Articles Posted in Hot Button Issues

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“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.

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Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC), an organization committed to providing resources and information to promote healthy aging, has released their searchable data files on staffing hours for nursing homes and rehabilitation centers across the country for the first quarter of 2018.

The lists are divided by state, and the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys of Chicago’s Levin & Perconti have reviewed the data for Illinois to find out the best and worst staffed facilities in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, and Will Counties. Staffing, as most elder advocates know, is considered one of the largest contributing factors to nursing home abuse and neglect.

According to Nursing Home Compare, the ratings website run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS):

Illinois Average National Average
RN Per Resident/Day 47 minutes 40 minutes
Total Licensed Nurse Per Resident/Day (LPN/LVN + RN time) 1h 25 minutes 1h 33 minutes
Nurse Aide (CNA) Per Resident/Day 2h 2 minutes 2h 18 minutes

The data compiled by CMS and LTCCC shows that the best Illinois nursing homes and rehab facilities are beating the state and national averages for RN time per resident/per day, but that the worst are falling so far short that one Cook County nursing home averaged ZERO hours per resident a day.

Levin and Perconti also found that every nursing home that rated the worst in terms of staff hours per resident/day were for profit facilities. Our blog has extensively covered the driving force behind minimal staffing. It nearly always comes down to money.

Our findings are separated by county, as well as by role, examining the best and worst facilities in terms of RN time per resident/day, as well as total direct care staffing per resident/day. In their data compilations, LTCCC defines direct care roles as RNs, LPNs, and CNAs.


Average RN Staffing Hours Per Resident/Per Day By County

  • Cook County: Top 10 in RN hours are hospitals. There is a tie for nursing facilities.
    • Best – Alden Estates of Skokie (25 residents, for profit) and Terraces at the Clare (Chicago, 46 residents, for profit) both average 1.7 hours per resident/day.
    • Worst – Southview Manor Nursing Center (Chicago)
      • For profit
      • 183 residents
      • 0 hrs per resident/day
  • DuPage County:
    • Best – Marianjoy Rehab Hospital (Wheaton)
      • Non profit
      • 26 residents
      • 2.4 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – West Chicago Terrace (West Chicago)
      • For profit
      • 107 residents
      • .2 hours per resident/day
  • Kane County:
    • Best – Greenfields of Geneva
      • Non profit
      • 41 residents
      • 1.8 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – North Aurora Care Center
      • For profit
      • 105 residents
      • .1 hours per resident/day
  • Lake County:
    • Best – Lake Forest Place (Lake Forest)
      • Non profit
      • 50 residents
      • 1.9 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – The Grove at The Lake (Zion)
      • For profit
      • 170 residents
      • .3 hours per resident/day
  • Will County:
    • Best – Alden Courts of Shorewood
      •  For profit
      • 35 residents
      • 2.3 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – Aperion Care Wilmington
      • For profit
      • 158 residents
      • .1 hours per resident/per day


Average Total Direct Care Staffing Hours Per Resident/Per Day By County (RN, LPN, CNA)

  • Cook County:
    • Best – Rush Oak Park Hospital’s Skilled Nursing Unit
      • Non profit
      • 16 patients
      • 6.6 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – Parkshore Estates Nursing & Rehab (Chicago)
      • For profit
      • 228 residents
      • 1.4 hours per resident/day
  • DuPage County:
    • Best – Franciscan Village (Lemont)
      • Non profit
      • 58 residents
      • 7.1 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – Wynscape Health & Rehab (Wheaton)
      • For profit
      • 120 residents
      • 1.3 hours per resident/day
  • Kane County:
    • Best – Alden Courts of Waterford (Aurora)
      • For profit
      • 17 residents
      • 7.0 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – River View Rehab Center (Elgin)
      • For profit
      • 175 residents
      • 1.8 hours per resident/day
  • Lake County:
    • Best – Radford Green (Lincolnshire)
      • For profit
      • 75 residents
      • 1.5 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – Claridge Healthcare Center (Lake Bluff)
      • For profit
      • 102 residents
      • 2.1 hours per resident/day
  • Will County:
    • Best – Victorian Village Health & Wellness Center (Homer Glen)
      • Non profit
      • 45 residents
      • 5.9 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – Joliet Terrace Nursing Center
      • For Profit
      • 113 residents
      • 1.4 hours per resident/day

 

Let Levin & Perconti Help You
Levin & Perconti is one of the nation’s most recognized and respected leaders in the areas of elder abuse and nursing home negligence. We have successfully litigated and settled abuse and neglect cases throughout the city of Chicago, surrounding suburbs, and the entire state of Illinois.

If you suspect neglect or abuse of a loved one in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility, please contact us now for a FREE consultation with one of our attorneys. Call us toll free at 1-877-374-1417, in Chicago at (312) 332-2872, or complete our online case evaluation form.

 

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nursing home neglect

Payroll Records Indicate Nursing Home Staffing Shortages Create Serious Gaps in Patient Care

Only recently did the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) begin collecting and reviewing daily payroll records from more than 14,000 nursing homes. The publishing of the data became required by the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Kaiser Health News recently analyzed the submissions and caught that most U.S. nursing homes have been operating grossly understaffed and reporting a false review of average employee shifts. Kaiser claims these nursing homes had:

  • Significant fluctuations in day-to-day staffing, with particularly large shortfalls on weekends when personnel cared for nearly twice as many residents as normal.
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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.

