Articles Posted in Illinois Nursing Homes Abuse

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Residents Can Struggle with Communication

According to the latest Alzheimer’s Association report, an increase in those with declining cognitive abilities impact an estimated 230,000 people in Illinois, a number that is expected to rise nearly 13 percent by 2025. Dementia, a form of Alzheimer’s, is one of the only top-10 causes of death in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed.

The majority of individuals diagnosed with dementia grow to rely on care provided by a nursing home to help manage their daily activities, medications, financial needs and assist them while residing in a safe environment. And as their dementia moves into later stages, help in communicating will also be required. The person may not be able to speak, or when they do, they may present lost in thought or provide confusing responses.

Aperion Care Racked Up $367,000 in Fines For 2019 Nursing Home Violations

In 2019, one Illinois nursing home chain, branded under the Aperion Care name, was fined nearly $367,000 by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) in response to failing to correct serious deficiencies in care and safety of its residents. Aperion Care has 35 Illinois facilities, the majority of which have only one-of-five-star ratings by Medicare.

Most recently, Aperion made a $6 million offer to take over Rock Island’s Hope Creek Care Center. But Aperion’s reputation and questionable level of care residents may receive has alarmed both community and county board members. With a quick review through the quarterly violation reports for Illinois nursing facilities, courtesy of IDPH, it easy to identify why these Aperion Care facilities are fined so often, and also validate the concerns of the Rock Island community.

More Than 100 Illinois Nursing Homes Named in Final Violators Report of 2019

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has released its final and Fourth Quarter Report of Nursing Home Violators for 2019 highlighting nursing homes that failed to comply with mandatory state regulations. This report dates October 2019 through December 2019. It highlights 111 Illinois facilities, an increase from 71 in the third quarter. The facilities were cited for various violations of the Nursing Home Care Act, a statute that provides nursing home residents and their families with the assurance that proper and safe care will be received.

Illinois facilities with violations in quarter four of 2019 include:

Troubled Rosewood Facilities Bought Up by For-Profit Lender

Greystone is the New York-based real estate, investment, and consulting firm set to take ownership over a chain of troubled Chicago-area elder care facilities currently branded under the name of Rosewood. The federal government has been in charge of Rosewood nursing homes after the previous owners defaulted on $146 million in mortgage loans, the largest default in the history of the government mortgage insurance program that provides financial support to 15 percent of the nation’s nursing homes. The previous owners, including Chicago-area rabbi, Zvi Feiner, were found guilty of improperly diverting millions of dollars in federally insured funds to other businesses and ultimately driving Rosewood into a financial crisis.

In December 2019, Greystone filed its licensing agreement with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The group is a major lender to the nursing home industry with a $34 billion loan portfolio, making it the number-one HUD borrower in the country. Greystone also runs a group of nursing homes in Florida under the name Greystone Healthcare Management. Greystone will own and operate the facilities through a series of limited liability companies. A rebranding of the Rosewood home names is expected.

Nationally Respected Attorneys

Three Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Cases That Gained National Attention in 2019

Levin & Perconti is a nationally renowned law firm concentrating in all types of nursing home abuse and neglect claims as well as personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death lawsuits. The firm’s founding partners, Steve Levin and John Perconti were among the first nursing home lawyers in Illinois and are highly regarded among their peers and adversaries for their outstanding work on behalf of victims of abuse and neglect.

Today, the Chicago based firm stands behind three decades of winning experience in defending residents who have had their rights violated and become injured while under the care of others. This is a brief review of three nursing home abuse and neglect cases represented by Levin & Perconti lawyers that made national and local news headlines in 2019.

Patient and Nurse Struggling

Good and Bad Nursing Homes Struggle with These 6 Issues

Certified skilled nursing facilities in Illinois are required to provide individualized care for residents. That is about 1,300 nursing homes responsible, both for-profit or not-for-profit, set to comply with about 1,500 state and federal standards. Yet violations related to abuse, safety and neglect as outlined by the Nursing Home Care Act occur each day, many undocumented or resolved. And unfortunately, trends in failing to comply can occur at both good and bad facilities.

The nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti continue to identify these six common issues leading to nursing home abuse and neglect cited at facilities located throughout Illinois.

Nursing Home Lawsuit

History of Attorney’s Fees Under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act

In the Winter 2020 edition of Trial Journal magazine, Levin & Perconti partners Margaret P. Battersby Black and Michael F. Bonamarte IV shared their review of how the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act provides for attorney’s fees and costs to successful litigants. In the article, the attorneys discuss the uncertainty many plaintiff’s attorneys have about the calculation of fees and costs allowed when taking on nursing home cases. This ambiguity has existed since Berlak v. Villa Scalabrini Home for the Aging, Inc., one of the first cases to interpret the statutory attorney’s fees provision of the Act, finding them mandatory.

  • The requirement that the licensee pay the prevailing resident’s attorney’s fees is mandatory as evidenced by the legislature’s use of the word “shall” in the statute. Ordinarily, the use of the word “shall” in a statute is indicative of a mandatory legislative intent.

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Levin & Perconti Partner Serving as Chair of The American Association for Justice’s Nursing Home Litigation Group

Michael F. Bonamarte IV, a partner at Levin & Perconti has committed to supporting The American Association for Justice’s Nursing Home Litigation Group as the 2019-2020 term Chairman. Bonamarte, who will collaborate alongside many other knowledgeable members, will be leading a crucial role in advocating for safety and accountability in nursing home facilities.

“We provide our members — who represent our nation’s seniors and their families — with education on developments in case law and regulation and foster collaboration so that members can share knowledge and strategies,” Bonamarte recently told the Chicago Law Bulletin. “The group enables lawyers to stand up for the most vulnerable people in our society. It is my honor to take the reins as chair for the 2019-2020 term and I look forward to continuing the group’s work in various areas.”

drug abuse

7 Antipsychotic Drugs Used and Abused by Illinois Nursing Homes

Antipsychotic drugs are sometimes given to patients living in nursing homes to calm their behaviors. But some of the most sensitive nursing home patients may be receiving antipsychotic drugs, even though there is no diagnosis of psychosis. For decades, this has been a growing problem for U.S. nursing homes and staff continue to wrongfully use the powerful medications in hopes to make their jobs easier. The misuse of these dangerous drugs is also known as a chemical restraint.

These are seven of the most widely used antipsychotic drugs abused by Illinois nursing homes today.

Happy Nursing Home Resident

Illinois Lawmaker Introduces Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act

On December 5, 2019, U.S. Representatives Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act. This legislation would prohibit long-term care facilities from requiring or soliciting residents to enter into pre-dispute, mandatory, binding arbitration agreements. The Obama administration banned forced arbitration by nursing homes in 2016, but the Medicare and Medicaid Division stripped the rights from residents on July 16, 2019, by overturning the ban.

Long-term care residents should never be forced, pressured, threatened, or have it suggested they waive their right to court proceedings before a dispute even arises. And at Levin & Perconti, we applaud these lawmakers, especially Illinois Congresswoman Schakowsky, in seeking ways to reintroduce forced arbitration protections that support the legal rights and well-being of elderly Americans. These are our most vulnerable citizens who are being impacted by the nation’s abuse and neglect epidemic running ramped in U.S. nursing homes each day. Residents deserve their day in court should they become injured, ill, or fatally harmed due to someone else’s negligence.

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