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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:

covid-19 death by negligence nursing home

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.

questions about covid-19 vaccine

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.

medicaid fraud case

Former Chicago Nursing Home Executive Has Sentence Commuted After Found Guilty of Largest U.S. Medicare Fraud Scheme

Philip Esformes, who used to be a well-known Chicago-area nursing home mogul, also known as the King of Medicaid Fraud, was released from prison after President Donald Trump commuted his sentence on December 22, 2020. The Presidential commutation disturbingly lessened the former executive’s criminal sentence, without vacating the conviction itself. Esformes, 51, was arrested in 2016 for various acts of criminal conduct tied to a $1.3 billion Medicare and Medicaid fraud scheme found through a complex web of bank accounts and systemic payment of bribes. Ultimately, he was caught continuously cycling as many as 14,000 nursing home and assisted living residents in Chicago and Miami while collecting millions from government programs designed to support services he never provided. In 2019, Federal prosecutors sentenced Esformes to 20 years in prison.

“Esformes exploited and victimized patients by providing inadequate medical care and poor conditions in his nursing homes. We will continue the fight against such parasites.” -Shimon Richmond, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector Generals (Miami)

holiday visits at nursing homes

COVID-19 Surge Prompts Holiday Nursing Home Visit Plea From Health Officials

As the coronavirus pandemic has now met the busy holiday season, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued an unprecedented alert with recommendations for residents, their families and representatives, and nursing home staff to follow starting now and through the New Year’s holiday. The alert urges all groups to celebrate virtually and avoid in-person visits due to the surge in COVID-19 cases. Along with the CMS request and safe visiting reminders from The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, Levin & Perconti’s nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers in Chicago want to help families choose how best to include their loved ones in their 2020 holiday plans. And while we agree with CMS that family engagement and a resident’s right to leave the nursing home are choices up to each individual, everyone needs to work together to take extra precautions to help reduce the spread of COVID- 19, which can pose an elevated danger to Illinois’ nursing home residents.

Throughout the Holidays

vaccine for covid-19 patients on way

Chicago’s Long-Term Care Residents and Healthcare Workers in Line To Receive First Round of COVID-19 Vaccines

An emergency meeting led by the immunization advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, confirmed that long-term care residents and healthcare workers would be the first to access the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine. Once authorized by the federal government, an estimated 3 million residents and 21 million healthcare workers at long-term care facilities, including skilled nursing, assisted living, and other residential care facilities, will be eligible. The CDC is expected to provide further guidelines on how to distribute amongst the groups.

McKnight’s Long-Term Care News is reporting the groups will be treated as so:

nursing home staff must wash hands

7 Hand Hygiene Truths to Keep Your Loved One’s Nursing Home Accountable

Hand hygiene for infection prevention is an essential part of the U.S. response to the preventing further spread of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities. Nursing home staff should especially adhere to the standard and transmission-based precautions when caring for their patients. Here is a closer look at seven truths provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to explain how properly cleaned hands of health care workers can protect our most vulnerable populations.

  1. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is more effective and less drying than using soap and water. Compared to soap and water, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are better at reducing bacterial counts on hands and are effective against multidrug-resistant organisms (e.g., MRSA). Additionally, alcohol-based hand sanitizers cause less skin irritation than frequent use of soap and water.

nursing home death by neglect covid-19

Associated Press: “Residents are suffering and dying from neglect.”

The nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin and Perconti support a statement provided by The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care in response to a November 19, 2020, Associated Press report, Not just COVID: Nursing home neglect deaths surge in shadows. The article only confirmed what advocates for residents of long-term care facilities, care workers, and families have known for months: residents are suffering and dying from neglect.

According to the AP:

illinois nursing home attorneys recognized

Levin & Perconti 2020: Recovering 74+ Million for Clients

Last year, the attorneys at Levin & Perconti obtained more than $74 million in total settlements for their clients, placing the firm among the top 5 in the state, as ranked by Jury Verdict Reporter in its 2020 Settlement Report.

“We are deeply proud to be recognized for our success in securing top-dollar settlements for our clients,” said Levin & Perconti partner Steven Levin. “This is how we hold accountable those who cause injury and suffering to others.”

mclean nursing home covid-19

McLean County Nursing Homes Face New Wave of COVID Infections

Community spread of the coronavirus is the biggest threat to long-term care facilities. And now, news of a third wave of COVID-19 infections is again concerning communities with elder care facilities such as nursing homes, group homes, and skilled nursing communities. In McLean County, 9 of those facilities are experiencing cases on an upward trend, including three outbreaks, with the largest at a large assisted living facility in Bloomington. At the Bickford House, located at 14 Heartland Drive, there are 36 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and two reported deaths.

Elder care facilities in McLean County that have had cases within the last 28 days include:

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