Articles Tagged with nursing home news

nurse to patient ratio
On Feb. 27, 2019, registered nurses in Illinois, with support of National Nurses United, began lobbying lawmakers in support of a mandated minimum nurse-to-patient ratio. Currently, California is the only state with mandatory nurse staffing ratios established for acute care, acute psychiatric and specialty hospitals. The Illinois proposal would mimic California’s design but also mandate minimum staffing standards in long term acute-care hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. Although this is not new news for Illinois nurses and their 15-year fight for better staffing ratios, the union continues to rally for the mandate citing that patient health is compromised because too few nurses must care for too many patients.

“Mandatory minimum nurse-to-patient ratios save lives,” said Talisa Harden, a registered nurse at the University of Chicago Medicine in a union published news release. “As nurses, we’ve always known it, and now there is a robust body of peer-reviewed literature that proves it. Illinois patients deserve safe and therapeutic care no matter where they are admitted. This bill will make all Illinois patients safer.”

Nursing Homes May Be Deceptive in Staff-to-Patient Ratio Reporting

nursing home opioids
Congressional Committee Leader Targets Centers for Medicare & Medicaid For Slow Changes of Antipsychotic Drug Use in Nursing Homes

Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) is the author of a January 22, 2019 letter sent to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) administrator, Seema Verma. In the letter, the congressional committee leader overseeing Medicare says he wants to see a closer look at how nursing homes are really using antipsychotics and is also asking for greater detail on how skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and Medicare plans alike are actively changing the way the drugs are being used.  Although antipsychotic drug overuse, theft, and abuse in nursing homes have been long-time issues in the U.S., CMS’s 2019 trend update on the problem shows nursing homes are making progress in decreasing antipsychotic prescribing.

“CMS is tracking the progress of the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes by reviewing publicly reported measures. The official measure of the Partnership is the percentage of long-stay nursing home residents who receive antipsychotic medication, excluding residents diagnosed with schizophrenia, Huntington’s disease, or Tourette’s syndrome. In the fourth quarter of 2011, 23.9 percent of residents received an antipsychotic medication; since then there has been a decrease of 38.9 percent to a national prevalence of 14.6 percent in the second quarter of 2018. Success varies by state and CMS region; some states and regions have a reduction greater than 40 percent.”

nursing home abuse webinar

Levin & Perconti Partners to Present Strafford Live Webinar on Deposing Nursing Home Employees and Owners in Neglect and Abuse Cases

Founder and Senior Partner of Levin & Perconti, Steve Levin, partner Mike Bonamarte and firm associate, Daisy Ayllon, have all been invited to present the upcoming Strafford live webinar, “Deposing Nursing Home Employees and Owners in Neglect and Abuse Cases,” scheduled for Tuesday, April 9, 1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 12:00pm-1:30pm CST. Strafford provides attorneys with the information and training they need to advance their career and remain at the top of their fields.

Webinar participants will be taught the specific techniques behind building successful depositions. Levin & Perconti panelists will discuss best practices for:

nursing home ombudsman program

Illinois Ombudsmen May Be a Neglected Nursing Home Resident’s Only Lifeline

When a resident does not have family or friends who can visit them on a regular basis, Regional Ombudsmen or Ombudsman Volunteers may be the only persons available to help identify a problem, report care concerns, and act as a voice for those who have been neglected, forgotten, or abused. The individuals working through the Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program are also crucial in protecting the rights of residents who are disabled and may have a hard time advocating for themselves. Ombudsmen oversee assigned regions across the state and stay focused on these six main goals.

  1. Advocating to improve the quality of care and quality of life for residents of long-term care facilities in Illinois.

nursing home abuse and neglect

Leaders Say Rural Nursing Homes Face Accelerating Problems

At the close of 2018, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) reported that the fastest growing older population group in the state is age 85 and older. DCEO also projected the 85+ age group will total 402,311 people, an increase of 109 percent, by 2030. And for the geriatric population living in the state’s 62 non-metropolitan and rural counties, current growing health care challenges will create much larger eruptions of a sicker and more underserved group of older adults left to rely on limited health care services, nursing homes included.

