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, neglect, and death. This language is called “pre-dispute” or “forced” arbitration language.

Pre-dispute forced arbitration is where a person agrees to give up their right to sue in court if an injury or death happens. To be clear, your loved one’s admission to the facility cannot be denied if you don’t agree to arbitration and you get absolutely, 100%, nothing in exchange for agreeing to pre-dispute arbitration.

Continue Reading Forced Pre-Dispute Arbitration Gets Federal Attention

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 aides have told me the ratio on their day shift at a nursing home was as high as 1 aide to 14 residents. For those unaware, aides are the people who feed, bathe, and transfer residents, and they are also responsible turning and repositioning any residents who are at risk for developing bed sores. Having only 1 person in charge of caring for 14 patients at the same time is a catastrophe waiting to happen.

Continue Reading New Jersey Looks to Improve Staffing Ratios

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

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

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.
Continue Reading Residents Not “Improving” May Now Get Physical, Occupational Therapy if Helping

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.
Continue Reading Jersey City Medical Center Fails in its Attempt to Invoke a Mandatory Arbitration Clause After 21 Months of Costly Litigation

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.
Continue Reading Federal Judge Calls Nursing Home Company to Task – Orders Reinstatement of Workers