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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:

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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

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.

nursing homes understaffed for covid-19

Warnings Emerge After COVID-19 Outbreak Caused by New Variant of Virus is Detected in Kentucky Nursing Home

The public has been informed of several new variants of the coronavirus for some time, including some of the more known viruses circulating, such as the UK variant, the Brazil variant, or the South Africa variant. But on Mar. 16, 2021, a recent outbreak of COVID-19 involving 41 cases at a nursing home in Eastern Kentucky could be what health officials say was triggered by an entirely new strain. The outbreak involved 14 staff and 27 residents, with several testing positive for the new variant. Health officials in Kentucky say those nursing home residents and staff who have contracted the virus and have been fully vaccinated have not gotten seriously ill and have significantly reduced symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says viruses constantly change through mutation, and “new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear.” At other times, new variants emerge and persist and can be just as dangerous as the initial strain.

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COVID-19 Vaccines Are Showing Improvement in Illinois Nursing Home Infections

Finally, as more and more vaccines are being distributed by CVS Health and Walgreens and now received by Illinois’ most vulnerable residents against the coronavirus, the majority of the state’s 1,800 long-term care sites have now completed their first round of shots. The CDC reported on a sample of 11,460 skilled-nursing sites that while 77.8% of residents had received a dose, only 37.5% of employees received their first dose. The low number could prove to be problematic and related to inadequate worker training and education.

Nursing home residents, rehabilitation patients, and those dependents on assisted living services account for nearly half of the state’s COVID-19 deaths. The Illinois Department of Public Health recorded only 861 new cases and 85 fatalities among residents during the week ending Friday, Feb. 18. That was the lowest weekly death tally for Illinois long-term care facilities since October.

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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 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:

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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.

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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.

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