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violation of patient discharge laws

The Nation’s Largest Senior Living Operator Sued for Wrongfully Discharging Patients

California’s attorney general, Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, and local officials are suing ten of Brookdale Senior Living Inc.’s California-based skilled nursing facilities. The suit alleges that the nation’s largest senior living home operator had misled consumers on quality ratings and broke laws intended to protect patients when they are discharged from a facility if their Medicare coverage ended. The company is also said to have failed in giving the 30-day notice of transfers or discharges as required for all U.S. skilled nursing facilities.

“Brookdale does this so it can fill its beds with residents who will bring in more money,” the lawsuit files read. It says the company will discharge patients “regardless of the care and treatment needs,” and that the company also failed to prepare patients to be released or transferred adequately, gave false information to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid that it uses to award quality ratings, and over-reported its nursing staffing hours to the feds.

safety book on covid-19

Medical Malpractice Briefing Includes Facts on U.S. Nursing Home Industry’s Failed Response To COVID

The 2021 update to the briefing book Medical Malpractice: By The Numbers, published by the Center for Justice & Democracy (CJ&D) at New York Law School, has been released and includes the latest statistics and research on issues related to medical malpractice, including long-term care wrongdoing. The 141-page volume includes over 400 linked footnotes and sources. It also discusses how laws could make it harder for patients and their families to place accountability on health care providers and nursing home owners in the case of medical negligence.

Medical Malpractice as it Relates to Long Term Care Providers

burden of nursing home assistants

COVID-19 Proved Just How Unsupported Nursing Assistants Are at U.S. Long-Term Care Facilities

According to the National Direct Care Workforce Resource Center,

more than 600,000 nursing assistants provide personal care, assistance with daily activities, and clinical support for 1.4 million nursing home residents nationwide. In a revealing editorial by the Co-Founder & CEO of the National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA), Lori Porter says the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic has been the darkest time for these workers, resulting in failures in care and protection against injuries, illness, and infectious diseases.

the american rescue plan nursing homes

Justice in Aging: How The American Rescue Plan Helps Older Adults

More than 45% of Americans over 65 have trouble meeting their basic needs. As a new administration works to provide COVID-19 relief to older adults, many of who are reliant on Medicaid funding for their health care, including long-term care, a fifth COVID-19 relief package, the American Rescue Plan (H.R. 1319), was signed into law totaling $1.9 trillion on Mar. 11, 2021.

The law is expected to significantly improve health care access and increase economic security for older adults due to the pandemic. Medicaid is the funder for most long-term care in the United States, whether at home or in an institution. An analysis provided by Justice in Aging, an organization committed to fighting senior poverty through the law, outlines the significant provisions impacting older adults, including Illinois nursing home residents and long-term care patients.

vaccination for covid-19 in nursing homes

Older Adults in Illinois Long-Term Care Settings Should Be Vaccinated with Sense of Urgency

It’s been nearly three months since COVID-19 vaccines have been made available for Illinois nursing home residents and staff, making them a priority in the long line of vaccine recipients across the state. Officials from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) say approximately 414,900 doses total have been allocated to the federal government’s Pharmacy Partnership Program for Illinois long-term care facilities. A total of 361,971 vaccines have been administered to residents and staff as of Mar. 21, 2021.

Unfortunately, Chicago’s WGN9 reports that Illinois’ largest skilled nursing facility, City View Multicare Center, located at 5825 West Cermak Road in Cicero, has not made it a priority to have residents and staff vaccinated. Employees of the facility, and SEIU Healthcare, one of the fastest-growing union of nursing home workers in the Midwest, says management failed to enroll in the federal program designed to partner skilled nursing facilities like City View with major pharmacies to vaccinate residents and staff to reduce the number of coronavirus cases and outbreaks.

acquisition of private nursing home

University of Chicago Researchers Say Privately Invested Nursing Homes Have Increased Death Rates Among Residents

Researchers at the University of Chicago, Penn, and NYU have been busy studying Medicare data covering more than 18,000 nursing home facilities nationwide. Their review includes about 1,700 facilities that were bought through private equity from 2000 to 2017. Total private equity investment in U.S. nursing homes went from $5 billion in 2000 to more than $100 billion in 2018.

The findings, published in a new working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research, showed that when private equity firms acquire nursing homes, about 1,000 more resident deaths occur every year, bringing the risk of patient mortality to 10% more than the overall average.

nursing homes understaffed for covid-19

Warnings Emerge After COVID-19 Outbreak Caused by New Variant of Virus is Detected in Kentucky Nursing Home

The public has been informed of several new variants of the coronavirus for some time, including some of the more known viruses circulating, such as the UK variant, the Brazil variant, or the South Africa variant. But on Mar. 16, 2021, a recent outbreak of COVID-19 involving 41 cases at a nursing home in Eastern Kentucky could be what health officials say was triggered by an entirely new strain. The outbreak involved 14 staff and 27 residents, with several testing positive for the new variant. Health officials in Kentucky say those nursing home residents and staff who have contracted the virus and have been fully vaccinated have not gotten seriously ill and have significantly reduced symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says viruses constantly change through mutation, and “new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear.” At other times, new variants emerge and persist and can be just as dangerous as the initial strain.

nursing home reform package covid-19

Legislators Send Nursing Home Reform Package to New York Governor in Response to Disastrous COVID-19 Care

New York state, once ground zero for the COVID-19 pandemic and where long-term care tragedies have left many in shock, may soon become the new epicenter for nursing home care reform. State lawmakers began passing several measures on Feb. 22, as scandals break and the coronavirus pandemic continues to haunt residents, their families, and underpaid and overworked care teams. And on Wednesday, Mar. 3, the New York Assembly passed another series of nursing home-related bills to increase the transparency of facility violations, require quality assurance, and study long-term care facilities in the state. The lawmakers have said the sweeping reforms were designed to “increase safety and improve the quality of life for New Yorkers living in nursing homes.”

These are the highlights focused on New York’s four overall nursing home quality and coronavirus care-related issues addressed in the reform package. A detailed statement regarding the legislation was released by New York’s Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) on Mar. 4 and can be reviewed in more detail here.

antipsychotics and brain injury

Fall-Related Brain Injuries Go Unnoticed Too Often in Nursing Home Residents

March is Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month. Those who have suffered from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) acquired their irreversible injury due to severe trauma – typically when the head violently hits an object or an object pierces the skull and enters the brain. These brain injuries can be serious for the elderly, especially those with underlying conditions, and require greater assistance with daily living activities, such as long-term care patients and nursing home residents. For this older group, TBI is physically painful and can cause devastating mental and emotional challenges.

Severe skull fractures and TBI are also, unfortunately, the most common fall-related injuries that lead to a decline in an older adult’s health, including death. Ultimately, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TBI contributes to 20% or about 1,800 nursing home resident deaths each year.

dehydration in nursing homes

March is National Nutrition Month – Nursing Home Negligence Can Lead to Malnutrition and Dehydration

In long-term care and post-acute care settings, malnutrition is often a result of ongoing neglect by caretakers who do not offer enough food or do not monitor proper nutrient consumption either by the mouth or a feeding device. And although delivering nutritious food, adequate amounts of water, and quality care to these individuals seems like basic necessities all facilities should provide, a staggering 85% of elderly living in nursing home-type environments suffer from malnutrition.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

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