Articles Posted in National Nursing Home News

Empty Wheelchair

Nursing Home Resident Evictions Continue Due to Medicaid Funding

Nationally, long-term care ombudsmen, who advocate for elderly and disabled residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, received 10,610 complaints about discharges and transfers in 2017, up from 9,192 in 2015. Many of these complaints arise when a facility asks or pressures a resident to leave with “no due process rights, no notice” even though an advanced notice is required.

We agree with the importance of the recent news report by NBC launched over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, that some nursing home facilities illegally evict residents when their Medicaid funding runs short and replace them with short-stay Medicare residents. Still, unfortunately, skilled nursing facilities that discharge residents improperly isn’t anything new to us at Levin & Perconti. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) estimates, “as many as one-third of all residents in long-term care facilities are involuntarily discharged.” We have been sharing concerns and representing families on this issue for some time.

Levin Perconti - horrified senior citizens

Government Site Has New Way of Warning Families of Nursing Home Mistreatment and Neglect

The nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti keep close eyes on how the federal government is using Nursing Home Compare, a website used by the public to search and compare facilities nationwide. In October, it was announced by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that the site has started flagging nursing homes with a history of resident mistreatment.

In a special report published by The Washington Post on November 19, 2019, the new flagging system which uses a red circle with a white hand inside, showcases as many as one in 20 elder-care facilities across the U.S. responsible for resident abuse or neglect. The data comes from government investigators’ reports which identified evidence related to the harm or potential harm of a resident.

Proper Care

Recent Inspection Report Shows Grove of Evanston Still Underperforming

Last year, The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) slapped the Grove of Evanston, 500 Asbury St., with a $25,000 fine for a Type A violation where “there is a substantial probability that death or serious mental or physical harm will result, or has resulted.” According to news sources and IDPH officials, the nursing home violated the terms of its license when it failed to assess a resident and notify a doctor of his declining condition. IDPH said the failure resulted in the resident being sent to a local hospital where he died less than 24 hours later.

Public health officials reviewed the resident’s records and recently released the report findings to show:

Nurse Yelling at Patient

Report Proves Illinois Could Do Better at Investigating Nursing Home Complaints

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report in 2017 that showed several states, including Illinois, were missing the opportunity to lead a timely investigation of the most pressing nursing home complaints. These complaints included neglectful occurrences such as residents being left to sit in their urine and feces for hours, residents being admitted to the hospital because of preventable infections, and inappropriate social media posts by nursing home employees.

According to the OIG, these events will typically fall into two types of serious complaint categories that must be addressed within a specified timeframe.

Margeret Black

Catching up with Levin & Perconti Attorney Margaret Battersby Black, 40 Under 40’s Class of 2011.

Levin & Perconti’s Margaret Battersby Black was named to the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s 40 Under 40 List in 2011. 40 Under 40 is a highly selective honor process that recognizes outstanding attorneys from across Illinois. Since then, she has posted a series of high-profile, professional achievements that we wish to recognize.

The 39-year-old plaintiff’s attorney, who is also the parent of two young children alongside her husband Jeff, joined Levin & Perconti as a law clerk in 2006, was promoted to associate attorney in 2008 and named Partner in 2014. Margaret has since led a run of successful personal injury cases, as well as notable settlements involving falls, pressure sores and medication errors on behalf of individuals and families in lawsuits related to nursing home abuse and negligence, including but not limited to:

Arbitration Agreement

FAIR Act Bill Has Passed the House, Now Headed to the Senate

On Friday, September 20, lawmakers in the House voted 225-186 to pass the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act, introduced by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), with the help of many supporters who look to hold long-term care doers responsible for abuse and neglect. The bill is designed to end forced pre-dispute arbitration in contracts between consumers and corporations, including nursing homes, long-term care centers and assisted living communities.

Moving ahead, the FAIR Act could:

nursing home neglect

Nursing Home’s Failed Disaster Response Resulted in 12 Resident Deaths 

Four former employees at the Florida nursing home plagued with power outages from Hurricane Irma will be held responsible for the 12 residents who died from heat-related injuries and illnesses in 2017. The deceased were all residents at Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills and ranged in age 57 to 99.

The employees, of which three were nurses and one a facility administrator, failed to do their basic duty to protect life and never dialed 911 for evacuation help. The company responsible for restoring power to the home released a statement that “those customers who have electricity dependent medical needs should call 911 if they are without power and in a life-threatening situation.”

nursing home abuse and neglect

Senators Blame Government Regulating Office for Growing Number of Nursing Home Deficiencies

On Tuesday, July 23, bi-partisan members of the Senate Finance Committee, led by ranking committee member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), once again raised alarming concerns over the rising amount of physical, verbal, mental and sexual abuse incidences occurring inside U.S. nursing homes. In addition, and not for the first time this year, confusion regarding the current lack of oversight role the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is playing, and funding needs to support sufficient resident-to-staff ratios were recognized and discussed at great length.

Several lawmakers referenced a same-day released report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that found:

nrusing home reform

Senate Hearing Regarding U.S. Nursing Homes Called Attention to Unfixed Issues and Reform 

An estimated 1.5 million individuals receive care from nursing homes nationwide each day, many of whom are living with serious physical and cognitive impairments, leaving them frail and remarkably vulnerable to abuse and neglect injustices. On July 23, 2019, members of the Senate Finance Committee Hearing once again heard pleas from elder community leaders about the constant struggles of Americans dependent on Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

(CMS) regulated skilled nursing facilities face each day. These guests discussed the continual lack of follow thru to require facilities to improve, a disregard to follow federal regulation by U.S. nursing home administrators, and ongoing failures to meet minimum care standards.

poor elder care

Nursing Home Chain Failures Highlight a Greater Need for Ownership Regulation and Closer Government Review 

Some of the most troubling elder abuse and neglect stories stemmed from nursing home private ownership in the U.S. recently emerged thanks to an NBC News investigation featuring a man named Joseph Schwartz and his responsibilities over nursing home and long-term care facility chain, Skyline Healthcare. The mogul swiftly built his empire out of a small New Jersey office and then across the Midwest. It failed miserably leaving life-long pain and suffering for more 7,000 elderly Americans in more than 100 facilities in 11 states.

Massachusetts: Schwartz told staff there was no more money to fund all of his nursing homes or to pay them. The care team was buying toilet paper with personal funds to help residents. Patients were left for days in their feces due to staffing cuts and no one to help them. When some of the homes closed, 60 residents had nowhere to go, and family members were left uninformed of their loved one’s displacement. In March of 2019, the final three former Skyline Healthcare nursing homes in Massachusetts were closed and placed in receivership after Schwartz agreed to surrender licenses.

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