Articles Posted in Illinois Nursing Homes Abuse

The latest quarterly report on Illinois nursing home violations is in and the number of Type AA and Type A violations has increased since the first quarter of 2018.

The Illinois Department of Public Health’s (IDPH) Second Quarterly Report of Nursing Home Violators includes some repeat offenders from quarter 1, as well as one facility that received a $50,000 fine for a Type AA violation for the second time this year.

According to IDPH, Type AA violations are given when a nursing home has a “condition or occurrence at the facility that proximately caused a resident’s death.” Type A violations are situations “in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious mental or physical harm will result, or has resulted.” IDPH defines Type B Violations as those that would likely cause mental or physical harm to a resident.

The Elder Justice Coalition is reacting to a July 7th New York Times article that outlined just how extensively nursing homes have hidden low staffing numbers. The advocacy group is calling for an immediate congressional review of staffing practices within nursing homes.


Actual Payroll Data Reveals Staffing Crisis

The article, investigated and published in collaboration with Kaiser Health News, was based off a review of payroll hours submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  The actual hours made news not only because they show a serious crisis in terms of resident to staff ratios, but also because up until recently, nursing homes had supplied their own staffing data to CMS. With the new payroll-based submission process, nursing homes have no ability to fudge numbers.

nursing home violations

New Report Shows Serious Care Violations and Doubled Fines For 56 Illinois Nursing Homes

The Illinois Department of Health produces quarterly reports on nursing home violators. The most recent report, dating January 2018 thru March 2018, highlights more than 50 Illinois facilities determined to be lacking in patient care abilities related to 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.

Some violations heightened with a serious high-risk designation, and all homes received fines of no less than $1,000 while others reached more than $50,000 fines for issues that caused actual harm or immediate jeopardy to residents. Several problems were related to infected bedsores, medication mix-ups, poor nutrition, and abuse and neglect of patients caused by lack of support or inexperienced, overburdened staff. These violations may result in an official recommendation for decertification to the Department of Healthcare and Family Service, or the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Facilities included in this report are:

The rules are changing yet again for nursing homes who have been negligent, and not for the better. On June 15th, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’s Safety, Quality, and Oversight group sent a memo to state survey agency directors telling them to lighten up on nursing home punishments. The theme of the memo seems to be more “keep things moving” rather than “fix things for the long run.” The new rules will go into effect on July 15th.

Prior to the new changes, nursing homes who had any health or safety violations were punished in accordance with federal guidelines. Now the decision of how and when to punish facilities is being put into the hands of CMS’ regional offices, with the exception of a handful of circumstances.

Enforcement of Punishments for Immediate Jeopardy Violations

nursing home abuse

Opioid Epidemic Swindles Its Way into Theft of Nursing Home Resident Medications

A 31-year-old nurse from central Illinois has plead guilty to resident burglary after stealing opioid patches from several terminally ill nursing home patients. Prosecutors say the man was working as a nurse at Bloomington Rehabilitation and Health Care Center but was actually not on duty when he entered a resident’s room and stole a pain patch. Just two days later he also removed the same type of medication from a terminally ill person at a care facility where he previously worked. Five other charges were dropped as part of the plea deal which will require him to surrender his nursing license and face a possible sentence of up to 15 years in prison.

Nursing home employees can be tempted to steal resident medications to feed and drug addiction habit or may be tempted to take the prescriptions and sell them for their own financial gain. While not OK, nursing home employees are often underpaid, struggling financially, and looking for quick ways to supplement their income. One little pill can be sold for up to $200. Family members have also been known to steal medication from loved ones while caring for them at home or when visiting them in a facility.

nursing home legionnaires disease

Medical Documents Show “Questionable” Record-Keeping Related to Legionnaires’ Disease Victim’s Care and Family’s Concerns Prior To Death

The family of Dolores French, one of the 13 residents of the Illinois Veterans Home who died from the horrific Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in 2015, recently spoke out to WBEZ reporter Dave McKinney after “newly obtained health documents related to her case demonstrated a litany of questionable procedural and record-keeping practices at Illinois’ largest state-run veterans’ home….”

