to prevent similar abuses from happening. "We're horrified by some of the things that we're reading," Curtis Roy, an assistant regional inspector general who directed the audit, told Axios. "There's never an excuse to let anyone suffer from this kind of abuse."