Lawyer Resources for Nursing Home Chains

issues for profitDecades ago, a nursing home represented a place where elderly citizens would live when they would no longer have the capability to care for themselves. However, the shameful truth is that the rise of large nursing home chains has made nursing home care into a business rather than a passion. Instead of providing the best possible care, many of these chains care about making a profit.

Articles from the New York Times warned about this as early as five years ago, but unfortunately the trend of large investment companies and private equity firms buying nursing home chains as investments has not only continued – it has increased.

Why this matters?

The truth is that if these new owners maintained the same level of care as before, there would not be much of a problem. However, these large investment companies and private equity firms become concerned with the nursing home’s bottom line. While there is no denying that there are many nursing homes that could ‘trim the fat’ by ensuring more efficient staff compliance, oftentimes these new owners take things a step further. They fail to fix structural problems with their facilities and shrink the budget for supplies. Oftentimes these companies will even cut their staffing levels below the legally required limit, all in order to save money. The unfortunate truth is that in these facilities, those who need the most help are the ones who suffer.

According to research from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the nursing homes owned by private investment companies have a number of problems that others do not. Compared to residents of other homes, the residents of nursing homes owned by private investment companies report a loss of ability to bathe and clothe, loss of mobility, and experience more depression. When compared to other nursing homes, those owned by investment firms traditionally score lower in the different categories used to measure the overall nursing home quality.

A deplorable lack of quality

Studies suggest that amongst investor-owned homes, the average registered nurse has to take care of seven more patients than in other homes. Moreover, investor-owned homes saw a 19 percent increase in quality of care deficiencies, including mixed up medications and moldy food.

The truth is that these new owners are concerned about the bottom line, these new owners care about the financials. This means that experienced nursing managers and administrators are told how to run the facility, and this typically means drastically cutting the budget, even if it means a drastic decline in patient quality.

What can you do?

If you believe that you or someone close to you lives in a nursing home that operates below industry standards, it is important to seek legal action right away. While we respect the idea that these investors see a nursing home as a lucrative investment, at no point should profits come before the health and welfare of its residents.

By going to court, it is possible to have a fine or settlement imposed, meaning that you are going to get the investor’s attention, because you are hurting them in the one place they seem to care about. If you notice neglect or a lack of attention, speak up. That is going to be the only way to enact change.

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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.

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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 Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers 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.

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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:

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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.

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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

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Medicare Nursing Home Comparison 1

Alden Facility 

Overall Rating 

Health Inspections 

Total # of Deficiencies 

Nursing Home Staffing 

RN Staff Only 

Total # of Licensed Nurse Staff Hours/Resident/Day 

Fire Safety Inspections 

Alma Nelson 

1/5 

1/5 

18 

2/5 

2/5 

1 hour, 17 minutes 

7 

Des Plaines 

5/5 

4/5 

2 

5/5 

5/5 

2 hours, 34 minutes 

0 

Barrington 

4/5 

4/5 

2 

3/5 

4/5 

1 hour, 49 minutes 

1 

Evanston 

5/5 

4/5 

2 

5/5 

5/5 

4 hours, 7 minutes 

2 

Naperville 

3/5 

2/5 

6 

2/5 

3/5 

1 hour, 7 minutes 

11 

Skokie 

4/5 

3/5 

2 

5/5 

5/5 

2 hours, 30 minutes 

2 

Lakeland 

2/5 

2/5 

6 

3/5 

5/5 

1 hour, 25 minutes 

3 

Lincoln 

1/5 

1/5 

16 

1/5 

2/5 

1 hour, 1 minute 

2 

Long Grove 

1/5 

2/5 

9 

2/5 

4/5 

1 hour, 14 minutes 

4 

North Shore 

3/5 

3/5 

11 

3/5 

4/5 

1 hour, 48 minutes 

1 

Northmoor 

4/5 

4/5 

9 

2/5 

3/5 

1 hour, 2 minutes 

1 

Waterford 

4/5 

3/5 

5 

4/5 

5/5 

1 hour, 38 minutes 

11 

Orland Park 

2/5 

2/5 

11 

2/5 

3/5 

1 hour,17 minutes 

0 

Park Strathmoor 

1/5 

2/5 

15 

1/5 

2/5 

1 hour,12 minutes 

11 

Poplar Creek 

3/5 

3/5 

6 

2/5 

4/5 

1 hour, 10 minutes 

3 

Princeton 

2/5 

1/5 

17 

3/5 

3/5 

1 hour, 19 minutes 

1 

Terrace of McHenry 

1/5 

1/5 

22 

2/5 

4/5 

1 hour, 8 minutes 

13 

Town Manor 

1/5 

1/5 

28 

2/5 

3/5 

1 hour, 14 minutes 

1 

Valley Ridge 

2/5 

2/5 

6 

2/5 

3/5 

1 hour, 9 minutes 

1 

Wentworth 

2/5 

1/5 

9 

1/5 

1/5 

55 minutes 

2 

Medicare Nursing Home Comparison 2

Continue reading →

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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.

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 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.

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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.

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Kindred Healthcare Nursing HomesKindred Healthcare is one of the largest nursing home and healthcare providers in the U.S. They own 224 nursing facilities and 118 long-term acute care hospitals in 28 states, plus rehabilitation centers and hospitals. Their headquarters are based out of Louisville, Kentucky.

Locations

Kindred Healthcare has nursing homes in more than half the states, dotting the western U.S. coastline from Washington down through California. The eastern seaboard is also covered with locations from Maine, Virginia and all the way to Florida. The Midwest is also has many locations throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and over in Ohio and Indiana. Of course, there are plenty of locations in their home state of Kentucky, with 18 locations there and 8 in neighboring Tennessee.

Client Reviews

  • Having worked in the medical field, I appreciated the way that Mr. Rosenfeld and his staff approached my family’s situation. The combination of medical knowledge and legal expertise was indeed the winning combination for our case.
    ★★★★★
  • While nothing can change the way our mother was treated at a nursing facility, I do feel a sense of vindication that the facility was forced to pay for their treatment. I am certain that they would never have done had my attorneys not held their feet to the fire.
    ★★★★★
  • I was very nervous about initiating a claim against my mother’s nursing facility, but Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers took care of everything from getting the medical records to going to court. I felt like I had real advocates on my side. That meant a lot to me.
    ★★★★★
  • After a horrific episode at a nursing home, my sister and I spoke to a number of law firms. No one took the time to answer our questions and explain the legal process like Mr. Rosenfeld. He did a tremendous job on our case and I can see why he’s earned the praise he has from clients and peers.
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  • I liked the fact that I could call the office and ask questions about the legal process at anytime. I could tell that my case was in good hands. I think that this was reflected in my father’s settlement was more than I anticipated the case ever being worth.
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