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
The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently inspected the 139 nursing homes that it insures. HUD gave a Philadelphia nursing home its lowest possible rating. On a scale of 100, Bala Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Wynnefield Heights scored a 2. Federal inspectors found 58 “safety and health” violations at Bala Nursing, including 37 that put residents… Continue Reading
Just this week the New Jersey Attorney General, Christopher Porrino, and the Division of Consumer Affairs announced an exciting new program to protect individuals from the abuses of home healthcare providers. It is called the Safe Care Cam program and the purpose of the program is to provide micro-surveillance cameras for free 30 day loans… Continue Reading
In our practice, we represent individuals, who are often diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and their families. It is not uncommon for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia suffer from poor safety awareness and poor decision making. This can lead to devastating results and injuries if a nursing home does not properly care for the resident’s… Continue Reading
It was recently reported by ABC27 News that the Pennsylvania Attorney General Office has brought a lawsuit against Grane Healthcare and their facilities individually for understaffing and not providing basic services to its residents. More troubling is the fact that the state alleges that “Grane’s business practices are deceptive and misleading because it advertises that… 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
As I’ve written before, the real drivers of healthcare costs are not lawsuits, which studies by Johns Hopkins Medicine found are less than 1% of healthcare costs. The big costs are a result of fraud. Kindred Healthcare, a large chain of nursing homes, will pay $125 million to settle allegations that it billed Medicare for… Continue Reading
Our practice group has often written about how corporations unfairly use predispute arbitration agreements to sidestep the civil-justice system and gain disproportionate advantage when addressing their negligent conduct in arbitration. Often times, corporations slip arbitration clauses into the admission papers and process—at a time when the family is justifiably thinking about the loved one’s health,… Continue Reading
In recent news in Pennsylvania, the Office of the Attorney General is suing the nursing home chain, Golden Living Center, for allegations that they repeatedly refuse to meet its residents most basic needs. Further allegations reported by WPXI include falsifying records and lying to state inspectors. It looks like Pennsylvania is beginning to catch on… Continue Reading
While the risks of drinking moderately in adults is the subject of debate, a new study published by the American Heart Association and reported on by NDTV.com confirms that for the elderly, the debate is over – put the alcohol away. The study showed that alcohol caused cardiomyopathy – a condition where the heart scars… Continue Reading
Eric Dakhari, Esq., member of the firm’s Nursing Home Litigation Group, was featured on WIMG and WPHY’s Trenton Talks – In the Public Interest. The program discussed at length the rights and role of healthcare whistleblowers, the role of the nursing home MDS Coordinator, and the role of the lawyers in whistleblower cases. Check out… Continue Reading
Placing someone in a long-term care facility is a very difficult decision to make. Many times, this decision is not due to physical limitations, but mental ones. Older folks who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s may be physically mobile, but due to cognitive issues, they require 24-hour supervision. They may forget where they are, get… Continue Reading
The official U.S. government website for Medicare provides a tool that allows consumers to compare information about nursing homes. It is called Nursing Home Compare, and contains quality-of-care information on every Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing home in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The tool creates that information based on the “skilled” care that nursing homes provide,… 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
A very convenient tool for concerned families to evaluate nursing homes is the “Medicare Compare” website. Included within this is a section that designates what are known as “Special Focus Facilities.” A Special Focus Facility represents the bottom 1% or 2% of all nursing homes in the country which have demonstrated not only under-performance, but… Continue Reading
A new study by Public Integrity finds widespread discrepancies in actual staffing levels and those reported to the state and federal government. You can read the full article here. I often find significant issues with the administration, management and operating of nursing homes in the cases we prosecute – things that families couldn’t possibly know… 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
As a veteran myself, I loved this amazing story from England. Bernard Jordan is a 90 year-old WWII D-Day veteran. Unfortunately, he was originally unable to go to the ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landing because his request to take the tour attending was made too late. Undeterred, Mr. Jordan, who is… Continue Reading
When I first began doing long-term care litigation, I assumed one owner was responsible for the conduct of their nursing home and stood behind a facility. I’ve since learned that this is not normally the case.
Alzheimer’s can be a devastating illness that we see in many of our cases. Good news from the front against this disease is that a new blood test was developed that can accurately predict the development of the disease. While not yet fully available to the public, when it is it could have wide ranging possibilities.
A new study shows how problematic a sedentary lifestyle can be. The study found that adults over the age of 60 spend roughly 9 sedentary hours per day, and that “[e]very additional hour adults over age 60 spend sitting increases by 50% their risk of being disabled for activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing and walking”.
There is a great PBS interview of a former CEO who talks quite candidly about preventability of pressure ulcers (bedsores) and the misdirection of health care in America. Please click here to see that interview.
This story from Florida is both horrifying and yet not surprising. In a ManorCare facility in Florida, an elderly man died with second and third degree burns after being left out in the sun for almost 4 hours. It is another example of a stressed facility with too many residents to care for. It’s all about profit. In a drive for profits, staffing gets slashed because it’s the biggest expense. While most aides and nurses care about their residents, there is just not enough of workers to get the work done.