Lawyer Resources for New Jersey

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Injured Meadowview Nursing and Respiratory Care Residents to Receive Monetary Compensation

The state of New Jersey and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) conduct unexpected investigations and unannounced surveys on every nursing facility statewide. Their efforts help to identify serious violations and health deficiencies that have or could compromise the well-being of the facility’s residents.

In some cases, the level of issues at a nursing home are so egregious and the underlying problems that because the violations so challenging that the facility is unable to make corrections. When this occurs, the state and federal regulators typically designate the nursing home as a Special Focus Facility (SFF) and place the Center on the Federal Medicare watchlist.

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Injured Cooper River West Residents Can Seek Monetary Recovery

Every nursing home in the United States must undergo a state-conducted survey to evaluate the level of care and the number of violations occurring at the facility. This survey along with unscheduled inspections are regulated under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines to ensure that every resident is receiving the highest level of care. On average, even the best run nursing homes will have 5 to 7 violations per survey on average.

However, the facilities with severe violations and egregious problems are watched closely. When a violation is deemed to cause harm or has the potential of causing harm, the state surveyors and investigators have the legal right to issue monetary fines and penalties and force the nursing home to make much-needed corrections and changes in their policies and procedures.

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Assisted Living Facility Blamed For Death Of ResidentAt the heart of many allegations of negligence involving assisted living facilities is an underlying presumption that the facilities failure to properly supervise a resident resulted in an injury to a patient. Supervisory issues take center stage in many cases because the need for additional supervision is a primary reason why many people seek out the services of an assisted living facility in the first place– because they can not care for themselves at home.

While we frequently discuss the internal threats to patients at nursing homes or assisted living facilities– such as through falls or food poisoning, more attention needs to be put upon the inherent safety threats posed to residents when they ‘wander’ or ‘elope’ from the safety of the facility as these threats may not always be deemed valid.

When discussing situations involving patient elopement, the circumstance commonly involves a patient who lacks the capacity to truly comprehend the ramifications of their actions.  Unlike a patient who may be unhappy with their situation or living arrangements at a nursing home or assisted living facility and seeks to ‘escape’ back to the life they once knew, the most concerning cases of patient elopement / wandering involve patients who lack the cognitive ability to make decisions for themselves.

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Without proper staffing, even the most modern nursing homes are nothing more than buildings with beds.  Knowledgeable and plentiful staff has always appeared to improve patient morale, but a new study determines that added staff may actually save lives.

The Journal of Health Services Research compared the outcomes from 1.1 million people who had general surgical procedures performed at more than 800 hospitals in California, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  Of the three states, patients in California fared the best.

Less Patients, Happier Staff, Healthier Patients.It’s not just the warm weather in California that improved the heath of surgical patients.  Turns out, the patients in California tended to receive more attention from nurses than the patients in other states. Nurses in California medical-surgical units are limited to caring for 5 patients at a time compared with similar facilities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania where nursing loads tended to be more than 6 patients.

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Pressure Relieving Mattresses In Nursing HomesRay Mullman at the South Carolina Nursing Home Blog recently wrote about one of the most progressive piece of legislation passed in years– the mandatory use of pressure relieving mattresses in New Jersey Nursing Homes to help prevent the development of bedsores.

Unlike normal spring-filled mattresses, pressure relieving mattresses steadily inflate and deflate to reduce the amount of pressure and friction put on bony parts of the body prone that are prone skin break-drown and ultimately development of bedsores (also referred to as: pressure sores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers).

Under the terms of Bill S-1517, nursing home operators must to switch from regular mattresses to pressure-relief mattresses within three years. Nursing home owners would have one year from the bills enactment to begin phasing in the use of pressure relieving mattresses.

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iStock_000006497136XSmall1-1The face of the typical nursing home resident is changing — and becoming less wrinkled.  Today, more young people are entering nursing homes and long-term care facilities in their 30’s and 40’s.  More than 15% of nursing home residents nationwide are under 65 compared with 12.3% under 65 in 2003.

The number of younger nursing home residents is expected to grow as our society continues to have inadequate facilities to care for younger people who require extensive care and rehabilitation.  Young people with traumatic brain injuries, extensive orthopedic injuries and chronic disease have few alternatives to traditional nursing home care.

For more information regarding the changing demographics at nursing homes, look at this New Jersey newspaper article.

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