Articles Posted in Government Reports

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Nursing Homes May Transfer Ownership to Hide Questionable Care

In the aftermath of a resident accident, report of abuse or neglect, or serious complaints against staff, a nursing home’s lease or title may simply be transferred to another company as a way to position a band-aid over real issues. When nursing home facilities are often bought, resold and rebranded, families of residents should raise questions about whether administrators or staff are to blame.

“A May 2016 article in the Boston Globe highlighted the findings of a Harvard University study on the impact an acquisition has on nursing home quality. The study found that there was a direct link between the number of times a facility had changed hands and the number of state violations it had. The authors ultimately concluded that the changing of hands wasn’t the cause, but the fact that the facility itself was plagued by troubles and that changing ownership did little to improve it.” – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

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nursing home abuse and neglect

Aperion Care Capitol Nurse Was Never Trained on Feeding Tube Placement

According to a state report filed by the Illinois Department of Public Health, Aperion Care Capitol, a 251-bed skilled-care facility and nursing home located at 555 W. Carpenter St. was fined for “failing to ensure there were appropriately trained staff to reinsert a feeding tube” that fell out while two nursing assistants were haphazardly removing the patient’s T-shirt.

According to the March 2018 report:

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Hidden VA Nursing Home Care Data Published

According to USA Today and The Boston Globe, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been tracking and withholding data on the quality of care at VA nursing homes for years. Because of this alleged fail, resident veterans and their families may not see the bigger picture regarding the quality of care services provided or performed. Families may also be withheld vital health care information to assist in making support decisions. On June 25, 2018, the national news outlets published the ‘hidden’ information from 133 VA nursing homes using reports obtained from internal DVA documents. The review concluded that for the 46,000 veteran residents across the U.S., more than two-thirds of their VA nursing homes were “more likely to have issues related to serious bedsores and residents who will suffer serious pain, than their counterparts in private nursing homes across the country.”

Unlike the VA, private nursing homes are required to submit timely reports on the care they provide to measure quality, inspection issues and staffing. That data is then publicly posted on a federal website for families to use when researching a facility for their loved one.

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Some of the most critical aspects of the civil justice process are the rules of civil procedure. As the name implies, this refers to the “procedure” that parties and their lawyers must follow when working through the system. These rules are critical, intricate, and often shape the outcome of a case. Yet, most members of the public are unfamiliar with how it all works. That unfamiliarity is a key reason why the legal process can seem confusing and contradictory.

In other words, proving liability is one part of the process–collecting evidence and presenting it such that a judge or jury issues a judgement in favor of the plaintiff. But in reaching that point, many different rules must be followed–deadlines, paperwork requirements, and so on. The same procedural rules affect cases that end in settlement, before an actual trial.

Considering the importance of procedure, those seeking to influence the justice system often seek to alter procedural laws. In this way, the system can be made better (or worse) for all cases, regardless of actual liability issues.

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A report published in the June 9 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that survival rates among Medicare beneficiaries who have been transferred to long-term acute-care hospitals is quite poor. The report used long-term-care trends, which did include all Medicare hospitalizations involving admission to an intensive-care unit of an acute-care, non federal hospital in the US. The study released statistics which show that the long-term care hospitals more than doubled in the past two years, while the number of admissions more than tripled. Costs in these hospitals rose from $1.32 billion from a figure of $484 million in the past ten years.

Mortality rates are also increasing. The nursing home study showed that transferred patients had a higher number of co-morbidities. The numbers went from 5 in 1997 to 5.8 in 2006. Mortality rates remained high throughout the entire study period. They increased from 50.7% in 1997 to 52.2% in 2006. The Acute Long Term Hospital Association is stating that it will welcome the chance to engage in debate about the role of long-term hospitals in the healthcare system. It is imperative that they address these problems now, before they get worse. With the rising numbers of patients residing within these types of nursing homes, there is bound to be nursing home negligence. Hopefully, the health reform law will help secure patient safety within the nursing homes. If you believe that a loved one wrongfully died within a long-term hospital, please consult a Chicago nursing home attorney.

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A panel of nutrition experts has released new definitions for malnutrition that will be universally applicable. McKnights Long-Term Care News & Assisted Living is reporting that these new definitions will help clinicians and healthcare workers identify and treat malnutrition. Researchers had decided to develop new definitions because there was a lack of generally agreed upon terms for the numerous forms and causes of malnutrition. There are now three categories of adult nutrition: starvation-related, chronic disease-related or acute disease/injury-related. These categories can now include all the major causes of malnutrition. These are important clarifications considering a 2000 study found that between 25% and 85% of nursing home residents are considered malnourished. The new definitions were accumulated by ESPEN and ASPEN. They will be published in the journals Clinical Nutrition and JPEN. To read about the new definitions, please check out the link.

