Lawyer Resources for Nursing Home Chains

Nursing Home FinesIt is a reasonable assumption for many people that nursing homes caught in the act of neglecting patient needs, disregarding safety standards and limiting their staff to levels deemed inadequate that fines and sanctions would be a deterrent from future abuses. This would be logical if the fines themselves had teeth and enforcement was both quick and consistent. For many states, however, this is not the case and civil litigation has become the only major deterrent left to motivate nursing chains into improving the quality of the care they provide. Lobbying has helped insulate many chains in certain states through the implementation of caps on compensation so that even civil action is becoming a less effective vehicle toward change.

Pennsylvania Auditor Offers Key Criticism Concerning Sanctions and Enforcement

As lawmakers in Illinois consider a bill that would propose prohibiting anonymous nursing home complaints, Pennsylvania is emerging from a three year trial of an identical measure which ended in failure. The number of nursing home complaints dropped by two thirds when the ban on anonymous complaints went into effect and the use of fines and other punitive measures was scrutinized by the state’s Auditor General, Eugene DePasquale.

Understaffing in Nursing HomesOne of the nation’s largest nursing home chains suffered a legal setback that could eventually send ripples throughout the nursing care community at large. Despite aggressive attempts to have a lawsuit thrown out alleging that the systemic understaffing of facilities has resulted in numerous deaths and the pain and suffering of countless patients under the company’s care, a judge denied the motion to dismiss the case. The nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys of Nursing Home Law Center LLC are monitoring this case closely because its result could have an influence on many related cases in the future.

In a Stroke of Irony, Defendants Claim Lawsuit is due to Greed and Opportunism

Preferred Care Partners Management Group is playing the role of victim by alleging that New Mexico’s attorney general is unfairly targeting the company for abuses committed at facilities prior to their assimilation into the Preferred Care Partners Management Group organization. State Attorney General Hector Balderas has offered the counterpoint that elderly patients living in New Mexico have suffered at the hands of greedy nursing corporations that place profits over people and safety for far too long and that Preferred Care Partners should be culpable for any of its businesses despite their dates of acquisition.

Selecting a Nursing Home Takes Time and PatienceMany families face the undesired position that their loved one no longer has the ability to live on their own safely and without assistance. As a result, they are required to find a safe and loving environment and place their trust into the hands of strangers who have competency and training to provide much-needed health and hygiene assistance. But choosing the right nursing facility is not easy. Without proper research and advocacy, making the wrong decision could have serious consequences.

Choosing the Right Nursing Home

Often times, placing a loved one in a nursing facility is one of the most challenging decisions the family will ever face. The need for a nursing facility often occurs at a time when the loved one is suffering some serious medical crises. Other factors might also be involved that limits the possibility of where the loved one can reside. This is especially important if payments will be made by Medicare or Medicaid that require the facility to be certified. However, other factors are also involved including:

Profits in Nursing HomesNursing homes are big business that provide valuable investing opportunities for private equity firms around the world. While not a glamorous business, nursing home chains can make money. In 2009, the U.S. nursing home industry provided more than $104 billion worth of health care to the elderly, infirm, rehabilitating and disabled. This number was up substantially by more than 20 percent just four years before. As the baby booming aging population grows larger every year, the demand for health care in nursing facilities is expected to grow substantially in the decades ahead.

A Profitable Private Equity Investment

Statistics indicate that nursing facilities owned by private equity investors pay more, albeit smaller, fines and receive more citations for a greater number of deficiencies then other for-profit facilities. In addition, these homes tend to have fewer registered nurses on the medical team, which tends to negatively impact residents. The nursing home care industry run by for-profit companies have long had tumultuous issues, especially multi-facility chains where the size of the parent company and their geographical scope nationwide facilities makes it difficult to control serious problems that each individual nursing home.

People Unfit Taking Over Nursing Home OwnershipFederal and state regulators and inspectors are required to detect serious problems at nursing facilities to ensure a resident’s health and access to quality care. However, problems still arise especially at facilities that have repeated violations, filed complaints, opened investigations and recurrent fines. Ownership in a nursing facility can be a lucrative business opportunity that is available to nearly anyone, even those who are unfit and untrained to operate a home.

