Articles Posted in Nursing Home Staff

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nursing home opioids
Congressional Committee Leader Targets Centers for Medicare & Medicaid For Slow Changes of Antipsychotic Drug Use in Nursing Homes

Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) is the author of a January 22, 2019 letter sent to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) administrator, Seema Verma. In the letter, the congressional committee leader overseeing Medicare says he wants to see a closer look at how nursing homes are really using antipsychotics and is also asking for greater detail on how skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and Medicare plans alike are actively changing the way the drugs are being used.  Although antipsychotic drug overuse, theft, and abuse in nursing homes have been long-time issues in the U.S., CMS’s 2019 trend update on the problem shows nursing homes are making progress in decreasing antipsychotic prescribing.

“CMS is tracking the progress of the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes by reviewing publicly reported measures. The official measure of the Partnership is the percentage of long-stay nursing home residents who receive antipsychotic medication, excluding residents diagnosed with schizophrenia, Huntington’s disease, or Tourette’s syndrome. In the fourth quarter of 2011, 23.9 percent of residents received an antipsychotic medication; since then there has been a decrease of 38.9 percent to a national prevalence of 14.6 percent in the second quarter of 2018. Success varies by state and CMS region; some states and regions have a reduction greater than 40 percent.”

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nursing home abuse webinar

Levin & Perconti Partners to Present Strafford Live Webinar on Deposing Nursing Home Employees and Owners in Neglect and Abuse Cases

Founder and Senior Partner of Levin & Perconti, Steve Levin, partner Mike Bonamarte and firm associate, Daisy Ayllon, have all been invited to present the upcoming Strafford live webinar, “Deposing Nursing Home Employees and Owners in Neglect and Abuse Cases,” scheduled for Tuesday, April 9, 1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 12:00pm-1:30pm CST. Strafford provides attorneys with the information and training they need to advance their career and remain at the top of their fields.

Webinar participants will be taught the specific techniques behind building successful depositions. Levin & Perconti panelists will discuss best practices for:

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nursing home abuse and neglect

Leaders Say Rural Nursing Homes Face Accelerating Problems

At the close of 2018, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) reported that the fastest growing older population group in the state is age 85 and older. DCEO also projected the 85+ age group will total 402,311 people, an increase of 109 percent, by 2030. And for the geriatric population living in the state’s 62 non-metropolitan and rural counties, current growing health care challenges will create much larger eruptions of a sicker and more underserved group of older adults left to rely on limited health care services, nursing homes included.

The issue starts with an already health disparate elderly population living in rural Illinois areas who will remain dependent on small hospitals that may not provide vital geriatric services, proper diagnosis and treatment plans. Small communities that offer fewer aging support facilities such as long-term care housing, nursing homes, and assisted living centers will also contribute to the struggle as well as minimal access to quality trained, well-paid nursing home care staff. Our Illinois nursing home neglect lawyers continue to work on many cases where understaffing and poorly paid staff created an easy environment for residents to become neglected, abused or mistreated, especially in rural communities.

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nursing home drug dangers

Elder Justice Coalition Links Nursing Home Abuse and Opioid Abuse

With an opioid epidemic in our country that is beyond alerting, it remains evident that the 2017 guidelines The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) set forth for managing chronic pain with caution against opioid use are not being followed. The CDC continues to warn that the benefits for improving pain and function through dangerous opioids must outweigh the risks when prescribing and administering the drugs. One group of Americans persistently impacted by the mismanagement of opioids is the nursing home population.

The nonpartisan Elder Justice Coalition (EJC) recently met with the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Health and Senior Advisor for Opioid Policy, Admiral Brett Giroir in response to the opioid crisis. Assistant Secretary for Aging and Administrator of the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Lance Robertson and leadership of the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) were also present. EJC National Coordinator Bob Blancato released this statement recapping the meeting in a January 23, 2019 EJC press release.

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nursing home attorneys

Elopement Serves as Most Dangerous Type of Wandering During Winter Months

Several U.S. states either just encountered or are preparing for one of the most intense artic cold blasts in the last decade. Extreme weather events like this can greatly impact nursing home residents who are at risk of wandering outside of a care facility or eloping, a dangerous form of wandering. The Illinois Alzheimer’s Association says wandering represents one of many behavioral problems occurring in 6 out of 10 people living with Alzheimer’s across the state. These people tend to wander and aimlessly move about their environment without regard of their personal safety. During the cold weather seasons, nursing home administrators and care staff, as well as family members, should ensure these residents and loved ones stay safe and are prevented from wandering outdoors, especially when extreme temperature changes are present.

