Minnesota Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

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New York Nursing Home Pays $6.5 Million for Medicaid Fraud

New York Nursing Home Pays $6.5 Million for Medicaid Fraud

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 29, 2014

According to the Legal Newsline Legal Journal, a $6.5 million settlement was made against the operator of Northern Manor Adult Day Health Care Program (ADHC) that engaged in Medicaid fraud.

Northern Manor ADHC allegedly failed to provide services as represented in its claims for payment to Medicaid. Medical employees of Northern Manor ADHC allegedly falsified medical admissions forms to demonstrate qualifications for services patients were actually too healthy to receive. The facility also allegedly hired unqualified individuals to provide social work services and perform psychosocial assessments.

Under the terms of the agreement, Northern Manor Multicare Center Inc., the nursing home that operates Northern Manor ADHS, will pay $6.5 million to the state. The nursing home also agreed to close Northern Manor ADHC and assist its patients in registering for placement in another state-approved program.

Four Northern Manor ADHC employees were also arrested and could face up to 25 years in state prison for allegations of grand larceny.

Click here to read more.

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:   News

Medicare Star Ratings Allow Nursing Homes to Mislead Consumers

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 29, 2014

According to the New York Times, Rosewood Post-Acute Rehab, a nursing home in Sacramento bears all of the touches of a luxury hotel, including high ceilings, leather club chairs and paintings of landscapes.

What really sets Rosewood apart, however, is its five star rating from Medicare – the best possible rating.

An examination of the rating system by the New York Times has found that Rosewood and many other top-ranked nursing homes have been given a seal of approval that is based on incomplete information and that can seriously mislead consumers, investors and others about conditions at the homes.

The Medicare ratings, which have become the gold standard across the industry, are based in large part on self-reported data by the nursing homes that the government does not verify. Only one of the three criteria used to determine the star ratings — the results of annual health inspections — relies on assessments from independent reviewers. The other measures — staff levels and quality statistics — are reported by the nursing homes and accepted by Medicare, with limited exceptions, at face value.

From 2009 to 2013, California fielded 102 consumer complaints and reports of problems at Rosewood, according to a state website. California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, which also tracks complaints, put the number even higher, at 164, which it says is twice the state average.

Click here to read more.

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:   News

Minnesota Home Health Care Workers Unionize

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 29, 2014

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, home care workers across the state voted to join the Service Employees International Union, giving that organization the power to bargain on their behalf.

Nearly 27,000 of the state’s enrolled 109,000 personal care attendants were eligible to vote in the election — primarily those who work for people whose care is covered by the federal Medicaid program. Only 5,872 workers — 21 percent of those eligible — cast ballots. However, the threshold requires only a majority of ballots cast. Of those who voted, 60 percent opted to join the union.

The vote makes the United Home Care Workers the largest unit in Minnesota to seek union certification since the Wagner Act was passed in 1935. Minnesota now joins 14 other states where home care workers are represented by unions.

Workers who supported the action say unionization will usher in better training, higher pay and more stability in a notoriously high-turnover profession, which they contend will translate to better client care.

Click Here to read more.

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:   News

Neglect of Resident by St. Mark’s Nursing Home in Austin, Minnesota Causes Fracture

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 22, 2014

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed its investigation of neglect concerns at St. Mark’s Lutheran Home in Austin, Minnesota. A complaint was filed with the Department alleging that St. Mark’s Lutheran Home’s nursing staff transferred a resident in a manner not in accordance with the resident’s care plan, resulting in a fracture to the resident’s left humerous.

The Department investigated the matter and found that the resident had left-sided weakness as a result of a stroke. The resident’s care plan required that the resident be transferred by two staff with an EZ Stand. In May 2014, St. Mark’s Lutheran Home nursing staff attempted to transfer the resident from a wheelchair to the toilet using the EZ Stand, without the assistance of another staff. As a result, the resident fell to the floor, from a height of approximately two feet fracturing the left humerous. The resident experienced a significant change in condition as a result of the fall. The MDH determined that the care giver was responsible for neglect. [Case no. H5369056].

