Articles Posted in Nursing Home Abuse

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2021 Justice in Aging Guide Identifies 25 Ongoing Nursing Home Problems

State-licensed elder care and rehabilitation centers in Illinois may include assisted living facilities, and residential or personal care homes. Unfortunately, hundreds of investigations into these facilities continue to reveal these 25 repetitive problems noted by the Justice in Aging. The organization’s newly published 2021 list points to issues related to relaxed oversight and understaffing workforces, preventable resident injuries, painful and unnecessary evictions, Medicaid complications, dangerous patient abuse and neglect, and irreversible tragedies for families.

Problem #1: Providing Less Care to Medicaid-eligible Residents

nursing home covid-19 cases

Part 2: Illinois Nursing Homes with High COVID-19 Case Numbers

(Facilities M thru Z)

Not only are elderly groups at a high risk of being infected by — and dying from — the coronavirus, many people linked to nursing homes also die at a higher rate than the general population. At least 152,000 coronavirus deaths have been reported among residents and employees of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities for older adults in the United States since the pandemic began in February 2020. The virus has now infected more than 1,234,000 people at some 31,000 facilities nationwide. And the total number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infections among Illinois residents in all long-term care facilities, not just outbreaks, is 73,286 cases and 9,571 deaths.

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Part 1: Illinois Nursing Homes with High COVID-19 Case Numbers

(Facilities A thru L)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 40% of coronavirus deaths nationwide have occurred in long-term care facilities. And numbers show more than half of Illinois COVID-19 infections have occurred at nursing homes, while 43% of all COVID-19 deaths are tied to a long-term care facility. Using Illinois Department of Public Health data (Feb. 9, 2021), the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti have released the first part of a two-post series listing statewide long-term care facilities (beginning with A thru L). The list includes nursing homes and rehabilitation centers with a reported high number of cases connected to COVID-19 infections, outbreaks, and residents’ deaths since the pandemic began nearly one year ago.

nursing home stimulus payment theft

Nursing Homes Do Not Have a Right to Resident Stimulus Funds

Unfortunately, financial abuse is a common problem in nursing homes across the country, including right here in Illinois. And after thousands of reports to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), we now know that some nursing home facilities and long-term care homes are attempting to take pandemic stimulus payments intended for residents. Residents who rely on Medicaid remain easy and effortless targets even though these facilities have no right to claim residents’ stimulus checks.

The FTC said in a January 4, 2021 statement:

covid-19 death by negligence nursing home

Levin & Perconti Representing Bloomington Family After COVID-19-Related Nursing Home Death

In May 2020, Bloomington Rehabilitation and Health, located at 1925 South Main Street in Bloomington, was home to a COVID-19 outbreak that resulted in 59 confirmed cases among staff and residents and the death of 11 residents. Levin & Perconti is representing the family of one of those residents. Marlene Cowans-Hill, a 72-year-old woman from Bloomington, was a resident at the long-term care facility when the outbreak occurred.

Levin & Perconti lawyers filed the lawsuit against the facility’s parent company, Petersen Health Care, on November 20, 2020, alleging “gross negligence” related to Cowans-Hill’s lack of attention and care by staff and her untimely death. Her daughter, Anita Martin of Bloomington, is named as the plaintiff in the lawsuit. The 48-page lawsuit alleges the older woman suddenly became sick while living at the long-term care facility and tested positive for COVID-19 just days before she died.

questions about covid-19 vaccine

Common Questions and Answers About COVID-19 Vaccines for Illinois Nursing Home Families

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), consistent with federal agency standards, recommends residents of long-term care facilities be included among those offered the first supply of COVID-19 vaccines. As a result, the COVID-19 vaccine rollout for residents of long-term care facilities has been occurring in Phase 1A since the distribution began on December 28, 2020. The state has been using the federal government’s nursing home and long-term care vaccination program alongside Walgreens and CVS pharmacies in charge of administering the vaccine to residents.

The state health agency reports Phase 1A is still underway and about 41% of 850,000 health care workers and nursing home residents have received at least one inoculation and nearly 12% getting both doses so far.

medicaid fraud case

Former Chicago Nursing Home Executive Has Sentence Commuted After Found Guilty of Largest U.S. Medicare Fraud Scheme

Philip Esformes, who used to be a well-known Chicago-area nursing home mogul, also known as the King of Medicaid Fraud, was released from prison after President Donald Trump commuted his sentence on December 22, 2020. The Presidential commutation disturbingly lessened the former executive’s criminal sentence, without vacating the conviction itself. Esformes, 51, was arrested in 2016 for various acts of criminal conduct tied to a $1.3 billion Medicare and Medicaid fraud scheme found through a complex web of bank accounts and systemic payment of bribes. Ultimately, he was caught continuously cycling as many as 14,000 nursing home and assisted living residents in Chicago and Miami while collecting millions from government programs designed to support services he never provided. In 2019, Federal prosecutors sentenced Esformes to 20 years in prison.

“Esformes exploited and victimized patients by providing inadequate medical care and poor conditions in his nursing homes. We will continue the fight against such parasites.” -Shimon Richmond, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector Generals (Miami)

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Chicago-Area Nursing Home Workers Ask For New Contract and Agree To ‘Tentatively’ End Strike

Much like hospital staff, Illinois nursing home employees have been working under complicated circumstances as the coronavirus continues to spread. So, it comes with no surprise that after requests for a safer workplace had stalled since June, an estimated 700 care workers from Infinity Healthcare Management walked off the job in late November, prompting a 12-day strike. The employees, who have been facing extreme workplace challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the greater Chicago-area, say they deserve significant wage increases equal to other nursing homes. The workers asked for a $2 an hour bump in pay and COVID hazard pay for all employees working at a facility with positive residents without attendance requirements, and also a guarantee for tools and resources such as personal protection equipment (PPE).

The nursing home workers and SEIU Healthcare Illinois union leaders announced on Friday, December 4th, that they had reached a possible agreement with Infinity leaders. The new ‘tentative’ agreement, according to SEIU, calls for a new three-year contract which includes:

holiday visits at nursing homes

COVID-19 Surge Prompts Holiday Nursing Home Visit Plea From Health Officials

As the coronavirus pandemic has now met the busy holiday season, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued an unprecedented alert with recommendations for residents, their families and representatives, and nursing home staff to follow starting now and through the New Year’s holiday. The alert urges all groups to celebrate virtually and avoid in-person visits due to the surge in COVID-19 cases. Along with the CMS request and safe visiting reminders from The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, Levin & Perconti’s nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers in Chicago want to help families choose how best to include their loved ones in their 2020 holiday plans. And while we agree with CMS that family engagement and a resident’s right to leave the nursing home are choices up to each individual, everyone needs to work together to take extra precautions to help reduce the spread of COVID- 19, which can pose an elevated danger to Illinois’ nursing home residents.

Throughout the Holidays

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Chicago’s Long-Term Care Residents and Healthcare Workers in Line To Receive First Round of COVID-19 Vaccines

An emergency meeting led by the immunization advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, confirmed that long-term care residents and healthcare workers would be the first to access the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine. Once authorized by the federal government, an estimated 3 million residents and 21 million healthcare workers at long-term care facilities, including skilled nursing, assisted living, and other residential care facilities, will be eligible. The CDC is expected to provide further guidelines on how to distribute amongst the groups.

McKnight’s Long-Term Care News is reporting the groups will be treated as so:

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