The issue starts with an already health disparate elderly population living in rural Illinois areas who will remain dependent on small hospitals that may not provide vital geriatric services, proper diagnosis and treatment plans. Small communities that offer fewer aging support facilities such as long-term care housing, nursing homes, and assisted living centers will also contribute to the struggle as well as minimal access to quality trained, well-paid nursing home care staff. Our Illinois nursing home neglect lawyers continue to work on many cases where understaffing and poorly paid staff created an easy environment for residents to become neglected, abused or mistreated, especially in rural communities.

nursing home drug dangers

Elder Justice Coalition Links Nursing Home Abuse and Opioid Abuse

With an opioid epidemic in our country that is beyond alerting, it remains evident that the 2017 guidelines The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) set forth for managing chronic pain with caution against opioid use are not being followed. The CDC continues to warn that the benefits for improving pain and function through dangerous opioids must outweigh the risks when prescribing and administering the drugs. One group of Americans persistently impacted by the mismanagement of opioids is the nursing home population.

The nonpartisan Elder Justice Coalition (EJC) recently met with the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Health and Senior Advisor for Opioid Policy, Admiral Brett Giroir in response to the opioid crisis. Assistant Secretary for Aging and Administrator of the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Lance Robertson and leadership of the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) were also present. EJC National Coordinator Bob Blancato released this statement recapping the meeting in a January 23, 2019 EJC press release.

violator report

Final Illinois Nursing Home Violator Report Released for 2018

On January 24, 2019, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) released the final Quarterly Report of Nursing Home Violators for 2018. This most recent report dating October 2018 thru December 2018 highlights 28 Illinois facilities cited for the most serious type “A” 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. According to IDPH, an “A” violation pertains to a condition “in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious mental or physical harm will result, or has resulted.”

Facilities with an “A” violation in quarter four of 2018 included:

Justice for Veterans Served: Illinois Legislators Raise Claim Cap to $2 Million, Retroactive for Quincy Legionnaires’ Victims’ Families

Triggered in 2014, the misdiagnoses and poorly managed care of residents with Legionnaires’ disease claimed the lives of 15 veterans living at the state-run VA facility in Quincy over a two-year span. Because of the tragedies, a handful of advocacy groups and Illinois lawmakers have been working to prevent deaths like this from occurring again while proposing ways to seek justified claims on behalf of those who were lost due to the state’s negligence.

vietnam veteran care

Vietnam Veteran’s Wrongful Death Awarded $7 Million Verdict

A Cook County Circuit Court jury recently awarded $7 million to the family of Patrick Stein, a two-tour Vietnam veteran, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), after nurses and paramedics failed to keep him safe in an ambulance transfer from St. James-Olympia Fields hospital to the Edward Hines Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital for psychiatric treatment. The 64-year-old Army veteran died in July 2014, after his PTSD confusion resettled and prompted him to exit an ambulance while it was traveling 30 to 35 miles per hours and sustain fatal injuries to his head and body. Prior to his transfer, his concerned family had brought him to the St. James-Olympia Fields emergency room after finding him outside his daughter’s home with a butcher knife clutched to his abdomen. Once Mr. Stein arrived at the hospital though, he did not remember the episode with the knife and continued to present dangerous confusion, prompting his fatal ambulance ride to the VA hospital. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that PTSD afflicts almost 31 percent of Vietnam veterans.

Levin & Perconti attorneys Michael Bonamarte, Margaret Battersby Black and Cari Silverman brought the suit on behalf of Mr. Stein’s family. The attorneys argued that Mr. Stein, given his medical history, should have been carefully monitored by medical staff to protect and prevent him from injuring himself during the transfer. Hospital nurses were also faulted for failing to relay information to the paramedics about his mental state. The clinical impressions of the medical staff at St. James indicated Mr. Stein to exhibit:

evacuation plan

Lawmakers in Outrage of Administration’s Relaxed Nursing Home Emergency Preparedness Proposed Requirements

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) is the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. He has been outspoken on many occasions regarding the outcome of nursing home preparedness in the event of an emergency such as a natural disaster. And with President Trump’s Administration’s recent announcement to ease a home’s necessary preparedness for emergencies, his concern came with outrage expressed in an official letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

“It is troubling to see CMS decide to further roll back its already inadequate safeguards with this proposed rule, which does more to cut corners than cut costs,” Wyden wrote. “The Trump administration’s proposal not only strips patients of commonsense protections in order to pad the pockets of medical providers, but goes against the recommendations of well-respected national organizations charged with developing best practices for workplace and consumer safety.”

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