The federal government imposed a $600,331 fine on the New Jersey nursing center where a viral outbreak left 11 children dead and 36 sick last year. Investigators reported Wanaque nursing home’s poor infection controls, lack of administrative oversight, and slow response from medical staff “directly contributed” to the rapid spread of the virus and its related death toll.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance held a hearing to discuss reports of abuse and neglect in some nursing homes across the country. The Committee also discussed how to protect these patients from abuse.
This hearing was held only weeks after a health care facility in Arizona discovered that one of their patients, a 29-year-old women in a vegetative state, had been raped. The pregnancy was discovered when the woman went into labor. In January, a 36-year-old nurse was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting and impregnating the woman.
Last week, two US Representatives introduced the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act. The goal of this bill is to increase Americans’ rights to seek justice and accountability through jury trials in the Court system as opposed to corporate sanctioned arbitration. The NJ State Constitution provides for a jury trial in cases involving money damages under the Seventh Amendment.
The daughter of a 76-year-old man is suing her father’s nursing home in South Holland, Chicago, over a video in which multiple caretakers allegedly coerced him into exposing himself on Facebook Live.
The lawsuit was filed last week against Holland Home, an assisted living facility, and claims that the employees abused and humiliated the resident, who is a stroke survivor and was diagnosed with dementia.
November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. There are more than 5 million Americans who have been diagnosed Alzheimer’s. Approximately 40% of people over age 65 experience some form of memory loss and symptoms become progressively more severe as age increases. There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, the most common cause of dementia, but research is showing that diet, exercise, mental activities and social interactions can help increase brain health.
Common signs of dementia include: memory loss, misplacing things, unable to retrace steps, difficulty planning, taking longer to solve problems, experiencing changes in mood or personality, or becoming confused as to where one is or as to time and date.
If you suspect that you or a loved one is exhibiting signs of Alzheimer’s and/or dementia, you can find more information at the Alzheimer’s Association website.
The Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMA) recently issued a Special Report focusing on progressively ineffective enforcement actions against nursing-home facilities that have demonstrated a pattern of serious noncompliance with federal nursing-home care standards meant to ensure quality care and resident safety.
The report concludes that in addition to a noncompliant nursing home’s ability to mislead consumers about its quality of care by masking staffing levels and self-reporting quality-care measures to the federal government, penalties in the form of monetary fines—imposed on the most unsafe nursing homes—are declining, and thus, are likely ineffective in improving the care provided to residents.
June 15th is recognized as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This day was designated to raise awareness of the many issues involving abuse and neglect of older persons, some of the most vulnerable people in society. The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization (WHO) at the United Nations (UN) worked together to establish this day of awareness.
According to the National Council on Aging, at least 10 percent of older adults have suffered from elder abuse. The UN’s International Plan of Action recognizes elder abuse as a public health as well as human rights issue.
Elder abuse includes physical, psychological, emotional, or sexual abuse, as well as neglect, abandonment, and financial exploitation. By establishing the Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the goal is to create a call-to-action for people and organizations to further raise awareness about elder abuse and neglect.
The Trump Administration has recently adopted new limits on the use of guidance documents for federal agencies. Guidance documents are the government’s interpretation of rules and laws that apply to agencies and related businesses.
Federal agencies have issued hundreds of guidance documents on a host of laws which cover issues like healthcare, civil rights, and labor.
These changes will most likely have a significant impact on the agencies which oversee healthcare industries, like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and the Department and Health & Human Services, because these agencies rely heavily on these documents to operate.
According Kaiser Health News, an analysis of nursing home financial records revealed that nearly three-quarters of all nursing homes in the U.S. are owned by people who also have vested interest in companies that in turn sell services and goods to these same nursing homes.
These business dealings are known as “related party transactions.” These transactions enable a nursing home owner to arrange contracts with their related businesses above a more competitive price, allowing them to turn around and siphon off the extra profit.
A significant number of nursing home residents are shorter-term residents who are recuperating from surgery or illness. A recent study centered on the information provided when patients are discharged from hospitals to nursing homes, and they or their families are tasked with choosing a post-acute care facility.
As a result of regulations and incentives imposed by the Affordable Care Act, hospitals began being held partly accountable for Medicare patients’ care after discharge. However, little information has been available about the process of patients choosing a post-acute care facility.