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Illinois Attorney General proposes allowing cameras in nursing homes

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Neglect

Illinois Attorney General proposes allowing cameras in nursing homes

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 19, 2014

Illinois’ Attorney General has announced that she will push for legislation that permits video- and audio-recording devices in nursing home rooms to monitor patient treatment. AG Lisa Madigan calls it the “next line of defense” for vulnerable residents of nursing homes.  Madigan told news media that her office has received multiple complaints in recent months from nursing home residents and families concerned about safety and security.

Recordings or tapes would be admissible as evidence in court and tampering or obstructing a recording would result in criminal charges, Madigan said, according to a report in the McDonough County Voice.

According to the County Voice report, “Madigan’s push follows several unsuccessful efforts to enact similar legislation in Illinois, with the nursing home industry lobbying forcefully against the bills.”

News sources report that Illinois would become the sixth state to allow electronic monitoring in nursing home patient rooms if the proposal becomes law. Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Maryland and Washington state all have similar laws on the books.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Body of elderly man missing from nursing home found dead

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 18, 2014

The body of a man last seen at an Ohio nursing home was found dead on September 12 in Cleveland Metroparks, Middleburg Heights Police confirmed to Fox 8 Cleveland.  Ronald Herhuth was last seen five days earlier at Southern Hills Health & Rehab nursing home, according to Fox 8. He was 71.

Herhuth had Alzheimer’s disease and was a diabetic.  He went missing from the nursing home with his wooden cane, a swollen leg, and an IV in his arm.  Over a hundred people were involved in looking for him after he went missing. He had only been at the nursing home for a few days before he eloped from the facility.

Click here to read more about this story.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Mahnomen Health Center employee repeatedly stole patients’ narcotic medication

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 17, 2014

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed its investigation of narcotic diversion concerns at the Mahnomen Health Center in Mahnomen, Minnesota.  A complaint was filed with the Department alleging that the nursing home’s staff diverted narcotic medications from residents. The staff member documented controlled substances given to nine residents on shifts when the staff member was not even working.

The Department investigated the matter and found that the staff member had diverted the narcotic medication (hydrocodone) that belonged to eight residents for the staff member’s personal use. Nursing home management knew that the staff member dispensed more hydrocodone to residents than any other staff.  The staff member tested positive for opiates and admitted to taking the hydrocodone from the residents, taking 30 tablets every week. [Case no. H5238012]

Medicare rates nursing homes, including this 48-bed nursing home facility.  Medicare has assigned an the Mahnomen Health Center as a “Below Average”  for the health inspections of the facility.  Deficiencies cited by Medicare based on the most recent inspection include Mahnomen Health Center’s:

  • Failure to provide care by qualified persons according to each resident’s written plan of care.
  • Failure to make sure that residents receive treatment/services to not only continue, but improve the ability to care for themselves.
  • Failure to assist those residents who need total help with eating/drinking, grooming and personal and oral hygiene.
  • Failure to give residents proper treatment to prevent new bed (pressure) sores or heal existing bed sores.
  • Failure to make sure that residents with reduced range of motion get propertreatment and services to increase range of motion.
  • Failure to develop a complete care plan that meets all of a resident’s needs, with timetables and actions that can be measured.
  • Failure to allow the resident the right to participate in the planning or revision of the resident’s care plan.
  • Failure to 1) make sure that each resident’s drug regimen is free from unnecessary drugs; 2) each resident’s entire drug/medication is managed and monitored to achieve highest well being.
  • Failure to have a licensed pharmacist review each resident’s medication(s) at least once a month and report any irregularities to the attending doctor.
  • Failure to have a program that investigates, controls and keeps infection from spreading.

In the two previous inspections, Medicare cited Mahnomen Health Center’s for these additional deficiencies:

  • Failure to provide medically-related social services to help each resident achieve the highest possible quality of life.
  • Failure to provide care by qualified persons according to each resident’s written plan of care.
  • Failure to make sure that each resident gets a nutritional and well balanced diet, unless it is not possible to do so.
  • Failure to provide or obtain dental services for each resident.
  • Failure to make sure each resident receives an accurate assessment by a qualified health professional.
  • Failure to keep the rate of medication errors (wrong drug, wrong dose, wrong time) to less than 5%.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Assisted living facility leaves patient, 90, in the sun

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 17, 2014

A 90-year-old is in critical condition after being left outside in over 100 degree heat for three hours by his caretakers, according to NBC News. Staff at The Aristocrat, an assisted living facility in Naples, Florida, wheeled the resident outside in the afternoon, where he suffered from overexposure after being neglected.

“Within an hour or so a person can go from heat cramps to heat stroke,” Chief Walter Kopka of Collier Emergency Medical Services told NBC News.

The 90-year-old went into cardiac arrest after nearly a half hour of cooling attempts failed to counter his dehydration, sunburn and severe heat stroke. Three nurses attempted to cool him down, to no avail, as he was non-responsive.

“The body actually shuts down and stores all its heat inside because its lost his ability to sweat,” Kopka said. “It’s very difficult sometimes to regain that breathing and the heat beat because the body has been heated for such a long period of time.”

The Aristocrat is under investigation, according to NBC News. Click here to watch the news report.

Click here to view CBS WINK News report on this story.

Click here to view FOX News report on this story.

For related stories of similar neglect occurring in Minnesota, including a client represented by the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm, you can check out these prior stories in our blog:

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Brief nursing home stay ends in death at Presbyterian Homes facility in Bloomington

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 16, 2014

Details surfaced recently of a woman who died a week after being sent to a nursing home for a short rehabilitation stint in November 2013, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

State investigators blame Presbyterian Homes in Bloomington, saying the home was negligent in checking the patient and informing her doctor. The Minnesota Department of Heath said the patient “was not adequately monitored” and that her “call light was not answered timely,” according to the Star-Tribune.

