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Feds sue nursing homes to cut overmedication

Feds sue nursing homes to cut overmedication

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 30, 2014

Overmedicating of nursing home patients continues in California, says a federal lawsuit filed against two homes earlier this month.

Facilities in Watsonville, California, are accused of inappropriately administering drugs like Haldol and Risperdal to patients, causing negative changes in their health, according to 90.1 FM WABE, an Atlanta, Georiga NPR affiliate.

Almost one-fifth of nursing home patients nationwide are prescribed antipsychotic drugs, the radio station reported, despite the significant risks those medications come with.

The lawsuit details the account of an 86-year-old man who was administered to country Villa Watsonville West walking on his own and speaking clearly. The lawsuit says he was given Haldol and Risperdal and that the medications left him bedridden and susceptible to infections.

Haldol and Risperdal are used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, WABE reports.

The patient’s condition got so bad he was read last rites at the hospital, WABE reports. The report also said the man was overprescribed without his or his family’s consent.

The U.S. attorney for Northern California said the suit claims the facilities provided “grossly inadequate, materially substandard and/or worthless services.”

WABE reports the nursing homes received tens of millions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid for those services.

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, 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:   Medication Errors, News

Family of man killed by nursing home worker sues facility

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 29, 2014

The family of a nursing home patient who was fatally shot last year is holding the nursing home responsible for not recognizing the erratic behavior of the man’s murderer, his nurse who committed suicide immediately after.

Michael Kinney, son of victim Howard Kinney, says in a lawsuit that the Abington Manor nursing home in Scranton, Pennsylvania, failed to properly address the situation that left two people dead.

Aimee Larkin, a licensed nurse, killed Howard Kinney before shooting herself in November 2013. The lawsuit says she had brought a gun into the facility previously and says she was “acting strange,” before the shooting. The lawsuit asserts the facility should have recognized Larkin was emotionally unfit, according to the Times-Tribune.

The lawsuit is backed by police testimonies from numerous facility employees, the Times-Tribune reported. Michael Kinney and his family believe the center should have recognized that Larkin posed a dangerous risk to patients.

Police found an empty bottle of vodka in Larkin’s car after the shootings, according to the Times-Tribune.

The suit says Howard Kinney was forced to live in unsanitary conditions and wasn’t offered adequate care or therapy because of understaffing. The suit seeks negligence, wrongful death, and punitive damages, according to the Times-Tribune.

Click here to read more about this case.

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, Wrongful Death

Two nursing home employees arrested for patient neglect

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 29, 2014

Almost two years after alleged neglect and mistreatment of a completely depended Alzheimer’s patient, and falsified records, two nurses aides were arrested for perpetuating a pattern of neglect at a now-closed nursing home in Buffalo, New York, according to report by The Buffalo News.

Hidden camera video footage documented the neglect that Donna Laury, 48, and Nakeia Green, 35, imposed on a 79-year-old resident suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia, according to The Buffalo News.

The incidents occurred in 2012, according to the investigation.

The Buffalo News reported that the nurses aides failed to follow treatment standards, specifically failing to use a mechanical lift required to move the patient. The News also reported that when the nurses did use the mechanical lift, they didn’t use the required number of people to operate the machinery.

Both are charged with felony and misdemeanor counts and both have been fired, according to The Buffalo News. The felony counts are for falsifying business records and the misdemeanor counts are endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person.

The nursing home was located into the Erie County Medical Center. Center president Richard C. Cleland expressed disappointment in his facility’s quality of care when speaking to The Buffalo News.

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, Physical Abuse

Failure to charge highlights nursing home system failure

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 28, 2014

Oklahoma is routinely ranked one of the worst states for nursing home care in the country, and earlier this month the system experienced what advocates are calling “an absolute failure,” when a nurse’s aide who allegedly abused a patient was never brought up on charges.

No employees were ever held criminally responsible, according to KOCO News in Oklahoma City, even though the nursing home was ordered to pay $15 million in abuse damages.