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Genesis Healthcare, one of the largest nursing home groups in the country, is having a bad year.  This summer, the chain was ordered to pay $54 million to 5 whistleblowers who exposed fraudulent billing for keeping and treating patients who did not require hospice care.

Adding to the nursing home chain’s problems are criminal charges against a resident, with a concurrent civil case against the chain itself. In October of this year, 74 year old Francis Kinsey, a resident of Coventry Center Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation in Rhode Island, was arrested for sexually assaulting an 80 year old female resident. An employee witnessed the assault and immediately notified authorities. After the resident’s arrest, it was discovered that he had a 5 year old pending charge for sexual molestation and was currently out on bail. That case had not been furthered because his heath prevented further legal action. The family of the 80 year old resident who was sexually assaulted has sued Coventry Center and Genesis Healthcare, arguing that a resident with a pending criminal charges for a sexual offense should not be able to live freely alongside others, particularly the elderly and vulnerable.

On November 16th, a Rhode Island judge declared Kinsey not fit to stand trial for the recent sexual assault. Mr. Kinsey’s health has now prevented him from facing charges on two sexual offenses for which he has been formally charged by police.

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The Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC), an organization dedicated to the protection and well being of the elderly, has released its first monthly issue alert. The first issue is dedicated to understanding, preventing, recognizing, and treating pressure ulcers. It also deals with how to find out if the facility that cares for your loved one has a history of allowing these painful, yet often preventable, sores to develop in their residents.

The alert is a useful tool in understanding what a pressure ulcer is and how to know for yourself how advanced the bed sore is and if its occurrence was preventable based on your or your loved ones health and risk factors. LTCCC’s monthly alert on pressure ulcers can be found here.

Pressure Ulcers: Why You Need an Experienced Attorney Advocating for You

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An Orland Park widow is suing Spring Creek Nursing and Rehab Center in Joliet over their alleged negligence that led to the death of her husband in April of this year. Dianne Casper, the widow of Edward Casper, said he was just 75 when he entered the facility after having hip surgery. According to the lawsuit, Edward Casper’s record at Spring Creek documented that he was suffering from dementia, ‘increased cognitive impairment,’ as well as at risk for falls.

Excessive Number of Falls Within Two Months

The lawsuit alleges that from his admission date on January 31, 2017 to his death in April, he fell 28 times at the facility. His final fall in early March caused him to fracture his other hip, which resulted in an immediate hospital transfer and surgery. He died one month after that fall.

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A nursing home in Westborough, Massachusetts is facing two separate lawsuits for falls that ended the lives of two its residents within a 7 week span in 2015.  The lawsuit alleges that staff at for-profit Beaumont Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center ignored and purposely defied physicians’ orders that mandated the use of fall prevention devices, resulting in the tragic falls that caused blunt force head trauma and the death of two elderly residents.

Properly Used Safety Devices Can Aid in Fall Prevention

Per doctors’ orders, both fall victims, 89 year old Betsy Crane and 85 year old Vincent Walsh, were to wear wrist or ankle bracelets that function as tracking devices, referred to as a wander management system.  Devices such as these alert staff to the whereabouts of each resident, including leaving protected areas (such as the resident’s room or designated safe zone) or even making the smallest of movements. When combined with adequate supervision, wander management systems can be a valuable tool in ensuring the safety of nursing home residents who are at risk for wandering, as well as those at risk for falls.

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Michael Morris was just 43 years old when he died from complications that arose from infected tracheostomy and gastrostomy tubes, as well as multiple pressure ulcers. He was a resident of Salem Village Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Joliet, Illinois for just over a year at the time of his death last September.

In a lawsuit filed in Will County, the administrator of his estate alleges that the facility is directly responsible for his death by failing to provide the adequate care required for a resident in Mr. Morris’ condition.

How do Pressure Ulcers Develop?

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Last year, several nurses at Lake Park Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Indian Trail, North Carolina walked in on nurse’s aide Douglas Steven Little sexually assaulting an elderly resident suffering from dementia. Little, a 10 year employee of Lake Park Nursing & Rehab, admitted to the assault and is now serving a 19 year prison sentence. After the news of Little’s crime broke, other Lake Park families began coming forward with similar allegations of rape and assault of their loved ones.

Repeat Offender

An affidavit by a former Lake Park Nursing & Rehab nurse states that in 2012, the facility was made aware of sexual assaults committed by Douglas Steven Little and covered them up from victim’s families. The affidavit was included as part of a lawsuit filed by the daughter of another alleged victim of Little’s. The woman’s daughter, Annette Foster, says her mother was a dementia resident who spent two years at Lake Park Nursing & Rehabilitation before her death. She says that after the news of Little broke, she began examining her mother’s medical records and coupled with the behaviors she observed in her mother before her death, she is certain that she was assaulted on multiple occasions and strongly believes it was by Douglas Steven Little. While her mother was still a patient, Foster knew something was amiss after her mother reported being raped on two separate occasions. She requested that only female staff members treat and visit with her mother and despite the request, she still saw Little wandering around the dementia unit.