Special kudos to the Reading Eagle on its recent series on nursing homes – in particular the editorial We Must Demand Better from Nursing Homes, Regulators, published on December 11, 2016. For those of us who work hard to hold nursing home corporations accountable when seniors are neglected, abused, seriously injured, or die, this series… Continue Reading
According to Medicare fraud reports by the U.S. Department of Human Health and Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Justice’s Medicare Fraud Strike Force team has investigated $7 billion in fraudulent billing since 2007 and prosecuted over 2400 medical professionals and administrators. Part of that amount comes from nursing homes that bill for unnecessary services… 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
Recently, the August 2015 Special Focus Facility List was published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The CMS regularly visits nursing homes to assure that they are administering the quality of care that Medicare and Medicaid require. With these regular visits, the CMS will identify any deficiencies in the quality of care… Continue Reading
When deciding whether to place a loved-one into a nursing home, families attempt to determine whether the nursing home is capable of providing the necessary quality care. Most families visit the nursing home, as well as check the U.S. government’s Nursing Home Compare tool at Medicare.gov. Despite their efforts, some nursing homes have purposefully misrepresented… Continue Reading
In nursing-home neglect and abuse cases, the victims of the nursing-home negligence or abuse often suffer from some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, which is a specific type of dementia that accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Alzheimer’s is a progressing disease. That means that it worsens over time, causing cognitive and… Continue Reading
In New Jersey, Assisted Living encompasses providing various coordinated supportive personal and health services, available 24 hours per day, to residents who need those services. Its purpose is to promote resident self-direction and participation in decisions, with an emphasis on independence, individuality, privacy, dignity, and homelike surroundings. And thus, corporations that operate Assisted Living Facilities… 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, which was hosted by Shareholder David Cohen, Esq. The program discussed at length the rights and role of healthcare whistleblowers, the role of the nursing home MDS Coordinator, and the role of… Continue Reading
Harborview, a defendant in a case we took to trial last year, is back in the news. During the trial, the ownership and management spoke of the facility in glowing terms – terms that were contradicted by state inspections and other testimony. The article recounts rodent problems – and even chronicles a resident that bought… Continue Reading
One of the most common illnesses I see in nursing homes is C-Diff – a bacteria that can cause severe dehydration or death. C-Diff is most common in nursing homes and hospitals, and 80% of fatalities from C-Diff are in people over 65. A recent article in the LA Times reports a recent study and… Continue Reading
Urinary Tract Infections, or UTIs, are a common complaint among families with a mom or dad in long-term care. UTIs can be dangerous. First, UTIs can become a serious infection if untreated. However, UTIs also lead to falls, because UTIs cause people to feel as if they have to go to the bathroom constantly –… Continue Reading
Please click here to read an editorial from a wonderful advocate, Marilyn Askin, questioning why New Jersey fares so poorly compared to nursing homes in other states.
Have you ever wondered about the difference between for profit and not for profit nursing homes? Listen to Stark & Stark Shareholders, David Cohen and Michael Brusca, along with Associate, Eric Dakhari, as they explain the difference and how it may affect you and your loved ones.
In my practice, I am currently responding to a motion to dismiss a lawsuit because of a forced arbitration document that was slipped into admission paperwork. “Arbitration” is basically something written in the fine print where a person “agrees” to waive their right to a jury trial and go to a secret forum for disputes. … Continue Reading
As an advocate in New Jersey for nursing home residents, one of my greatest frustrations has been the lack of oversight for self reported staffing levels. This has lead to an extraordinarily low incidence of short staffing citations – and worse yet, has allowed some understaffed facilities to crow over their lack of such citations…. 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
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
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
As an advocate for nursing home residents, one of my greatest frustrations has been the lack of oversight for self reported staffing levels. This has lead to an extraordinarily low incidence of short staffing citations – and worse yet, has allowed some understaffed facilities to crow over their lack of such citations. The reality on… 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
Many times I meet with families who were not told about medication changes or what a resident was prescribed. It is easy to know what a resident is prescribed. There is a document called a Medication Administration Record. Nursing home staff refer to this document as a MAR. It lists what a person is prescribed,… Continue Reading
Acquiring continuing care–in a community setting–requires a major financial investment by both the consumer and the provider. For the consumer, doing so may involve spending most or all of a lifetime of savings; and for the provider, delivering promised services during the resident’s stay requires sound financial and actuarial management. The following will assist consumers or potential residents in considering Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC).