Articles Posted in Uncategorized

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“They get into trouble, they fix things up just enough to get back into compliance and then they let things slip again. This cycle just goes on for years. Meanwhile, there are people living in these places.”

-Toby Edelman, senior policy attorney for the Center for Medicare Advocacy to the Lexington Herald-Leader

A tragic story out of a northern Kentucky nursing and rehabilitation center has reignited a topic that we know causes a great deal of confusion and frustration for the loved ones of nursing home residents. How does one find out who the owners of a nursing home actually are and what their history of patient care is? The details of the wrongful death case of 45-year-old Bobby Crail help highlight the ability of nursing homes to repeatedly get away with maltreatment and even skirt financial and legal responsibility. It also highlights why if your loved one has been mistreated, abused, or neglected in a nursing home, you need an attorney who has both the experience and tenacity to successfully stand up to major corporations capable of these horrific behaviors.

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A Special Focus Facility (SFF) is being sued by the family of Delores Green, an 84-year-old woman suffering from dementia, for allegedly failing to prevent her from being ‘repeatedly’ raped and sodomized.

The victim’s daughter, Vivian Colette Green, is suing Christian Care Home in Ferguson, Missouri for the alleged rapes after discovering her mother injuries just last month. A resident of the facility for nearly 8 years, the victim is unable to communicate, unable to walk, relies on a feeding tube, and is a diabetic. She was unable to tell her daughter what had taken place, but Vivian Green said she quickly realized that her mother had suffered sexual trauma due to the bruises and swelling on her body.

Upon discovering the injuries, Ms. Green immediately questioned staff at Christian Care Home but after feeling ignored and realizing the injuries were getting worse, she called the police. An emergency room physician conducted a rape examination, which includes a physical exam as well as a rape kit, and said her injuries were consistent with recent multiple rapes that had taken place over the course of several weeks. An investigation has identified a suspect, a fellow resident within Christian Care Home, but that suspect has not officially been named by police.

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Levin & Perconti has filed a lawsuit against Pleasant View Luther Home, a nursing home in Ottawa, IL, on behalf of the family of Edmund Wasilewski, a former resident who was injured after allegedly falling at the facility during the week of September 22, 2017.

As a result of the fall, Mr. Wasilewski suffered hemopneumothorax, a condition comprised of two separate chest injuries: hemothorax or blood in the chest cavity, combined with pneumothorax, or air in the chest cavity. Hemopneumothorax essentially causes the lungs to separate from the ribs, cutting off a patient’s ability to breathe and is caused by chest trauma.

Mr. Wasilewski died 5 days after his fall.

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Levin & Perconti has filed a lawsuit against Alden Lakeland Rehabilitation and Health Care Center on behalf of Michael Leonard, a former resident who was injured after allegedly falling on two separate occasions in 2016. Alden Lakeland transferred Mr. Leonard to Presence St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital where doctors discovered a subdural hematoma, nasal bone fractures, facial contusions and abrasions, loose front teeth, altered mental status, and dehydration.

The lawsuit alleges that Alden Lakeland failed in their promise to maintain and adhere to a care plan that would enable Mr. Leonard to improve his health at the facility, ultimately allowing a healthy and timely return home. Mr. Leonard and his attorney-in-fact, Patricia Cagney, are being represented by Levin & Perconti Partner Margaret Battersby-Black.

About Alden Lakeland and The Alden Network

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The elderly are particularly vulnerable to readmission after an initial hospital stay. A 2015 study by the American Hospital Association found that nearly 18% of all hospital patients are readmitted within 30 days and that most of those patients were elderly. In fact, 1 in every 5 nursing home residents who stay in the hospital are admitted again within 30 days. For the hospitals themselves, readmissions can be costly. The Affordable Care Act now penalizes hospitals who have high readmission rates. For the elderly, readmission can mean further health issues, depression, and even death.

Readmissions for Conditions Resulting from Time in the Hospital

While hospitals provide necessary and life saving care that other health care facilities and providers are unable to, hospital stays can also wreak havoc on a person’s normal daily routine, their hygiene and eating habits, their overall physical and mental health, as well as their physical strength.  Yale cardiologist Dr. Harlan Krumholz analyzed national readmission data and found that most patients returned to the hospital for a medical issue completely separate from the condition for which they were first admitted. He told the New York Times in August that it is his belief that elderly patients are in essence traumatized after a hospital stay, attributed to odd sleeping and wake schedules to accommodate hospital staff’s schedule for testing (blood pressure checks, blood draws, etc), diminished strength from spending all day in a bed, and from consuming different food and new medications. Dr. Krumholz calls the condition “post-hospital syndrome.”

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The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations has announced they will hold a hearing tomorrow, Thursday, September 6th, to address the abysmal care and recent reports of abuse and neglect in U.S. nursing homes. The hearing will take place at 10:15 am ET (9:15 CT) and can be watched through a live stream available here.

The hearing, officially called “Examining Federal Efforts to Ensure Quality of Care and Resident Safety in Nursing Homes,” is set to hear testimony from 3 witnesses:

  • Dr. Katie Goodrich, Chief Medical Officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
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According to Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), there are nearly 3 million Americans over age 50 that identify as LGBT. By the year 2030, that number is expected to double. The prospect of leaving one’s home to move into an assisted living facility or nursing home is daunting for anyone, but for LGBT elders, aging and potential relocation bring about unique hurdles.

Some of the challenges LGBT Seniors face are:

  • The majority of care provided to America’s elders is handled by a family member. Many LGBT seniors are not in a relationship, do not have children, or have strained familial relationships.
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Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, the ranking leader of the Senate Finance Committee, is still awaiting a response to an August 14th letter he sent the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) demanding answers on how nursing homes would be held accountable for inadequate staffing and for lying about staffing levels. Noting concerns following a July New York Times article that reviewed staffing data discrepancies between the old and new systems, Sen. Wyden gave CMS head Seema Verma until last Friday to answer 5 specific questions. She has yet to respond.

Specifically, Senator Wyden has asked Ms. Verma to provide the following information:

  1. An answer to what CMS is doing to ensure that skilled nursing facilities are submitting correct hours.
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Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC), an organization committed to providing resources and information to promote healthy aging, has released their searchable data files on staffing hours for nursing homes and rehabilitation centers across the country for the first quarter of 2018.

The lists are divided by state, and the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys of Chicago’s Levin & Perconti have reviewed the data for Illinois to find out the best and worst staffed facilities in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, and Will Counties. Staffing, as most elder advocates know, is considered one of the largest contributing factors to nursing home abuse and neglect.

According to Nursing Home Compare, the ratings website run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS):

Illinois Average National Average
RN Per Resident/Day 47 minutes 40 minutes
Total Licensed Nurse Per Resident/Day (LPN/LVN + RN time) 1h 25 minutes 1h 33 minutes
Nurse Aide (CNA) Per Resident/Day 2h 2 minutes 2h 18 minutes

The data compiled by CMS and LTCCC shows that the best Illinois nursing homes and rehab facilities are beating the state and national averages for RN time per resident/per day, but that the worst are falling so far short that one Cook County nursing home averaged ZERO hours per resident a day.

Levin and Perconti also found that every nursing home that rated the worst in terms of staff hours per resident/day were for profit facilities. Our blog has extensively covered the driving force behind minimal staffing. It nearly always comes down to money.

Our findings are separated by county, as well as by role, examining the best and worst facilities in terms of RN time per resident/day, as well as total direct care staffing per resident/day. In their data compilations, LTCCC defines direct care roles as RNs, LPNs, and CNAs.


Average RN Staffing Hours Per Resident/Per Day By County

  • Cook County: Top 10 in RN hours are hospitals. There is a tie for nursing facilities.
    • Best – Alden Estates of Skokie (25 residents, for profit) and Terraces at the Clare (Chicago, 46 residents, for profit) both average 1.7 hours per resident/day.
    • Worst – Southview Manor Nursing Center (Chicago)
      • For profit
      • 183 residents
      • 0 hrs per resident/day
  • DuPage County:
    • Best – Marianjoy Rehab Hospital (Wheaton)
      • Non profit
      • 26 residents
      • 2.4 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – West Chicago Terrace (West Chicago)
      • For profit
      • 107 residents
      • .2 hours per resident/day
  • Kane County:
    • Best – Greenfields of Geneva
      • Non profit
      • 41 residents
      • 1.8 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – North Aurora Care Center
      • For profit
      • 105 residents
      • .1 hours per resident/day
  • Lake County:
    • Best – Lake Forest Place (Lake Forest)
      • Non profit
      • 50 residents
      • 1.9 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – The Grove at The Lake (Zion)
      • For profit
      • 170 residents
      • .3 hours per resident/day
  • Will County:
    • Best – Alden Courts of Shorewood
      •  For profit
      • 35 residents
      • 2.3 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – Aperion Care Wilmington
      • For profit
      • 158 residents
      • .1 hours per resident/per day


Average Total Direct Care Staffing Hours Per Resident/Per Day By County (RN, LPN, CNA)

  • Cook County:
    • Best – Rush Oak Park Hospital’s Skilled Nursing Unit
      • Non profit
      • 16 patients
      • 6.6 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – Parkshore Estates Nursing & Rehab (Chicago)
      • For profit
      • 228 residents
      • 1.4 hours per resident/day
  • DuPage County:
    • Best – Franciscan Village (Lemont)
      • Non profit
      • 58 residents
      • 7.1 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – Wynscape Health & Rehab (Wheaton)
      • For profit
      • 120 residents
      • 1.3 hours per resident/day
  • Kane County:
    • Best – Alden Courts of Waterford (Aurora)
      • For profit
      • 17 residents
      • 7.0 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – River View Rehab Center (Elgin)
      • For profit
      • 175 residents
      • 1.8 hours per resident/day
  • Lake County:
    • Best – Radford Green (Lincolnshire)
      • For profit
      • 75 residents
      • 1.5 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – Claridge Healthcare Center (Lake Bluff)
      • For profit
      • 102 residents
      • 2.1 hours per resident/day
  • Will County:
    • Best – Victorian Village Health & Wellness Center (Homer Glen)
      • Non profit
      • 45 residents
      • 5.9 hours per resident/day
    • Worst – Joliet Terrace Nursing Center
      • For Profit
      • 113 residents
      • 1.4 hours per resident/day

 

Let Levin & Perconti Help You
Levin & Perconti is one of the nation’s most recognized and respected leaders in the areas of elder abuse and nursing home negligence. We have successfully litigated and settled abuse and neglect cases throughout the city of Chicago, surrounding suburbs, and the entire state of Illinois.

If you suspect neglect or abuse of a loved one in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility, please contact us now for a FREE consultation with one of our attorneys. Call us toll free at 1-877-374-1417, in Chicago at (312) 332-2872, or complete our online case evaluation form.

 

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Newly released nursing home staffing data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proves that nursing homes have been “staffing up” for years in order to gain better ratings. In April, CMS began requiring nursing homes to submit daily payroll reports, versus the previous system in which nursing homes submitted staffing data for the two week period prior to an inspection. The problem with this method was that most nursing homes were aware that an inspection was coming and planned accordingly.

Using the new system of daily payroll submissions, the most recent quarterly report (April – June) shows that 1 in 11 nursing homes lost a star due to their poor staffing numbers. After data was added to Nursing Home Compare, the CMS website that rates nursing homes, Kaiser Health News reviewed the findings and found that 9% of all nursing homes received one star, the lowest possible rating for staffing.

To receive just one star, a nursing home must have had an abnormally “high number of days” without an RN on site during that quarter.