Articles Posted in Nursing Home Negligence

Are Illinois Nursing Homes Prepared to Prevent Coronavirus from Spreading?

Sicknesses can quickly spread when people are in closer proximity because viruses loom in the air and on surfaces that are touched and shared. Nursing home residents are often enclosed within shared spaces for eating, socializing and living, making the facilities home to several highly contagious viruses. As U.S. cases of the Wuhan Coronavirus continue to rise, including an elderly couple from Chicago, Illinois, nursing homes should be well-informed and prepared to handle a potential case of an infectious disease outbreak related to the sometimes-deadly respiratory illness.

As of February 5, 2020, the facts about Coronavirus according to news sources and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include:

More Than 100 Illinois Nursing Homes Named in Final Violators Report of 2019

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has released its final and Fourth Quarter Report of Nursing Home Violators for 2019 highlighting nursing homes that failed to comply with mandatory state regulations. This report dates October 2019 through December 2019. It highlights 111 Illinois facilities, an increase from 71 in the third quarter. The facilities were cited for various violations of the Nursing Home Care Act, a statute that provides nursing home residents and their families with the assurance that proper and safe care will be received.

Illinois facilities with violations in quarter four of 2019 include:

Troubled Rosewood Facilities Bought Up by For-Profit Lender

Greystone is the New York-based real estate, investment, and consulting firm set to take ownership over a chain of troubled Chicago-area elder care facilities currently branded under the name of Rosewood. The federal government has been in charge of Rosewood nursing homes after the previous owners defaulted on $146 million in mortgage loans, the largest default in the history of the government mortgage insurance program that provides financial support to 15 percent of the nation’s nursing homes. The previous owners, including Chicago-area rabbi, Zvi Feiner, were found guilty of improperly diverting millions of dollars in federally insured funds to other businesses and ultimately driving Rosewood into a financial crisis.

In December 2019, Greystone filed its licensing agreement with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The group is a major lender to the nursing home industry with a $34 billion loan portfolio, making it the number-one HUD borrower in the country. Greystone also runs a group of nursing homes in Florida under the name Greystone Healthcare Management. Greystone will own and operate the facilities through a series of limited liability companies. A rebranding of the Rosewood home names is expected.

5 Ways to Prevent the Flu from Spreading in Illinois Nursing Homes

An estimated 80,000 people across the U.S. died of flu-related illnesses during the 2017-18 flu season, according to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And with the flu season well on its way to another deadly peak, reports of the very young and the very old being hit the worst are starting to emerge. Many of the elderly flu victims, those ages 65 years and older, are at greater risk for developing serious complications and are also residents of nursing home and long-term care communities. With flu activity expected to rise in the weeks and months ahead, be sure your loved one’s nursing home is prepared.

  1. Hand Washing and Hygiene: Health care facilities should provide frequent staff training on infection prevention techniques and management, including hand washing, equipment sterilization, identifying sick patients for isolation, and the quick identification of flu symptoms and treatment methods. Good hand hygiene should especially be practiced before and after all patient contact, contact with potentially infectious material, and before putting on and upon removal of personal protective equipment, including gloves. Residents and guests should be encouraged to perform hand hygiene.

Influenza Outbreak

Flu season and seasonal outbreak of influenza and cold virus infection as a medical health care concept with a calendar background and three dimensional human disease cells.

Severe and Fatal Illnesses Caused by Influenza Outbreaks in Nursing Homes

Each year, the flu continues to be one of the deadliest illnesses in the United States, with the elderly affected most severely. More than 7.3 million flu cases in adults aged 65 years and older were tracked in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Many of these patients were also residents of nursing homes and care facilities responsible for following an influenza vaccine plan before the season begins in September and administering the vaccines throughout flu activity. Unfortunately, many nursing homes and long-term care facilities are not necessarily prepared for the program designed to also prevent a deadly flu outbreak among residents and staff.

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New Report Suggests Nursing Home Providers Should Help Reduce Choking Hazards Present with Popular Dietary Supplements 

A new Federal Drug Administration (FDA) report published in the August issue of Annals of Internal Medicine says adults aged 65 years and older are more likely to choke on dietary supplements than are younger adults. The group most impacted by the hazard includes those living in nursing homes or assisted living centers. The research shows multivitamins and calcium tablets, and pills larger than 17 mm in length, can create the highest related adverse choking injuries to elderly residents.

Because there is no oversight for the sizing of dietary supplements, the FDA report continued to suggest that eldercare providers help “residents avoid taking several pills at once, avoid extra-large pills or capsules, and swallow supplements with plenty of water or other fluid.”

medicaid nursing home patients

Hole torn in a dollar bill with medicaid text

Nursing Home Residents on Medicaid Suffer Most 

Most whose financial situation would be characterized as low income and need to remain in a nursing home for longer than expected, Medicaid will quickly become the primary payer for their long-term care. Designed as a public assistance program for individuals with limited financial support, Medicaid funds a person’s physician visits, hospital, and long-term care, drugs, medical equipment and transportation, and other medical services.

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.

understaffing legislation

Slammed with a New Law and Bigger Fines, Will Illinois’ Nursing Homes Finally Start Providing Enough Care for Residents?

In June 2019, Illinois lawmakers, sparked by a bill sponsored by state Sen. Jacqueline Collins, D-Chicago, passed legislation in support of increasing fines and penalties for nursing homes who are not meeting minimum standards for staffing and also provided $240 million to fill a $649 million projected funding gap between the state and federal government. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services will receive $70 million of the newly budgeted state dollars to build-up nurse staffing. The bill also demands better communication between family members of loved ones who reside in nursing homes so they can be informed of staffing challenges that may interrupt or delay the level of care expected.

Several groups and elder organizations supported, endorsed, and pushed the legislation including:

nursing home neglect attorneys

New Study Shows Majority of Nation’s Nursing Homes Fail to Meet RN Staffing Requirements

Harvard and Vanderbilt medical schools recently put researchers to the task of examining payroll records from over 15,000 U.S. nursing homes, revealing the staggering truth about registered nurse (RN) staffing. Three-fourths of the nation’s nursing homes never meet federal staffing expectations for registered nurse staffing, and RNs are missing from such facilities on the weekends.

Health Affairs published the study in its July issue in which co-author David Grabowski, a professor in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard, said that the conclusions based on a year’s worth of newly logged payroll data, could present much more significant issues in elder care today and well into the future.

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