This is not the first investigation of St. Mark’s Lutheran Home by the MDH. In May 2011, the MDH substantiated allegations of neglect when St. Mark’s nursing staff failed to provide adequate supervision which resulted in a resident fall with injuries. [Case no. H5369049]

Medicare rates nursing homes, including this 61-bed nursing home facility. Medicare has assigned an overall rating to St. Mark’s Lutheran Home as a “below average” facility. In addition, Medicare has assigned an overall rating to St. Mark’s Lutheran Home as a “much below average” facility based on the government’s health inspections of the facility. Deficiencies cited by Medicare include St. Mark’s Lutheran Home’s failure to provide enough nurses to care for every resident and failure to provide care by qualified persons according to each resident’s written plan of care, among other failures.

Click here to learn more details about St. Mark’s Lutheran Home.

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.

Kosieradzki Smith Case Featured in the News

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 22, 2014

Star Tribune published an investigation article on the front page of this past Sunday’s newspaper, entitled “Care aides get little to no training for life-and-death tasks.” The Star Tribune article focuses on the lack of training and supervision provided to the care aides who are responsible for the health and well-being of vulnerable patients.

The article features a Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm case currently pending in Hennepin County.  Our clients, the family of Kenneth Ell seek to hold the St. John Home care facility accountable for causing his wrongful death. Here are some of the points from the article:

  • “With home caregivers asked to perform more complex and risky tasks, the absence of training and supervision has sometimes led to fatal results. [Our client] Lisa Lassen is still haunted by the pained cries of her father, as an infection from a foot wound spread through his body, consuming his organs. ‘I will never forget his moaning and yelling for as long as I live,’ Lassen said. The worst part, said Lassen, is living with the belief that his death two years ago was ‘completely avoidable.’’’
  • Her father, … a retired railroad worker with diabetes and early dementia, developed a foot infection soon after entering St. John Home Care, a small group home that employed personal care attendants. The Ell family chose the home, in a neighborhood of Minnetonka, in part because it seemed more intimate than a nursing facility and advertised ‘specialized diabetic care’ and ‘wound and foot care’ on its website.”
  • In sworn testimony, a former personal care attendant at the home described a chaotic atmosphere. The caregiver, Jessica Crawford, said she watched as a staff member reused hypodermic needles for injecting insulin into diabetic residents, and said her training consisted of being told to watch some videos. The group home’s owner, a nurse, visited ‘maybe once in a blue moon,’ she said. ‘Most of the employees didn’t know what they were doing or didn’t carry through with their jobs correctly,’ Crawford, who no longer works at the home, said in sworn testimony.”
  • “Lassen said staff failed to detect obvious signs that her father had a serious infection. He had difficulty walking, complained of foot pain and became increasingly lethargic, Lassen said. When a laboratory report revealed that Ell had an elevated white blood cell count, indicating an infection, she said three-and-a-half days passed before the staff sent the lab report to a physician’s clinic.”
  • “By the time Ell was admitted to a hospital, it was too late. The infection had spread so rapidly that, after his lower right leg was amputated, he died of multi-system organ failure. His 89-year-old mother was so overcome with grief that she threw herself on his lifeless body as it lay sprawled on the hospital bed.”
  • “The Minnesota Department of Health investigated Ell’s death last year and found that the group home had failed to appropriately treat the client’s diabetes and follow up on the lab report. The facility was cited for neglect. ‘It makes me so incredibly mad,’ said Lassen,… “I believe 100 percent that my father would still be alive today had he been treated by licensed and trained professionals.”

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 or other care facility, 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.

 

Joel Smith Selected to The Best Lawyers in America

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 19, 2014

We are pleased to announce that Joel Smith has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs.

“Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. For more than three decades, Best Lawyers lists have earned the respect of the profession, the media, and the public, as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals anywhere.” Click here to learn more about Best Lawyers.

“Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer-review. The methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area. Best Lawyers employs a sophisticated, conscientious, rational, and transparent survey process designed to elicit meaningful and substantive evaluations of the quality of legal services. Our belief has always been that the quality of a peer-review survey is directly related to the quality of its voting pool.”  Click here to learn more about Best Lawyers’ methodology process.

Joel and the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represent clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by wrongdoers, including nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe you or your loved one has been harmed by another’s wrongful conduct, 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:   Firm News, Firm News

Mark Kosieradzki Selected to The Best Lawyers in America

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 19, 2014

We are pleased to announce that Mark Kosieradzki has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs.

“Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. For more than three decades, Best Lawyers lists have earned the respect of the profession, the media, and the public, as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals anywhere.” Click here to learn more about Best Lawyers.

“Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer-review. The methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area. Best Lawyers employs a sophisticated, conscientious, rational, and transparent survey process designed to elicit meaningful and substantive evaluations of the quality of legal services. Our belief has always been that the quality of a peer-review survey is directly related to the quality of its voting pool.”  Click here to learn more about Best Lawyers’ methodology process.

Mark and the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represent clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by wrongdoers, including nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe you or your loved one has been harmed by another’s wrongful conduct, 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:   Firm News, Firm News

Specialty Care Group Staff Neglects Resident

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 13, 2014

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed its investigation of neglect concerns at the Specialty Care Group, a home care provider in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  A complaint was filed with the MDH alleging that the staff providing 24 hour care was unable to provide adequate care to their resident. The staff was not able to manage tube feedings, and the resident was found positioned inappropriately and one staff member was found drunk and passed out in the resident’s bathroom.

The MDH investigated the matter and found that the staff member began drinking alcohol while on duty and failed to provide the care and supervision necessary to maintain the residents’ physical health and safety. The MDH determined that the care giver is responsible for neglect of the facility’s resident. [Case no. HL27391001]

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 or other care facility, 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.

Elderly Abused at 1 in 3 Nursing Homes

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 13, 2014

According to ABC News, a congressional report released that reports of serious, physical, sexual and verbal abuse are “numerous” among the nation’s nursing homes.

The study, prepared by the minority (Democratic and Independent) staff of the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, finds that 30 percent of nursing homes in the United States — 5,283 facilities — were cited for almost 9,000 instances of abuse over a recent two-year period, from January 1999 to January 2001.

The report documents that the common problems included untreated bedsores, inadequate medical care, malnutrition, dehydration, preventable accidents, and inadequate sanitation and hygiene. The report also documents some instances of residents being punched, slapped, choked or kicked by staff members or other residents and has caused injuries such as fractured bones or lacerations.

Click here to read the full article.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by Extendicare’s 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 theKosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

TOPICS:   News

Extendicare’s Financials Improve After Reaching $42.2 Million Settlement with U.S. Government

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

August 7, 2014

MarketWatch reported yesterday afternoon that Extendicare’s review for the second quarter of 2014 was $531.6 million, which represents a $13.4 million increase over the same period last year.

MarketWatch reports that Extendicare Health Services, Inc. reached a tentative settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and multiple states regarding the government’s investigations and claims that have been pending since 2010. Extendicare, of course, denies that it did anything illegal or engaged in any wrongdoing.

Pursuant to the terms of the tentative settlement, Extendicare will make a lump-sum payment of $38 million in the the third or fourth quarter of 2014. Extendicare’s results for the second quarter of 2014 reflect a provision of $42.2 million (US$39 million) related to the tentative settlement obligation and other related costs.

The tentative settlement also provides for Extendicare to enter into a five-year corporate integrity agreement with the government, which will require Extendicare to maintain a compliance program at all of its U.S. skilled nursing centers and related rehabilitation operations designed to ensure compliance with federal and state health care program requirements.

MarketWatch reports that Extendicare does not expect the settlement to have a material adverse effect on the company’s business or long-term financial position.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Extendicare and the performance of its nursing home facilities in Minnesota.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by Extendicare’s 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:   Extendicare