Understaffing May Contribute to Nursing Home Neglect

NBC recently reported that a family filed a nursing home neglect lawsuit on behalf of their elderly loved one against Woodcrest Health Center in New Milford, New Jersey and its parent company, Care One. The claimants released graphic photos alleging that the nursing home staff ignored the elder’s calls to use the restroom, so the resident — who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease — used her hands to wipe herself, inadvertently smearing excrement on her face, body, bed and tray of food. The family cites understaffing as a contributing factor in the elderly resident’s neglect. The family also claims that there … Read the rest

New York Fails Nursing Home Report Card

Families for Better Care, a Florida based nursing home resident advocacy group, published the first ever state by state nursing home report card.  New York received a failing grade and was ranked 45th in the nation.  New York was the only state on the eastern seaboard that received a failing grade.  The state failed half of the measures and mustered only one above average grade.  Direct care staff hours and professional nurse services graded particularly poorly.

New York’s nationwide nursing home standing is similar to its highway’s 46th place finish in the 20th Annual Report on the Performance of State … Read the rest

Non-Profit Watchdog Group Issues Annual Report Card on New York State’s Protection of Nursing Home Residents

Every year the Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC), a nonprofit that monitors nursing homes and assisted living facilities, publishes a report card on the previous year’s performance of the various government entities charged with protecting New Yorkers who rely on long term care services.

LTCCC just released its report for 2010, with mixed findings. LTCCC was impressed with the aggressiveness of New York State Attorney General’s Office (A), Office for the Aging (A-) and Medicaid Inspector General (A) in combating nursing home neglect and abuse.

LTCCC found that both the State Senate (D-) and State Assembly (C) were essentially … Read the rest

Family Member a Victim of Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse? Bush Administration Rule Makes It Harder to Get the Information

With little notice and without a public comment period, a Bush administration change in federal rules on nursing home inspections will have the practical effect of forcing litigants to go to greater lengths, including seeking court orders, to get inspection reports or depositions for cases they are pursuing or defending.

The new rule generally prohibits state health departments and contractors from participating in private lawsuits involving facilities that are in the federal assistance program. The rule accomplishes this by reclassifying state employees who inspect nursing homes for the federal government as federal employees who are not allowed to provide “privileged” … Read the rest

New Medicare/Medicaid Guidelines for Nursing Home Nutrition and Sanitary Conditions

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released new Interpretive Guidelines for nutrition and sanitary conditions in nursing homes effective September 1, 2008. The changes clarify areas such as assessment, care planning, and interventions for LTC residents.

The new guidelines are significant as it contains detailed instructions for acceptable parameters of nutritional status, details on required nutritional assessment, food and fluid intake, care planning, and weight-related interventions. There are also added sections on wound healing and feeding tubes which were not in the previous Interpretive Guidelines. Appendix PP – Guidance to Surveyors for Long Term Care Facilities updates … Read the rest

Few Doctors Report Abuse of Elderly Patients

A recent article in The Providence Journal notes that although doctors in almost every state are required by law to report suspected elder abuse of their patients, hardly any of them do, even if they fear that their silence may subject an elderly person to continued abuse at the hands of a caregiver or in a nursing home. Physicians report just 2 percent of the elder abuse and neglect cases recorded each year by state protective service agencies, according to medical and legal experts and recent articles published in medical journals.

One study, published in 2005 in a journal … Read the rest

Think Hospital Records Dont Lie? Lets Go to the Videotape

According to the medical records of the psychiatric emergency room at Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, New York, a patient named Esmin Elizabeth Green, who had been brought to the hospital almost 24 hours earlier but had not yet been seen by a doctor, was sitting quietly in a chair. In fact, she was already dead. The hospital chart also says that she got up to walk to the bathroom when she was actually writhing on the floor. How do we know the truth? Because unlike most instances of medical malpractice, this apparent fiasco is captured on the … Read the rest

Bill Introduced in Senate Requires Nursing Homes to Provide Clearer Information About Their Ownership and Accountability

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl have introduced the Nursing Home Transparency and Improvement Act of 2008 which seeks to force nursing homes to provide clearer information about ownership and accountability. Confusion regarding ownership has made it difficult for regulators to identify parties responsible for poor care and shields owners from potential lawsuits. Additionally, a primary goal is to make it easier for the public to compare nursing homes.

The legislation would trigger the largest reform of nursing home care in 21 years. The law would force nursing homes to file paperwork clearly stating ownership to enable … Read the rest