The latest tort reform measure, H.R. 1215, the Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017, would place caps on medical malpractice damages, limit attorney fees, and modify statutes of limitations. Among other changes to current law, non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits would be limited to $250,000 – and juries would not be informed of… Continue Reading
Without a hearing, our new congress wasted no time in trying to severely limit damages in nursing home abuse claims. A newly proposed law called the Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017 H.R. 1215, seeks to limit non-economic damages in all medical cases to $250K for everyone in the country.
In 2011, the insurance, pharmaceutical, and nursing home industries worked together with an extraordinary budget to try to deceive American consumers into giving up their constitutional rights through a bill known then as HR-5. This bill would have severely harmed the rights of consumers across the country who were catastrophically injured or killed by any… Continue Reading
Throughout the country, trusting families are signing nursing home, rehab, and assisted living admission paperwork for someone they care deeply about. These documents are technical, long, and complicated. Hidden in many of these agreements is language that significantly curtails a family’s ability to hold a facility accountable if something terrible happens – including rape, assault,… Continue Reading
Often, many of the problems that occur in nursing homes are a direct result of terribly insufficient staffing. This knowledge is born out in studies that show a direct correlation between staffing ratios and quality of care. Despite all of this clear evidence, many facilities only meet the bare minimum hours required under state regulation. Some… Continue Reading
A recent series of disturbing stories by NPR report finding with objective data what many of us practitioners know already – that in many substandard facilities residents are over medicated with sometimes dangerous medications just to keep them quiet. This is disturbing because these medications are sometimes powerful, dangerous, and ineffective. Some even get “black… Continue Reading
I’ve noticed in my practice a dangerous and burgeoning phenomenon. That is, the emergence of non-disparagement clauses for people who know the dangerous secrets of the worst of the worst long-term care facilities. I am finding that the vast majority of these clauses are found in assisted living facilities. These organizations appear to have very… Continue Reading
When I began working in this field, I was astonished to realize that very few nursing homes and no assisted living facilities have a full-time doctor working there. I found that facilities at times may be staffed almost entirely with nurse aides and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) as opposed to Registered Nurses (RN). RNs received… Continue Reading
I have heard many stories over the years of families that fight to keep a nursing home resident getting physical, occupational, or speech therapy. It used to be that if there was a determination that a resident wasn’t progressing anymore, then Medicare or Medicaid did not pay, and the therapy was discontinued.
In an excellent decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court agreed with the plaintiff in this case who cried foul after the Medical Center decided to wait until nearly two years after litigation was completed before attempting to deprive her of her right to a trial by jury.
In October 2008 Medicare introduced a new reimbursement system, based upon 2002 industry standards, otherwise known as “never events.”
HealthBridge Management, a nursing home company, was forced to take back workers who were on strike after a federal judge found the management company to not be negotiating in good faith. HealthBridge was imposing significant wage and benefit cuts before negotiations were deadlocked.
One of the most common mental conditions we see with nursing home residents is Alzheimer’s disease. It can be very difficult for a family to watch a family member slowly slipping away mentally. This condition can also increase someone’s risk for falls and other injuries.
With the passing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this nation has seen the beginning of a dramatic shift in both the delivery of healthcare and the means by which payment is made for medical services. Under the ACA, a new type of medical agency was created, known as Accountable Care Organizations (ACO). These entities are required to coordinate all levels of care in a fashion that is both more efficient and better focused on the provision of quality care
Congress has recently proposed House Resolution 5, an extreme bill that would limit our rights and offer a handout to the medical industry by allowing it to go virtually unpunished when patients are harmed or killed. A recent report states that one out of every three hospital patients is sickened, injured, killed or otherwise harmed because of a medical error. This study is just one more, in a long list of reasons why this bill should not be passed.
Currently pending in congress is bill HR5 sponsored by Representative Phil Gingrey. If HR5 passes, it would protect some of the worst nursing homes from even the most egregious abuses by severely limiting damages.
In two short months, we will face a new congress – who’s stated primary goal is to remove the historic healthcare bill and expose numerous patients across the country to a lack of access to medical care. Conspicuously absent from most press releases or even the debate is the devastating personal and economic impact of medicare fraud. Here is a fascinating and disturbing study on its scope.
I recently wrote an article for the New Jersey Law Journal about the new Medicare Guidelines for Hospitals and Never Events. After some additional research, I have learned that many insurance companies agree that it is unfair for negligent hospitals to pass costs related to their mistakes along to others.
As the President works his groundbreaking legislation through Congress, opponents cry foul over medically-based lawsuits. Absent from that portion of the debate are the estimated $220 billion dollars per year in fraud perpetrated by the very folks who complain about so-called defensive medicine. Let’s point our efforts in the right direction: Eliminating Fraud. The George… Continue Reading
Hot off the press is some very good news about generating more accountability for those who choose to profiteer off of the elderly and infirm. Below is an email alert I received from The National Consumer Voice For Quality Long-Term Care detailing the changes the bill will provide:
The Urban Institute estimates that the number of Americans who will require assisted living or nursing home care will increase by more than 50% between 2000 and 2040. As that number continues to grow, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for state and federal regulators to keep track of each and every facility, which is leading to an epidemic of improper care for our elderly.
In many facilities, profit is hidden in extraordinarily high rent being paid to real estate investment trusts (REIT’s), excessive management fees and other costs – all to the same people who own the nursing home. This has been reported by the New York Times and is currently being investigated by congress.
I am very gratified that as recently as October 7, 2008, the Nursing Home Transparency and Improvement Act of 2008 has now made its way into the United States House of Representatives, supported by two Democratic members of the House, along with both a Democrat and Republican from the Senate. The Act is being improved… Continue Reading
I found an article online recently that discusses a new law in New Jersey that will require hospitals and nursing homes to have appropriate lifts and patient handling equipment available for patients. The new legislation also requires a training program on all of the new equipment for all hospital and nursing home staff members.