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calling 911 on covid-19

Nursing Home Staff and Residents With COVID-19 Are Dialing 911 For Help

Reports from WGLT NPR show a COVID-19 outbreak at Bloomington Rehabilitation and Health Care Center had staff and nursing home residents calling 911 on numerous occasions, requesting for urgent help and resident transfers. The home is located at 925 S. Main St. in Bloomington. Illinois Department of Health coronavirus tracking reports show the facility is home to McLean County’s most significant COVID-19 outbreak to date. And the irony? Bloomington Rehabilitation and Health Care Center struggled to provide quality care and adequate staffing even before the virus hit, according to recent government inspections.

Medicare surveyor reports on the Nursing Home Compare website and IDPH inspection records show:

covid-19 ludeman development center

Ludeman Developmental Center releases COVID-19 statistics showing 313 COVID infections and 10 deaths. Levin & Perconti, Illinois nursing home lawyers launch investigation into gross negligence in preventing the spread of COVID-19

On May 29, 2020, Ludeman Developmental Center, located in Park Forest, Illinois, released long term care outbreak data reporting of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 outbreak cases.  These statics confirm that 313 infections and 10 deaths have occurred at the facility during the COVID-19 outbreak.

On May 8, 2020, CBS Chicago detailed the COVID-19 outbreaks occurring at Ludeman Developmental Center, providing that the number of infections at the facility had doubled in just the last three weeks. At the time the article was written, of the 1,200 residents and staff on campus, 266 had tested positive for COVID-19, more than double the number of infections on April 20. Additionally, more than 56% of the resident had at one point tested positive along with 7% of the staff. The article further mentions the outbreak was so severe at the facility that at one point the National Guard was called in to give temperature checks and administer questionnaires to visitors. On May 10, 2020, the Chicago Tribune featured an article detailing the COVID-19 outbreak at Ludeman Developmental Center, providing much of the same facts and data as the CBS article along with issues regarding staff at the facility not having the proper protective equipment at times during the pandemic.

nursing homes were unprepared for coronavirus

Understanding Why Nursing Homes Were Unprepared For The COVID Crisis

As we know, nursing home residents are part of an extremely vulnerable population to infectious disease, coronavirus included. They reside in relatively tight living quarters and share communal spaces for exercising, visiting with family and friends, daily activities, and meals. Most are also elderly or sick and have underlying conditions that put them at higher risk for contracting an illness or respiratory disease such as COVID-19. Also, the majority of long-term care facilities have proven incredibly unprepared to prevent resident exposure to preventable illnesses and diseases due to understaffing and a lack of safeguards in place to protect residents.

Today, with new guidelines in place that also restrict most visitors from seeing residents, support from family advocates who typically provide a watchdog type view of their loved one’s care has also gone awry. As a result, if a resident passes due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in a nursing home, a family will naturally have questions about what happened, and was the death the facility’s fault?

Nursing Homes Must Report COVID-19 Sicknesses and Deaths

COVID-19 has an alarming infection rate across the U.S., now totaling more than 672,000 confirmed cases, according to John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. Many of the individuals at most risk of a COVID-19 infection in Illinois reside at one of the state’s 1,200 long-term care facilities, responsible for the care of more than 100,000 individuals. Several advocates for quality long-term care are now raising questions about how accurate the reporting of COVID-19 cases among Illinois residents truly is and how that may be causing a delay in preventing the spread of the disease.

Levin & Perconti partner and attorney Steven Levin spoke to Chicago ABC7 about the role of inaccuracies in reporting COVID-19 cases in the state, saying, “I believe that reported cases are the tip of the iceberg. I believe we are going to find a scary situation once independent observers can go into the nursing homes to see what’s happened.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) says as many as 305 long-term health care facilities have felt the impact of the highly contagious virus, with many nursing homes experiencing wide-spread community transmission. While there is no publicly available list of Illinois facilities battling coronavirus infections, on Wednesday, April 15, the state reported 1,587 cases associated with long-term facilities and 296 related deaths, including residents and staff.

manorcare for-profit facilities

Remember the Big Payout to Nursing Home Chain, HCR ManorCare?

The for-profit nursing home chain ManorCare went bankrupt with $7.1 billion in debt in 2018 over neglect and Medicare fraud allegations. The group operates about 15 facilities located throughout the Chicago area, primarily under the Heartland, ManorCare Health Services and Arden Courts brands. Prior to the bankruptcy, the chain was owned by the Carlyle Group, who bought the real estate in 2007 for $6.1 million. According to the Washington Post, the chain couldn’t make the $472 million a year rent payment, so instead, left its financial ruin to the takeover company, Quality Care Properties. Residents were found neglected, uncared for and living with painful bedsores and fall injuries, and without barely enough staff. An analysis of violation reports and records from the Illinois Department of Health shows:

  • Staff at a South Holland facility failed to prevent a woman from getting bedsores, and an infection led to her untimely death in 2010.

Nationally Respected Attorneys

Three Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Cases That Gained National Attention in 2019

Levin & Perconti is a nationally renowned law firm concentrating in all types of nursing home abuse and neglect claims as well as personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death lawsuits. The firm’s founding partners, Steve Levin and John Perconti were among the first nursing home lawyers in Illinois and are highly regarded among their peers and adversaries for their outstanding work on behalf of victims of abuse and neglect.

Today, the Chicago based firm stands behind three decades of winning experience in defending residents who have had their rights violated and become injured while under the care of others. This is a brief review of three nursing home abuse and neglect cases represented by Levin & Perconti lawyers that made national and local news headlines in 2019.

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