“The actions of the defendant are atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized society,” the district judge wrote in her finding, according to KOCO.

“This is an absolute failure,” Wes Bledsoe, head of the advocacy group “A Perfect Cause,” told KOCO.

The lawsuit stemmed from an incident in which the nurse’s aide grabbed an 80-year-old, resulting in a broken wrist. The incident occurred in 2010, according to KOCO.

Four years later, the nurse’s aide could still be working in nursing homes with a spotless record.

Advocacy groups are worried about this.

“The likelihood is they’ve abused one person, there is a likelihood they have abused others and yet this person has had no action taken against them at all,” Bledsoe told KOCO. “It’s our understanding that Adult Protective Service did in fact substantiate abuse by caretaker in that case.”

Earlier this month, a national advocacy group rated Oklahoma 49th out of 50 states in nursing home care, according to KOCO.

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.

 

 

TOPICS:   Neglect, News, Physical Abuse

U.S. Attorney goes after nursing homes that “persistently and severely” overmedicated residents

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 28, 2014

KION News

Two California nursing homes are under fire after federal officials filed complaints against the owners and operators citing abuse and fraud, according to CBS News affiliate, KION Channel 5.

Two facilities in Watsonville, California, the Country Villa Watsonville East Nursing Center and the County Villa Watsonville West Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, are accused of abusing the elderly and Medicare fraud.

The nursing homes filed falsified claims to Medicare for “materially substandard or worthless services,” authorities allege, according to KION News. It also asserts the facilities were notorious for  dangerously overmedicating residents the complaint called “vulnerable,” according to the news report.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spearheaded the investigation that led to the lawsuit, which highlights 16 instances the facilities were cited for poor care and overmedication, according to KION News.

The group in charge of overseeing nursing home management said the management employed at Country Villa over the time frame of the allegations has been fired, but that hasn’t stopped patients families from voicing their dissatisfaction.

“It’s really sad, disheartening, that another circumstance of elderly abuse is right  here in our own family kind of thing,” Aaron Pol, whose 92-year-old mother is a resident, told KION News. “We’ve also seen how through her breakdown of what she’s getting and what’s goin on there, we’ve questioned some of that stuff ourselves.”

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.

study shows that Alzheimer’s residents might forget poor care but the emotional damage is lasting

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 28, 2014

McKnight’s reports that a “nursing home resident with Alzheimer’s might forget receiving poor or negligent care, but the bad feelings created by ill treatment still could persist,” citing researchers at the University of Iowa.

McKnight’s reports that “investigators showed sad and happy films to 17 Alzheimer’s patients and 17 people with healthy cognition, then assessed their memories of the movies and their emotional states. Those with Alzheimer’s quickly struggled to recall details of the films, or even that they had just seen a film. However, the feelings of sadness or happiness created by the movies lasted for up to half an hour.”

“Quite strikingly, the less the patients remembered about the films, the longer their sadness lasted,” the university noted in a press release. “While sadness tended to last a little longer than happiness, both emotions far outlasted the memory of the films.”

According to McKnight’s, the findings show that caregivers can have a powerful impact on residents’ well-being by doing “simple” things, citing lead author Edmarie Guzman-Velez, a doctoral student in clinical psychology.

Click here to review the review the study, “Feelings Without Memory in Alzheimer Disease,” which is published in Cognitive & Behavioral Neurology, the official journal of the Society for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology.

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.

Did state inspector incite revolt by nursing home residents?

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 26, 2014

Nursing home residents refused medications and tried to escape the facility by scaling fences after a visit from a state inspector, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

The nursing home, Regency Manor Rehabilitation & Subacute Center, responded to the residents’ attempts to escape the Columbus, OH facility by blaming the state.  The nursing home has sued the state alleging that the resident mutiny occurred after the investigator told residents they didn’t have to take medication and were allowed to leave a locked unit, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

The nursing home could lose Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements because of the lawsuit, health officials say, which was spurred by a complaint of the facility’s level of care.

