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.
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.
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.
The most recent attempt to overhaul the nation’s health care system would fundamentally alter Medicaid and jeopardize home and community-based services, according to www.DisabilityScoop.com. A chart outlining the proposed bill is available here.
After a prior Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act failed, this new effort in the U.S. Senate again seeks to upend the Obama-era law.
The proposal introduced last week by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis. runs into a deadline of September 30. After that date, a simple majority will not suffice to pass the measure – rather, 60 votes would be needed to do so.
Thus, Republicans have until Sept. 30 to repeal Obamacare with only 51 votes in the Senate under the current budget resolution.
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 this cap on damages. H.R. 1215 would apply to health care lawsuits where coverage for the care was provided or subsidized by the federal government, including through subsidies or tax benefits.
H.R. 1215 would preempt state laws governing health care litigation in several areas, including statutes of limitation, joint and several liability, product liability, and attorney contingency fees.
Proponents of the bill claim that the bill would lower medical liability insurance premiums, and by extension, reduce the incidence of so-called “defensive” medical treatments and lower costs associated with federal health care programs such as Medicaid.
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 in jeopardy. The violations including missing or broken handrails, blocked or locked fire exits, exposed wiring and missing protective plates, m broken “call-for-aid” devices, and rodent infestation.
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 to families that suspect an in-home care giver is abusing or neglecting their loved one.
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 individual needs and safety. Due to the debilitating nature of Alzheimer’s and dementia, researchers have been studying the disease and there appears to be some good news on the horizon.
A November 21, 2016, article by Liz Szabo posted on CNN.com discussed how a recently published study showed that dementia rates have fallen nearly 24% from 2000 to 2012. The significant rate of decline is attributed to Americans’ rising educational levels and better heart health.
The study, which was published in JAMA Internal Medicine, began in 1992 and focused on people over 50 years old. The researchers collected data from the participants every two years. The data included interviews, physical tests, body measurements, blood samples, and saliva samples.
Researchers are not certain why dementia rates are declining, but the evidence is mounting that higher education and better heart health are related to the decline.
This is promising news because currently, according to Alzheimer’s Association of America, as many as 5.1 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. It is also estimated that a half million Americans under 65 have some form of dementia.
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 it strives for a very high staff-to-patient ratio.”
After doing nursing home neglect and abuse claims day in and day out, it is encouraging to see state agencies stepping up and holding these facilities to task as well.
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.