The National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners reports the most dangerous type of wandering, called elopement, occurs when a patient attempts to completely leave the nursing home and wander outside. This is a difficult type of wandering to confront, as patients may be unable to grasp the situation and understand the actual surroundings and environmental risks. Patients are often hurt or killed while eloping, especially during the cold weather months as they are not dressed to stay warm against freezing temperatures.

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nursing home attorneys

Unsafe Medication Practices Play Harmful Role in Feeding Tube Errors

Feeding tube related neglect ranks high as one of the many care issues occurring throughout U.S. nursing homes today. Many facilities fail to commit the time and staffing to allow for extra nutritional care such as hand-feeding. There is also a temptation to overuse the tubes simply for facility cost-savings, regardless of the resident’s best interest. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices reports nearly one-third of nursing home residents with advanced cognitive impairments, such as dementia, receive their daily nutrients and medications through feeding tubes. Unfortunately, those familiar with basic elder abuse scenarios understand that residents with mental impairments and those who require extra care with daily activities such as feeding, grooming, and using the bathroom are always far more likely to fall victim to neglect.

Most feeding tubes are inserted during an acute-care hospitalization and remain in use after a discharge. But feeding tubes can cause serious patient harm including infections like pressure sores, depression, and death if not necessary or handled with the specialized care required to keep them clean and in proper use. One underreported hazard of these tubes occurs during the preparation or administering of daily medications. As noted by Joseph Boullata, PharmD, BCNSP, in an article published by the National Institutes of Health titled, “Drug Administration Through an Enteral Feeding Tube,” these four common errors can occur while administering drugs via feeding tube.

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Earlier this month, our blog covered the story of a 29 year-old-woman in a vegetative state who had given birth to a baby boy on December 29th. The woman is a longtime resident of Hacienda Healthcare just outside Phoenix, previously falsely reported as admitted to the facility after a near drowning incident as a teenager. Instead, the woman’s family has clarified that she is nonverbal and is intellectually disabled as a result of seizures that began as a toddler. Although she is nonverbal, she is able to move her extremities and head and neck, and can show emotion through facial expressions.

This morning, Phoenix police announced that they had arrested Nathan Sutherland, a 36-year-old male nurse who had been an employee of the facility and was responsible for providing nursing care to the victim. He has been charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse after he was found to be a DNA match to the infant boy. Police required genetic testing of every male employee of Hacienda after the victim gave birth and although Sutherland initially attempted to forgo testing, he was ultimately forced by police to cooperate.

Sutherland become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in 2011 and it appears that Hacienda has been his sole employer since becoming an LPN. Prior to receiving his nursing certification, he worked as a nurse aide for 6 years. Earlier today, Hacienda released a statement that Sutherland was immediately fired upon learning of the DNA match, also saying that Sutherland went through a background check prior to being hired. Hacienda has publicly apologized for the incident, promising to follow more robust hiring and training practices.

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choosing a nursing home

Family Members Should Be Attending Resident Council Meetings with These 10 Questions

Nursing home administrators should allow for regular resident council or family council meetings. If they do not, it may be a sign that those residing in the facility may not be receiving the attention needed and care standards are not being met, triggering a higher risk of abuse and neglect. It’s the suggestion of the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti to request information about the dates and times of resident council or family council meetings and plan to attend. These councils are usually organized and managed by the residents or other residents’ families to address concerns and improve the quality of care and life for all residents.

If you’re able to attend a meeting with your loved one or on behalf of them, ask a council member whether it be another resident, care staff or administrator the following 10 questions and take notes:

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for profit nursing homes

Vulnerable Populations Pay the Price as U.S. Nursing Home Chains Crumble Under Risky Financial Choices

The Long Term Care Community Coalition, in partnership with the Center for Medicare Advocacy, is preparing a strong agenda for 2019 starting with a joint statement concerning the chaos that has occurred in the nursing home industry as operators, even those of large care groups, are undertaking money hungry risks at the cost of their own staff resources and vulnerable patient residents. The joint statement highlighted investigative findings reported by The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The New York Times of these U.S. nursing homes chains.

  • The Carlyle Group bought HCR ManorCare and each year since the number of health deficiencies at the chain rose 26 percent. The Carlyle Group then went on to sell ManorCare’s real estate collection for more than $6 billion dollars but inevitably faced bankruptcy in 2018 after not being able to pay rent to the new owners.
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poor elder care

Underfunded Glenshire Nursing Home Continues with “Bad Record”

Steve Levin, founder and senior partner at Levin & Perconti, recently spoke with FOX32 to support the news outlet’s investigative report covering trending problems for Illinois’ nursing homes stemming from a backlog and delay in Medicaid funding. One facility highlighted was Glenshire Nursing Home and Rehabilitation. Levin recently handled a case for the family of 44-year-old Parnell Benjamin who died last October due to neglect.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xipybpXtrOg