Published on:

A state health department has cited seven nursing homes in connection with reports that residents were verbally abused by staffers. The state Department of Public Health in Connecticut cited the nursing homes more than $1,000 each in connection with the incidents. point

In one case, a registered nurse overheard an aide swearing and being disrespectful to the patient. However, it was not reported at the time. The aide was later fired.

In a similar case out of that same state two years ago, six nursing homes were fined by regulators in connection with cases of verbal abuse in nursing homes. In one of those cases, a nursing aide who was assisting a resident in using the toilet swore at the resident, prompting the resident to grab the aide’s shirt and yell. The aide then allegedly pushed the resident down, causing the resident to strike his head on the toilet paper dispenser and land on the wheelchair. The incident wasn’t reported for three whole days.  Continue reading →

Published on:

Workers at state-run nursing homes face a higher risk of on-the-job injuries than construction workers or those in manufacturing.stethascope

That’s based on the latest figures from the annual report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on workplace illnesses and injuries. There were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses across the private sector last year and another 753,000 in the public sector, according to the Labor Department. On the whole, that works out to three injuries per 100 full-time workers in the private industry and 5.1 injuries per 100 full-time workers in state and local government. Meanwhile, when it comes to nursing home employees, those who work at state-run nursing homes and residential care facilities are injured at a rate of 12 per 100 full-time workers. This represents more than 13,700 cases of recorded injury or illness suffered by nursing home employees last year. That’s even more than local police, who suffered an injury rate of 11.3 per 100 workers. The Bureau of Labor pointed out also that these figures are actually low because these incidents are often unreported.

Work-related injuries among nursing home workers can have a direct impact on the quality of care that patients receive. First of all, a facility that is well-run prioritizes the safety of all who are present – including the employees, who are critical to the process. A facility that does not have or does not enforce worker safety guidelines is not likely to do so when it comes to patient safety either. Continue reading →

Published on:

A woman in Oregon has filed a $2.7 million lawsuit against a nursing home, as well the physical therapy and hospice providers who were on contract with the facility, for alleged negligence resulting in the death of her elderly mother and stepfather. wheelchair

According to The Register-Guard, the woman alleges in her wrongful death lawsuit that administrators and therapists at the facility failed to meet the needs of her parents, ages 91 and 92, and that this failure resulted in their premature deaths, just weeks apart from one another.

Plaintiff’s stepfather was 92 when he died in late 2014, and her mother was 91 when she died just a few weeks later. Plaintiff is the representative for the separate estates of both parents, who had each previously been diagnosed with dementia and were deemed a serious fall risk. Even though the nursing home had this knowledge, plaintiff asserts, staffers failed to prevent them from falling numerous times, leading to serious injuries and the acceleration of their deaths.  Continue reading →

Published on:

A national nursing home chain with dozens of locations in Florida (including in Orlando) has agreed to pay $145 million to resolve a government lawsuit alleging the company violated the federal False Claims Act by intentionally causing its facilities to submit claims to Medicare and Tricare for rehab services that were not:

  • Reasonable;
  • Skilled;
  • Necessary. elder

The chain, Life Care Centers of America, Inc. is based in Tennessee and owns/ operates more than 220 nursing homes across the U.S. Its Florida facilities are listed here. Cases like this matter to patients not just because they involve defrauding taxpayers of federal money, but because vulnerable, elderly residents often end up receiving therapy they do not need and that, in some cases, is harmful.

This $145 million settlement is the largest the U.S. Department of Justice has ever made with a skilled nursing home facility, according to a recent press releaseContinue reading →

Published on:

Following the enactment of a new federal rule that prohibits the enforcement of arbitration agreements by nursing homes that accept federal funding (virtually all of them), a group of nursing home operators and industry trade groups are challenging the rule. Interestingly, they are doing so through the very avenue of recourse they are seeking to deny nursing home abuse and neglect victims: A lawsuit. gavel

In case you aren’t familiar with arbitration, it is procedure whereby legal disagreements and disputes are resolved by an arbitrator rather than a judge. The process is often secretive and arbitrators, rewarded handsomely with contracts from large nursing home corporations, often decide cases in favor of the companies. Even when the terms are more or less favorable to the plaintiff, damages awarded are often a fraction of what they would be had the matter been resolved in court. Arbitration agreements are binding contracts that patients and family members enter into by signing documents often buried in nursing home admission paperwork.

