Published on:

Levin & Perconti has filed a lawsuit against Pleasant View Luther Home, a nursing home in Ottawa, IL, on behalf of the family of Edmund Wasilewski, a former resident who was injured after allegedly falling at the facility during the week of September 22, 2017.

As a result of the fall, Mr. Wasilewski suffered hemopneumothorax, a condition comprised of two separate chest injuries: hemothorax or blood in the chest cavity, combined with pneumothorax, or air in the chest cavity. Hemopneumothorax essentially causes the lungs to separate from the ribs, cutting off a patient’s ability to breathe and is caused by chest trauma.

Mr. Wasilewski died 5 days after his fall.

Published on:

Levin & Perconti has filed a lawsuit against Alden Lakeland Rehabilitation and Health Care Center on behalf of Michael Leonard, a former resident who was injured after allegedly falling on two separate occasions in 2016. Alden Lakeland transferred Mr. Leonard to Presence St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital where doctors discovered a subdural hematoma, nasal bone fractures, facial contusions and abrasions, loose front teeth, altered mental status, and dehydration.

The lawsuit alleges that Alden Lakeland failed in their promise to maintain and adhere to a care plan that would enable Mr. Leonard to improve his health at the facility, ultimately allowing a healthy and timely return home. Mr. Leonard and his attorney-in-fact, Patricia Cagney, are being represented by Levin & Perconti Partner Margaret Battersby-Black.

About Alden Lakeland and The Alden Network

Published on:

The elderly are particularly vulnerable to readmission after an initial hospital stay. A 2015 study by the American Hospital Association found that nearly 18% of all hospital patients are readmitted within 30 days and that most of those patients were elderly. In fact, 1 in every 5 nursing home residents who stay in the hospital are admitted again within 30 days. For the hospitals themselves, readmissions can be costly. The Affordable Care Act now penalizes hospitals who have high readmission rates. For the elderly, readmission can mean further health issues, depression, and even death.

Readmissions for Conditions Resulting from Time in the Hospital

While hospitals provide necessary and life saving care that other health care facilities and providers are unable to, hospital stays can also wreak havoc on a person’s normal daily routine, their hygiene and eating habits, their overall physical and mental health, as well as their physical strength.  Yale cardiologist Dr. Harlan Krumholz analyzed national readmission data and found that most patients returned to the hospital for a medical issue completely separate from the condition for which they were first admitted. He told the New York Times in August that it is his belief that elderly patients are in essence traumatized after a hospital stay, attributed to odd sleeping and wake schedules to accommodate hospital staff’s schedule for testing (blood pressure checks, blood draws, etc), diminished strength from spending all day in a bed, and from consuming different food and new medications. Dr. Krumholz calls the condition “post-hospital syndrome.”

Published on:

nursing home medication errors

Evictions and Transfers Could Lead to Medication Errors

There are many high-quality nursing home facilities committed to ensuring the residents in their care are receiving the best attention possible but that doesn’t stop family members from fearing the worst-case scenario when residents are evicted or transferred to a new facility.

In the past five years, Illinois was identified as having doubled their number of nursing home evictions and transfers. Evictions can be justified but Federal law requires nursing homes to give residents 30 days’ notice of their decision to evict them from the facility, as well as the opportunity to appeal the decision. That same notice must also be given to the state long-term care ombudsman, an elder rights representative assigned in every state.

Published on:

nursing home neglect

Skilled Care Falls Short While Nursing Home Costs Continue to Rise

While there has been a general slowing of individuals dependent on nursing home care from nearly 86 percent in 2012 to less than 82 percent in 2017, as life expectancy continues to increase in the U.S. and seniors account for a higher proportion of the population, demand for the services provided by nursing facilities will increase and no doubtingly, costs will follow suit. But supported and efficient services have failed to align and it’s our nation’s most vulnerable people and their families, as well as care staff, who pay the real price. So, who is to blame?

Third-party payors and private entities who haphazardly increase the costs of healthcare services without providing quality care of professional and skilled nurses and staff look guilty. Employing staff and pushing up labor costs only leads to widespread budget increases and less fattening of private facility pockets, but shortages can ironically do the same. Meanwhile, nursing home administrators blame behind the market reimbursement rates of patients on ‘traditional” Fee-for-Service (FFS) Medicare patients to Medicare Advantage (MA) patients to cause the industry to suffer and negatively profit, demanding them to raise general daily costs to residents and families or cut short in areas such as infrastructure and staffing quality workers.

Published on:

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are responsible for the majority of care provided in nursing homes. AARP says “The job of a CNA can be difficult and hazardous. CNAs have demanding workloads and are often responsible for manually lifting and turning residents, which can cause lower back injuries. They can also be exposed to infections, diseases (such as tuberculosis), and physical violence from residents.”

Many of these nursing assistants are working incredibly long hours and multiple days in a row, pushing them into overtime. For many reasons, this already exhausting and demanding job is made even more so.

We’d like to share a current snapshot of the nursing assistant industry:

Published on:

nursing home infections

Painful Infections Remain Untreated When Chicago’s Nursing Homes are Understaffed

The Chicago Tribune recently published a scathing article on the inadequate measures taken by a Chicago nursing home to prevent a resident’s bedsores from turning into deadly infections. The story featured the negligence and wrongful death claims of an 85-year-old resident at Lakeview Rehabilitation and Nursing Center on the city’s North Side. Family members of the resident told reporters that the facility’s staff never spoke of the “seriousness of the pressure sore, which led to sepsis, a severe infection that can quickly turn deadly if not cared for properly.”

Complications related to pressure sores often require intravenous antibiotics and sensitive care treatments to treat bloodstream infections and can result in painful surgeries to cut away dead skin around the wound. According to health officials, there are four types of infections that are often linked with sepsis including: lungs (pneumonia), kidney (urinary tract infection), skin (pressure wounds and bedsores) and gut. Out of the 6,000 Illinois nursing home residents who are hospitalized with sepsis each year, 1 in 5 won’t survive.

Published on:

nursing home disaster plan

Healthcare Facilities Should Be Prepared for Natural Disasters

Although new Medicare and Medicaid guidelines were set in place after the tragic deaths of over 100 nursing home residents during Hurricane Katrina, cases of patients left behind due to natural disasters such as wildfires, tornadoes, or floods are reported each year. These occurrences are starting to prompt health care officials to raise concern over the need for better public policy support, emergency planning resources, funding, and protections for vulnerable long-term care residents in the event of an emergency prompted by catastrophic events and conditions that threaten their well-being such as no internet and no electricity.

A recent federal review of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) records found that:

Published on:

“Frail and vulnerable people are harmed when nursing homes fail to meet our standards. And I don’t think any of us wants to wait until the next natural disaster or other disaster exposes some kind of a deficiency that kills dozens of people.”

                                                 -Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO)

On Thursday, the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing to address substandard care and recent findings of abuse and neglect in U.S. nursing homes.

Published on:

The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations has announced they will hold a hearing tomorrow, Thursday, September 6th, to address the abysmal care and recent reports of abuse and neglect in U.S. nursing homes. The hearing will take place at 10:15 am ET (9:15 CT) and can be watched through a live stream available here.

The hearing, officially called “Examining Federal Efforts to Ensure Quality of Care and Resident Safety in Nursing Homes,” is set to hear testimony from 3 witnesses:

  • Dr. Katie Goodrich, Chief Medical Officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)