An October 15 article published by ProPublica exposed serious problems with SentosaCare, one of New York’s largest nursing facility networks that operates approximately 25 nursing homes with more than 5000 beds. Eleven of their nursing homes have averaged approximately 24 violations occurring over the last 36 months. Three of their nursing homes had double the average number.

Business Growing in Spite of Violations

Will More Money Improve Nursing Home Care

Why are Financial Penalties Imposed?

Penalties are usually imposed on a nursing home when a serious deficiency is uncovered or if a known deficiency is not addressed for extended periods of time. If found to withhold correctional measures, the nursing home in question may be fined or may be denied payments due from government health programs such as Medicaid or Medicare.

Fines are imposed either once per error, or they may be enforced on a daily surcharge method until the necessary correction takes place. The home may also be denied government payments for Medicare or Medicaid until the home makes the appropriate correction. Eventually, if no corrections take place the agreement between the nursing home and Medicare/Medicaid is terminated, and the nursing home’s certification, that allows them to provide care for a profit, is rebuked. The residents of the home with Medicare or Medicaid are then shifted to certified care facilities.

 Large-For-Profit-Nursing-Home-Chains-Declining-Levels-of-Care-Increases-In-Patient -Injury The entire purpose of any for-profit corporation is to make money and to continuously implement new strategies that will increase profit and reduce expenses. How far is too far though when a company puts its own needs above those of the people it serves? The ten largest for-profit nursing care companies were put to the test last year in a study that compared their care to that of government agencies and not-for-profit homes. Researchers were alarmed at just how stark the contrast was between nursing facilities that existed to make a profit and those that didn’t— and the results did not favor the for-profit homes.

Ten Nursing Home Companies that Only Care About Profit 

After evaluating multiple government sponsored nursing homes and not-for-profit care facilities and comparing the results to the following companies, it was determined that the level of care shown by these companies failed to equal the care that patients received in homes that were not out for financial gain. Each of these companies failed to live up to their not-for-profit counterparts’ levels of care.

Options to Keep Loved Ones Safe from Abuse in FacilitiesThere is a lot of anxiety and unfamiliar aspects to deal with if someone we care about enters into a nursing home facility. We wonder whether they will be comfortable, whether they will make new friends, but we should not have to worry about whether they will be safe. Families of nursing home residents in South Carolina now no longer have to worry about that as much.

More about the bill

The Electronic Monitoring of a Resident’s Room in a Long-Term Care Facility bill would make it possible for residents who want to place a camera in their room to do so. The bill ensures that facilities make accommodations for those patients who make such a request. It also offers penalties for those staff members who tamper with the equipment or the camera itself.

Power of Attorney for End of Life CareNo one wants to think about a time when they will no longer be capable of making their own decisions regarding their medical care and must trust someone else to make end-of-life decisions for them. However, it can happen at any time when a unforeseen accident happens or an illness creates a situation where you are no longer able to make your our medical decisions. As part of your estate planning, you need to appoint a power-of-attorney agent and detail your wishes regarding medical care. This can give you peace of mind as well as reduce the burden on your loved ones if there comes a time when these hard decisions regarding your care must be made.

Choosing A Health Care Power Of Attorney

A health care power of attorney is similar to one used for financial affairs but instead is a agent which you assign the right to make medical decisions for you when you are no longer able to make them for yourself. Many people may have two different people with power of attorney, one for financial affairs and one for health care. This is sometimes also referred to as a health care proxy. This person should be someone you trust, usually a friend or family member. Once you give appoint this agent, unless you revoke the power, they will have the right to make medical decisions on your behalf when you are no longer capable, including:

Nursing Home Negligence Verdict To StandA nursing home facility in Kanawha County West Virginia recently lost its appeal to reconsider a sizable verdict awarded in a case that went to trial two years earlier. The lawsuit investigates whether the limits established for medical malpractice apply to nursing homes. It borders on whether the defendant, HCR Manor Care, looked to garner more profits by withholding staff to cut costs.

The Charges against HCR Manor Care

In 2009, a facility owned by HCR Manor Car, LLC took charge for an 87- year old woman. Just 19 days after admittance, the elderly lady died of dehydration. The lawsuit filed by her son claims that there were a number of abuses on his mother during her short stay at the nursing home

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