Articles Posted in Staffing Issues

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“Imagine someone in the inside of a car with the doors locked and the windows rolled up and that person is nonverbal and can’t communicate. And you leave that person in the car until they die.

That’s what happened to our client, but it happened in a health care facility instead of a car.”  Attorney Steve Levin

https://youtu.be/e966vpOoesg

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It’s a tragic end to a story that should have never happened. On Monday, Chicago Police discovered the body of Ernestine Booker, a 67-year-old woman suffering from dementia who disappeared from her Bronzeville nursing home on October 23rd. Ms. Booker’s body was found at the Sykes Center, a now-closed Advocate outpatient healthcare center at 2545 S. King Drive, approximately 2.5 miles from the nursing home from which she disappeared. The cause of death has not yet been released, but Chicago Police said there is no evidence of a homicide.

While the full details of her disappearance have not been shared with the public, we do know that Ms. Booker left her nursing home unnoticed around 11 a.m. Her family notified the police that same day and Chicago police asked for the public’s assistance in locating her.

When families place their loved ones in the care of a nursing home, the minimum expectation is that the nursing home will keep track of their whereabouts. As we shared in an earlier post, residents with dementia are more prone to wandering a facility or eloping (leaving).

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A joint study by researchers from The University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, John H. Stroger Hospital, The Social Policy Research Institute and Illinois Citizens for Better Care has found that the type of facility matters when it comes to the quality of care your elderly loved one is receiving.

Chicago Hospital Records Show Elder Neglect Happening in Nursing Homes

The study ‘Association between Type of Residence and Clinical Signs of Neglect in Older Adults,’ examined 5 metropolitan Chicago-area hospital records of 1,149 elderly patients admitted from long term care settings (nursing homes) and community settings (home, assisted living, or senior living facilities). The data revealed that for-profit nursing homes had more instances of clinical neglect than any other setting. The facilities responsible for the transfer of these residents to nursing homes were all metropolitan Chicago nursing homes.

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“They get into trouble, they fix things up just enough to get back into compliance and then they let things slip again. This cycle just goes on for years. Meanwhile, there are people living in these places.”

-Toby Edelman, senior policy attorney for the Center for Medicare Advocacy to the Lexington Herald-Leader

A tragic story out of a northern Kentucky nursing and rehabilitation center has reignited a topic that we know causes a great deal of confusion and frustration for the loved ones of nursing home residents. How does one find out who the owners of a nursing home actually are and what their history of patient care is? The details of the wrongful death case of 45-year-old Bobby Crail help highlight the ability of nursing homes to repeatedly get away with maltreatment and even skirt financial and legal responsibility. It also highlights why if your loved one has been mistreated, abused, or neglected in a nursing home, you need an attorney who has both the experience and tenacity to successfully stand up to major corporations capable of these horrific behaviors.

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Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are responsible for the majority of care provided in nursing homes. AARP says “The job of a CNA can be difficult and hazardous. CNAs have demanding workloads and are often responsible for manually lifting and turning residents, which can cause lower back injuries. They can also be exposed to infections, diseases (such as tuberculosis), and physical violence from residents.”

Many of these nursing assistants are working incredibly long hours and multiple days in a row, pushing them into overtime. For many reasons, this already exhausting and demanding job is made even more so.

We’d like to share a current snapshot of the nursing assistant industry:

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nursing home infections

Painful Infections Remain Untreated When Chicago’s Nursing Homes are Understaffed

The Chicago Tribune recently published a scathing article on the inadequate measures taken by a Chicago nursing home to prevent a resident’s bedsores from turning into deadly infections. The story featured the negligence and wrongful death claims of an 85-year-old resident at Lakeview Rehabilitation and Nursing Center on the city’s North Side. Family members of the resident told reporters that the facility’s staff never spoke of the “seriousness of the pressure sore, which led to sepsis, a severe infection that can quickly turn deadly if not cared for properly.”

Complications related to pressure sores often require intravenous antibiotics and sensitive care treatments to treat bloodstream infections and can result in painful surgeries to cut away dead skin around the wound. According to health officials, there are four types of infections that are often linked with sepsis including: lungs (pneumonia), kidney (urinary tract infection), skin (pressure wounds and bedsores) and gut. Out of the 6,000 Illinois nursing home residents who are hospitalized with sepsis each year, 1 in 5 won’t survive.

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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.