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Articles Posted in Nursing Home Negligence

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U.S. Nursing Homes Must Do More to Recruit, Train, and Retain CNAs

Understaffed nursing home teams have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic, especially certified nursing assistants (CNAs) who consist as much as 40% of a nursing home’s workforce. These employees support the daily needs of residents and long-term care patients, such as dressing, bathing, food preparation and eating, rehabilitation, hygiene, keeping communication with family members, socialization, and ambulating.

When CNAs do not have support or are treated poorly, it ultimately puts nursing home residents in harm’s way. Among many other oversights, call lights will be missed, hygiene becomes unhealthy among residents, patient morale, safety, and mental health reach low levels, medication routines lapse or become too familiar, and rotating residents at risk for bed sores are quickly forgotten.

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Preventable Fall Injury Highlighted in Survey at Illinois Veterans Home

In Quincy, the Illinois Veterans Home recently reported a resident fall incident on March 15, 2021, to the Illinois Department of Health (IDPH). According to a follow-up survey led by the state on March 27, 2021, a resident (R1) was injured from a fall after the facility failed to keep his environment safe and a walkway free of clutter. The resident told surveyors he had tripped on a cord and hit his head after falling to the floor. The man was transferred via ambulance to a local hospital to treat a forehead laceration that required seven sutures and a brain injury diagnostic scan. The man was admitted to the hospital overnight for observation.

IDPH’s fall incident investigation documented this pattern of events:

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3 Illinois Nursing Homes Are Stuck on Government List for Ongoing Poor Quality Ratings and Care Citations

A recent effort sponsored by Pennsylvania senators Pat Toomey and his counterpart Bob Casey shows that the nation’s most troubled nursing homes require expanded support, specific to expanding the Special Focus Facility program and the list provided by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and state inspectors which publicly review ongoing nursing home care and identify quality issues.

According to CMS officials, the “Special Focus Facility” (SFF) program was created to identify nursing homes that are not meeting health care or fire safety standards and are continuously cited for deficiencies.

sexual abuse in nursing homes

April is Sexual Abuse Awareness Month: How to Report Sexual Assault in Nursing Homes

Any touching, fondling, or form of sexual activity when the person cannot understand, is unwilling to consent, threatened, or physically forced is considered sexual abuse. And according to the Administration for Community Living, on average, there are over 1,000 complaints of sexual abuse in nursing homes each year. However, that average does not include sexual abuse by other residents — which means the actual rate of sexual abuse in nursing homes is likely to be even higher. Also, state and federal surveyors who lead inspections count physical, financial, and sexual allegations in one category, so it may be challenging to know the actual abuse risk when investigating a nursing home using public records.

The following people commonly commit sexual abuse in nursing homes:

violation of patient discharge laws

The Nation’s Largest Senior Living Operator Sued for Wrongfully Discharging Patients

California’s attorney general, Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, and local officials are suing ten of Brookdale Senior Living Inc.’s California-based skilled nursing facilities. The suit alleges that the nation’s largest senior living home operator had misled consumers on quality ratings and broke laws intended to protect patients when they are discharged from a facility if their Medicare coverage ended. The company is also said to have failed in giving the 30-day notice of transfers or discharges as required for all U.S. skilled nursing facilities.

“Brookdale does this so it can fill its beds with residents who will bring in more money,” the lawsuit files read. It says the company will discharge patients “regardless of the care and treatment needs,” and that the company also failed to prepare patients to be released or transferred adequately, gave false information to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid that it uses to award quality ratings, and over-reported its nursing staffing hours to the feds.

safety book on covid-19

Medical Malpractice Briefing Includes Facts on U.S. Nursing Home Industry’s Failed Response To COVID

The 2021 update to the briefing book Medical Malpractice: By The Numbers, published by the Center for Justice & Democracy (CJ&D) at New York Law School, has been released and includes the latest statistics and research on issues related to medical malpractice, including long-term care wrongdoing. The 141-page volume includes over 400 linked footnotes and sources. It also discusses how laws could make it harder for patients and their families to place accountability on health care providers and nursing home owners in the case of medical negligence.

Medical Malpractice as it Relates to Long Term Care Providers

burden of nursing home assistants

COVID-19 Proved Just How Unsupported Nursing Assistants Are at U.S. Long-Term Care Facilities

According to the National Direct Care Workforce Resource Center,

more than 600,000 nursing assistants provide personal care, assistance with daily activities, and clinical support for 1.4 million nursing home residents nationwide. In a revealing editorial by the Co-Founder & CEO of the National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA), Lori Porter says the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic has been the darkest time for these workers, resulting in failures in care and protection against injuries, illness, and infectious diseases.

the american rescue plan nursing homes

Justice in Aging: How The American Rescue Plan Helps Older Adults

More than 45% of Americans over 65 have trouble meeting their basic needs. As a new administration works to provide COVID-19 relief to older adults, many of who are reliant on Medicaid funding for their health care, including long-term care, a fifth COVID-19 relief package, the American Rescue Plan (H.R. 1319), was signed into law totaling $1.9 trillion on Mar. 11, 2021.

The law is expected to significantly improve health care access and increase economic security for older adults due to the pandemic. Medicaid is the funder for most long-term care in the United States, whether at home or in an institution. An analysis provided by Justice in Aging, an organization committed to fighting senior poverty through the law, outlines the significant provisions impacting older adults, including Illinois nursing home residents and long-term care patients.

vaccination for covid-19 in nursing homes

Older Adults in Illinois Long-Term Care Settings Should Be Vaccinated with Sense of Urgency

It’s been nearly three months since COVID-19 vaccines have been made available for Illinois nursing home residents and staff, making them a priority in the long line of vaccine recipients across the state. Officials from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) say approximately 414,900 doses total have been allocated to the federal government’s Pharmacy Partnership Program for Illinois long-term care facilities. A total of 361,971 vaccines have been administered to residents and staff as of Mar. 21, 2021.

Unfortunately, Chicago’s WGN9 reports that Illinois’ largest skilled nursing facility, City View Multicare Center, located at 5825 West Cermak Road in Cicero, has not made it a priority to have residents and staff vaccinated. Employees of the facility, and SEIU Healthcare, one of the fastest-growing union of nursing home workers in the Midwest, says management failed to enroll in the federal program designed to partner skilled nursing facilities like City View with major pharmacies to vaccinate residents and staff to reduce the number of coronavirus cases and outbreaks.

acquisition of private nursing home

University of Chicago Researchers Say Privately Invested Nursing Homes Have Increased Death Rates Among Residents

Researchers at the University of Chicago, Penn, and NYU have been busy studying Medicare data covering more than 18,000 nursing home facilities nationwide. Their review includes about 1,700 facilities that were bought through private equity from 2000 to 2017. Total private equity investment in U.S. nursing homes went from $5 billion in 2000 to more than $100 billion in 2018.

The findings, published in a new working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research, showed that when private equity firms acquire nursing homes, about 1,000 more resident deaths occur every year, bringing the risk of patient mortality to 10% more than the overall average.

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