The woman rapidly gained weight and suffered shortness of breath and anxiousness before dying a week into her nursing home stay. Her doctor was not notified of her health problems, which included needing supplemental oxygen, according to the Star-Tribune.

Here is an excerpt from the Health Department’s report, according to the Star-Tribune:

“The woman arrived from hospitalization and was admitted to the home for a “stay of less than a week,” before her anticipated return home. She had been suffering from pneumonia and cardiovascular disease.

At night, she became increasingly anxious and short of breath, prompting staff to supplement her oxygen supply.

During the morning of her last day alive, the staff failed to check her weight, as required. In her last 48 hours, she gained 9 pounds.

That evening, a staff member saw the woman sitting at the side of her bed, slumped over and unresponsive. Efforts to revive her failed.

Her doctor told investigators that staff “had an urgent reason” but did not alert the physician about the woman’s breathing trouble and other complications.

Family members told investigators they were troubled that they were not allowed to stay overnight with her and noted staff members’ “lack of response to call lights,” the report read.

Click here to review more details about the MDH investigation.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Nursing home drugging settlement finalized

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 14, 2014

Continuing an alarming pattern of irresponsibility, a California nursing home settled a lawsuit which alleged it often prescribed drugs without consent, according to the Ventura County Star.

Vcstar.com reports a third-party monitor will watch the Ventura Convalescent Hospital in an effort to ensure patient safety. The lawsuit involved 205 former patients under the care of nursing home physician Gary Proffett. It alleged powerful drugs were administered without consent, including antipsychotic drugs, according to Vcstar.com.

AARP came to the plaintiffs’ side. Lead plaintiff, Kathi Levine, whose mother, Patricia Thomas, had Alzheimer’s disease, said her mother was prescribed drugs without her consent after moving in following a broken bone. Levine’s mother died soon after being discharged.

The plaintiff’s lawyer told the Ventura County Star the ruling has already changed the care with which Ventura Convalescent handles patients: “If it causes other people to be aware, we’ve made a good start.”

“It is highly likely the hundreds of patients in…facilities located in Ventura County would still be receiving psychotropic medications without informed consent,” Ventura County Superior Court Judge Kent Kellegrew said, according to Vcstar.com.

Click here to read more about this story.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving
catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail
to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Nursing home breaks resident’s leg

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 14, 2014

This summer in Connecticut was filled with fines for state nursing homes, as seven were cited by the Department of Public Health for instances involving medical errors.

Some of the instances involved a patient being burned or breaking a leg, according to the New Haven Register.  Cited nursing homes included operations in Kent, Sharon, North Branford, Westport, Greenwich, Danielson and New Britain.

The incidents in question all took place last year, like when two aides stood a resident up instead of using a lift in September 2013. X-Rays taken two days later showed the resident’s leg had broken.

In another incident a patient was burned by a hot pack while being transported to a doctor’s appointment. The director of rehabilitation told state officials the rehab department showed poor judgment, according to the New Haven Register.

Other incidents involve aides failing to administer proper medication, including, in one case, to a patient with diabetes. One patient lost eight pounds in just more than two weeks, and medical personnel were not notified of the weight loss.

Other homes were fined for allowing patients to develop pressure sores. In another case, an employee over-administered exponential amounts of insulin to a patient. Another home was fined for not complying to smoking policies.

All the fines are according to the New Haven Register. Click here to read more about the instances in detail.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Nursing Homes Rank as Worst Setting For End-of-Life Care

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 13, 2014

A recent survey administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found that nursing home services ranks as the worst end-of-life care alternative in terms of care experience, behind home care and inpatient care.

The survey collected data from patients and caregivers in various hospice settings, including skilled and regular nursing homes, assisted living facilities and acute care hospitals and IPUs.

The nursing home setting ranked significantly lower that home care and inpatient care in the categories of setting satisfaction, quality of symptomatic care, religious and spiritual support and family respect.

The survey’s goals include helping potential hospice care patients to chose the most desirable program, aid internal quality improvement efforts of hospitals and the provide information to a substantial amount of other areas. A similar survey will be administered at hospices across the country starting next year.

To read more about the survey, click here. To see the total results, click here.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

 

$3.8 Million settlement shows nursing homes must oversee their therapy providers

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 12, 2014

According to McKnights, two long-term care companies have agreed to a $3.75 million settlement over charges that they failed to sufficiently control an outside therapy provider’s billing and care practices.

Therapy provider RehabCare Group East Inc., allegedly engaged in a variety of practices to maximize reimbursements, including putting patients into the highest level of therapy without evaluating their actually clinical needs. Life Care Services LLC and CoreCare V LLP, did not prevent these practices from happening.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

TOPICS:   Neglect, News

Home health aides abused 99-year-old Staten Island man – Caught on video

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 12, 2014

According to Staten Island Live, 99 year-old Peter Mazza, suffered traumatic and terrifying neglect, which was caught on camera.

Shocking videos obtained through cameras installed in Mazza’s home and provided to the Advance show one aide refusing to pick him up after he fell, and on another occasion, another aide pushing him into a bed and wrapping him up with a blanket.

In another incident, a third aide is seen lying on a couch and watching Mazza struggle to reach his walker before he fell, sustaining fractures and head injuries, according to a civil complaint filed in Manhattan state Supreme Court.

The family has sued the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, Partners in Care and three home-health aides. They seek unspecified damages.

To read more about the story click here.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care, including medication abuse and errors. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

TOPICS:   Neglect, News, Physical Abuse