The lawsuit, American Health Care Assn. et al v. Burwell et al, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Oxford Division. The lawsuit, which names the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), labels the arbitration clause ban as capricious and arbitrary. The measure also contests the authority of CMS to act as a regulatory agency calling the shots on how nursing homes handle disputes. Plaintiffs in the litigation are asking the federal court to, at the very least, delay the enactment of the ban (the rest of the rule solidifies as law this month) while the court weighs the challenge by the industry group.  Continue reading →

Published on:

A $2 million settlement agreed upon by government regulators and a nursing home in Pennsylvania will resolve allegations of violating consumer protection statutes by not providing adequate services to nursing home patients, as promised in marketing materials and advertisements. old

The state’s attorney general announced the settlement, which involved a company called Reliant Senior Care Holdings Inc., which was accused of skimping on necessary staffing levels needed to ensure the basic needs of residents would be met at the firm’s nearly two dozen skilled nursing facilities throughout Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, the company failed to deliver on its promise of making sure residents’ individualized needs were met and that personalized service was provided.

So low were the staffing levels at some of these nursing homes, according to the attorney general, that basic, life-sustaining functions – eating, drinking, daily hygiene and incontinence care – were not met on a daily basis.  Continue reading →

Published on:

Diagnoses of elder abuse in hospital emergency rooms is often unreported and not identified in hospital emergency rooms, according to a new study conducted by by a group of researchers from the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, the University of California San Diego and Weil Cornell Medicine.emergency

Previous research has established that 1 in 10 older adults suffer some form of elder abuse. That’s going to mean tens of thousands more cases of elder abuse treated at hospital emergency rooms as the population continues to age. As it now stands, more than 23 million adults are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year.

Our nursing home abuse lawyers in Orlando strongly believe that this is a major misstep at a critical juncture for vulnerable patients. By the time patients are treated in the emergency room, the abuse has reached a turning point, and it becomes imperative that nurses, doctors and other health care professionals be trained about what nursing home abuse is – and how to recognize it.  Continue reading →

Published on:

The federal government has issued a new rule that guarantees patients and their families the right to sue nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. This is huge for victims of abuse, neglect and negligence by these facilities, which have increasingly forced patients to sign mandatory arbitration agreements upon admission.elder woman

These contracts strip patients and/ or their legal representatives of the right to have their injury and wrongful death claims heard by a judge and jury. Instead, they are forced to have the dispute weighed via arbitration, which is handled either by a single individual or a panel. It’s done in secret. The results often are not favorable to plaintiffs. Even when damages are awarded, the amounts are often far less than what plaintiffs might expect at trial or even in a settlement, given that nursing homes must account for public scrutiny of their actions (or inaction) and level of care and competence.

The new rule, handed down by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) (a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) prohibits this so-called binding arbitration clause in nursing home contracts for any facility that receives money from Medicaid or Medicare. That is pretty much all of them.  Continue reading →

Published on:

Florida courts have been increasingly allowing nursing home negligence lawsuits to go to trial, despite the existence of nursing home arbitration agreements. Defendant nursing homes are looking to compel plaintiffs to resolve their dispute via arbitration, where outcomes are private and tend to favor the facility.gavel

The grounds on which a court may find an agreement unenforceable usually involve whether the agreement is “unconscionable.” That means the contract is so one-sided, it’s unfair to one party and violates public policy. It’s the kind of contract that leaves one party with no real, meaningful choice and typically arises due to the power imbalance between the two parties. So many of these nursing home arbitration agreements are signed by vulnerable patients or their loved ones upon admission – sometimes as a condition to admission. A contract can be unconscionable if there is:

  • Undue influence;
  • Duress;
  • Unequal bargaining power;
  • Unfair surprise.

Such an agreement may also be unenforceable if the person who signed it did not have the capacity or authority to do so. Elderly adults with dementia may not have the mental capacity to enter into legal agreements, but if their relatives are not expressly designated as their legal representative, they may not be able to legally sign on their loved one’s behalf.  Continue reading →

Published on:

A wealthy nursing home operator with mansions in Miami and Los Angeles is the subject of a U.S. Justice Department investigation and prosecution that alleges he orchestrated a Medicare and Medicaid bribery and kickback scheme totaling losses of more than $1 billion. Authorities in July stated it was the largest single criminal health care fraud case ever filed against an individual by the DOJ. handcuffs

Now, the subject of that investigation, Philip Esformes, is fighting to be released on bond, as federal authorities are placing enormous pressure on the courts to keep him locked up in South Florida, where he was arrested at one of his Miami Beach waterfront estates this summer. Although the court has been bombarded with letters of support for Esformes, some of which have included receipts related to his many philanthropic efforts, he remains at the Miami Federal Detention Center.

Authorities say Esformes and his father siphoned millions of taxpayer dollars every single year from federal programs intended to aid the sick and disabled over the course of 14 years. The pair had nursing homes across the country, including about 20 in Florida. According to the latest federal indictment, he and his co-conspirators took money from these federal programs in the name of some 14,000 patients at various facilities. In many cases, federal authorities allege, patients were given treatment that wasn’t necessary and in some cases was actually harmful. Continue reading →

Contact Information