Malnutrition or dehydration can cause many problems in elderly residents. These health conditions include tooth decay, broken bones, anemia and low blood pressure. Severe cases can even lead to death. These ailments can oftentimes be easily prevented if the residents are properly fed and nourished. Many times residents who are suffering from depression will become malnourished. Some experts also believe that residents become malnourished due to a lack of adequately trained personnel. Poor staffing is often the root of most nursing home abuse problems. It is the duty of all nursing homes to ensure that not only they have a sufficient number of staff members, but that these staff members are properly trained to deal with the complexities of the elderly. If you believe that you or a loved one resides in a Chicago-area or Illinois nursing home with inadequate staffing, please confront the nursing home about this problem. If this poor level of staffing has lead to nursing home abuse, consult a nursing home lawyer.

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is reporting that they are now notifying those nursing homes who are candidates to become Special Focus Facilities (SFF). SFFs are chosen from among the 15 worst-scoring nursing home in each individual state. Those who chose SFFs analyze the Five-Star Quality Nursing Home Rating System in order to choose which homes make the list. Once a home is chosen as an SFF it is subject to extra inspections and increased enforcement.

The NCCNHR is reporting that of the 355 nursing homes in the SFF program since January of 2005, 51 percent graduated. This means that they had two consecutive standard surveys and no complaint investigations. However, this also shows that almost half of the nursing homes failed to improve. They will continue to remain in the program designed to curb nursing home neglect and abuse. The GAO discovered that SFFs were more likely to be for-profit nursing homes who were affiliated with chain owners.

The SFFs are sorted into different categories by the CMS. One such category is facilities that have not improved. Currently, Illinois has one nursing home in this list, Embassy Health Care Center in Wilmington, Illinois. There is also a category for facilities that are beginning to show improvement. Two Chicago nursing homes are in this SFF category. Both Alden Wentworth Rehab & Healthcare Center and International Nursing And Rehab Center are located on the city’s south side. Additionally, Pekin Manor in Pekin, Illinois is identified as an SFF. To locate more nursing homes that have been designated as SFFs, please click the link.

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An Illinois county has enacted a new team to review cases of alleged or suspected elderly abuse, neglect or exploitation. This team was organized by the county’s coroner in coordination with the Illinois Department of Aging. They are looking to have several people investigate cases of elderly abuse. Also the team hopes to gather information that will enable them to discover gaps in the nursing home system and the services provided to the elderly. The team leader believes that the elderly are a group that is very vulnerable to nursing home abuse. This type of team should be present in every county throughout the state in order to combat Illinois elderly abuse. To read more about the elderly abuse team, please click the link.

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The USA Today has released a report stating that one in five of the country’s 15,700 nursing homes were found on the lower end of the five-star scale. It seems that almost all of the nursing home receiving one or two stars are owned by-for-profit corporations. The stars reflect inspections performed in the nursing homes as well as complaint investigations. Most owners must take responsibility for the consequences of the poorly performing nursing homes. The lowest-rated facilities have averaged about 14 deficiencies per site. These deficiencies include nursing home abuse and safety violations. You may visit the nursing home compare website by clicking on the link. Many Chicago nursing homes only have one star. These include: Alden Princeton; Avenue Care Center; Belhaven Nursing & Rehab Center; Kenwood Healthcare Center; and Waterfront Terrace. The nursing home negligence attorneys at Levin & Perconti have filed numerous lawsuits against one-star nursing homes in Chicago. They have also noticed that many of these homes have not improved their ratings and continue to commit Chicago nursing home abuse.

To read the story concerning the low star nursing homes, please click the link.

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Authorities saw mentally ill residents in Chicago nursing homes crowded three and four to a room, observed residents wandering hallways and saw very little therapy. This prompted member of an Illinois task force to turn away surprised and dismayed. It was especially true when it came to homes that housed the mentally ill. The Illinois task force was formed in response to a series of assaults in nursing homes. Under federal law, nursing homes are barred from admitting a mentally ill patient unless the state has determined the person needs the high level of care a nursing home can provide. The nursing homes should not admit mentally ill patients if their primary diagnosis is mental illness, however many admit residents with other diagnoses and health complications. In some instances, older nursing home residents have been assaulted by younger, stronger mentally ill patients. These instances of nursing home abuse have led to nursing home reports examining how violent convicted felons living in nursing homes put frail elderly residents at risk. To read more about the Illinois nursing home report, please click the link.