The nursing home was cited in the inspection for forcing psychiatric medication on a resident that put the resident in “immediate jeopardy,” according to the Columbus Dispatch. Officials say the resident showed no signs of needing the medication, and when he didn’t take it, was forced down and pinned to a chair by resident employees.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that the nursing home implemented a “Dr. Strong” approach to care that included allowing nursing to physically force medications on patients that refused them. The lawsuit has resulted in the nursing home abandoning such a policy.

The nursing home is also accused of locking away residents against the will of them and their guardians. Locked units don’t allow visitors and restrict basic living freedoms.

Regency Manor, which operates the nursing home, is no stranger to citations. Poor inspections in 2010 and 2011 landed it on the federal “special focus facilities” list, according to the Columbus Dispatch. The state Department of Aging confirmed to the Columbus Dispatch that Regency has yielded 14 other complaints already this year.

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, 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:   Medication Errors, News

Nursing home employee charged with abusing nursing home residents

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 26, 2014

Two South Carolina nursing home patients were allegedly abused at the Sumter Valley Health and Rehabilitation Center in Sumter this summer and a woman has been charged and arrested in the case.

Andria Martrice Lawson allegedly struck a 70-year-old woman in the chest and left a 71-year-old man pants-less sitting in his wheelchair. Lawson was arrested in July and charged with abuse of a vulnerable adult and neglect of a vulnerable adult, according to The Post and Courier.

Lawson was fired from her job at the nursing home, a Sumter County Sheriff spokesman told The Post and Courier.

Click here to read more about this case.

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, Physical Abuse

Report: nursing homes over-prescribing drugs

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 26, 2014

Kansas has more than 300 nursing homes, and collectively that rank among the worst in the country when it comes to administering antipsychotic drugs to patients with dementia.

A federal report shows that while prescription rates nationwide dropped 17 percent, the rates have risen in Kansas, according to KSN News in Wichita, Kansas.

“Not only are we doing a really poor job in the way we are using these drugs, we’re getting worse,” Mitzki McFatrich of Kansas Advocates for Better Care told KSN.

When asked for comment by the news station, the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services released a statement that revolved around its fear of second-guessing doctor’s decisions.

But studies show the drugs can be harmful to dementia patients, adding a higher risk of death, according to the news network.

Kansas ranks 47th out of 50 states in terms of overuse, according to KSN.

Advocates insist that better staffing and training could help solve the problem.

“It really is a joint effort that has to happen between facilities staffing adequately training their staff,” McFatrich told KSN. “And the state holding them accountable for what they’re not already doing.”

Advocates say the problem is widespread, KSN reported.

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:   Medication Errors, News

Nursing home pays $2.2 million to settle lawsuit involving falsified records, cover up

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 25, 2014

A nursing home in New Rochelle, New York, allegedly submitted more than 62,000 false claims to authorities over a four-year period has been forced to return $2.2 million to Medicaid, according to the Washington Examiner.

By settling to the False Claims suit, the nursing home, Glen Island Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, absorbed responsibility for charges that included falsely representing the degree of care required by residents and exaggerating the severity of the treatments of other residents, according to the Washington Examiner.

The nursing home then falsified records in an attempt to cover its tracks, according to the Examiner.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch announced the settlement. Schneiderman stressed the importance of caring for those who need the care, and the integrity that comes with that. He said, “Today we are saying: There is one set of rules for all nursing home providers – and my office is here to make sure those rules are followed.”

“Safeguarding public health care dollars is of critical concern, and my office will investigate and prosecute all allegations of impropriety by health care providers who obtain Medicaid funds to which they have no right,” he said, according to the Washington Examiner.

Click here to read more about this case.

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 facilities that create fraudulent records to try cover up their wrongdoing. 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:   False Records, Neglect