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Chicago Doctor Gives Risky Drugs to Nursing Home Patients

In Chicago’s Maxwell Manor Nursing Home, one doctor’s patients suffered from side effects so severe that they trembled, hallucinated or lost control of their bladders. Staffers told investigators that so many patients were complaining to Dr. Michael Reinstein about their medication errors that a security guard needed to accompany him on his visits. Additionally, staffers said that Reinstein had induced patients to take powerful antipsychotic drugs with the promise of passes to leave the home. Although the nursing home was shut down in 2000 by Illinois state officials, Reinstein continues to practice. He is one of the most prolific providers of psychiatric care in Chicago nursing homes. He has been accused of overmedicating his mentally ill patients. In 2007, he prescribed various medications to 4,141, including more prescriptions for clozapine than were written by all the doctors in Texas put together. Three patients died under Reinstein’s care of clozapine intoxication. He is currently the defendant in two separate wrongful death lawsuits. In 2003 state health inspectors noted that his patients at Chicago nursing home Westwood Manor were not properly monitored. Many showed apparent clozapine side-effects. This could be due to the powerful incentives Illinois provides for cut-rate, high volume care in nursing homes for the mentally ill. Recently state lawmakers did not act on a bill that would have given psychiatrists the first Medicaid fee increase in years. To read more about the medication errors, please click the link.