French had only been a resident of the Quincy Veterans Home for six weeks when Adams County Coroner James Keller examined her already decomposing body, possibly of two days, on the floor in her room. Although state officials deny the claim, her family was told her body was not in a condition to be embalmed and an open-casket funeral would not be an option.

Understaffing

Nursing Homes with Serious Deficiencies Are Often Poorly Staffed

An analysis of data from Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare website concluded that nurses and support care staff such as nursing assistants and aides are grossly understaffed at some of the most troubled homes in Illinois. This proves something the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys of Levin & Perconti know all too well. Understaffed care facilities put unnecessary pressures on employees that often lead to mistakes, injuries, and deaths of nursing home residents in their charge. And although we hear of changes in administrative staff, and fines aimed to tighten and clarify procedures as a solution to the issue, many of these poor performing homes continue to receive their funding, remain understaffed and contribute to more cases of nursing home abuse and neglect than facilities that are equipped to provide sufficient care and services.

The Factors Behind Understaffing

The story is one of the most tragic our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys have heard in years. A series of horrifying acts of neglect on behalf of Aperion Care Moline resulted in the August strangulation death of a male resident. Multiple distress calls were made by the man’s roommate when he realized the now-deceased was entangled in the straps of his nightgown after they had become wrapped around the foot of his bed. It took nearly 20 minutes before a CNA finally arrived. Upon arrival, the CNA noticed the man had turned blue and was not breathing. Instead of offering immediate care to the strangled victim, Aperion Care Moline nursing staff wasted precious time attempting to figure out if the victim had a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order. He did not. According to an Illinois Department of Health investigation, the CNA rolled the man on his side and allegedly did not perform CPR because he was vomiting. By the time emergency medical personnel arrived, the patient was gone.

Upon learning of the incident this morning, Levin & Perconti spoke about the Aperion Care Moline strangulation death with a national CPR expert who teaches CPR to physicians, nurses, CNAs and laypeople across the country. Current CPR teaching indicates that in the event of vomiting, you must turn a patient’s head to clear their airway and once clear, begin CPR if the patient is not breathing. Vomiting is NOT cause to rule out CPR. It has also been reported that not all Aperion Care Moline CNAs were trained in CPR and that the facility did not have a fully stocked crash cart, missing both portable suction equipment and supplies needed to give an IV.

Levin & Perconti: Top Illinois Attorneys for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

A nursing home is required to provide quality care for our loved ones in their later years. All too often, however, nursing home negligence causes harm or even death to someone we love. A recent neglect lawsuit was filed by Levin & Perconti for the estate administrator of a woman who died. The woman had been residing in BRIA Health Services LLC where she allegedly developed a severe infection and died as a result. According to the information, the nursing home staff was negligent in her care and allowed her condition to deteriorate. The lawsuit names the nursing home along with Jackson Park Hospital and Medical Center alleging negligence and wrongful death.

Nursing Home Injuries

Nursing home injuries are more common than most people realize. Thousands of nursing home residents are been hurt or have died every year due to the negligent actions at a nursing home. Some of the most frequent nursing home injuries occur due to falls, medication mistakes, or bedsores. These are all issues that can and should be prevented. When the care workers do not take proper care of residents the result can be devastating. Nursing home neglect and abuse often go unreported.

Serious Infections
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A Medford, NY, nursing home corporation and staff plead guilty this week in court to covering up the circumstances of a 2012 resident’s death. The nursing facility corporation and nine employees were indicted after a whistleblower brought the wrongdoing to the attention of authorities. The plea includes payment of a $10,000 fine and settles the case.

2012 Nursing Home Death

In this case, the patient, a woman resident of the nursing home, died after the respiratory therapist forgot to reattach the ventilator at night. Subsequently, the nursing home allegedly covered up the wrongdoing. While the settlement brings closure to the case, it does not help resolve the fact that problems existed in the facility. This case brings to light the abuse and neglect that occur in many nursing homes across the country. Elder mistreatment is a worsening problem and one that is not always reported.
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