Saturday, October 03, 2009

Medical Malpractice Nursing Home Abuse Neglect: Illinois ranks high on bad nursing home report

Medical Malpractice Nursing Home Abuse Neglect: Illinois ranks high on bad nursing home report

Illinois ranks high on bad nursing home report

Illinois has the nation’s second-highest number of nursing homes that have been flagged as having poor quality, according to a new federal report.

Forty-seven Illinois nursing homes are among facilities that perform “most poorly” on quality-of-care measures, according to a study released by the General Accounting Office. It’s second only to Indiana’s 52 facilities.

The report rated homes on staffing levels, procedures to prevent bed sores, measures to prevent abuse and neglect and other factors. Ones that were included among the poorly performing facilities averaged a 46% greater number of serious deficiencies that harmed residents when compared to other homes.

The study recommends vastly expanding a federal program that closely monitors U.S. nursing homes with the worst quality ratings, to 580 facilities from the current 136. The GAO did not list the facilities by name.

It also highlights a shortcoming in the way that program, run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is administered. The 136 homes that now undergo more-frequent inspections are the worst performers in their respective states. But some states, like Illinois, perform worse than others, which means many homes that deserve closer scrutiny slip through the cracks.

The study urges CMS to consider a facility’s performance relative to other homes nationally, which likely would label many more Illinois facilities as poor performing.

CMS officials told the GAO they disagreed with relying solely on a national comparison. The agency said it would consider an approach that allows for a national comparison to have more weight.

Officials from the state’s largest nursing home trade group, the Health Care Council of Illinois, which represents for-profit facilities, said they hadn’t had a chance to review the report and would not be able to comment.

Homes rated as poorly performing tend to be larger, with an average of 102 residents; for-profit and part of a chain, and have an average of nearly 24% fewer registered-nurses hours relative to the number of patients.

Several large states had far fewer poor quality homes than Illinois, including Ohio (three), Pennsylvania (six); New York (18) and California (40).

Nationally, there are about 16,000 nursing homes. So the 580 homes that the GAO’s report describes as the worst-performing represents almost 4% of the nation's nursing homes.

Separately, the Chicago Tribune reported in a front-page story Tuesday that 15% of Illinois’ nursing home residents are mentally ill and more than 3% have been convicted of serious felonies. Illinois houses mentally ill patients in nursing homes at a rate greater than any other state, placing residents at greater risk of being harmed by other patients, the story says

see also

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

CNA Charged with Choking Elder Resident

PRINCETON — A certified nursing assistant at Good Samaritan Home and Rehabilitation Center in Oakland City is charged with choking and punching one of the facility’s residents.

Bryan C. Dillman, 29, of Oakland City, was arrested Thursday morning for a felony battery charge after police were called to the home in reference to a battery with injury on a woman living at the home.

According to an affidavit for probable cause, a nurse at the home, Sharlet Sillz, found Dillman asleep in a recliner in the room of DeeAnn Hoffman.

The affidavit says Sillz told Dillman she would not report him because “she knows that he is tired and that he has kids.”

Hoffman, who had been undergoing a test, went back to her room.

Sillz then told police she heard Hoffman yelling “please don’t hurt me” and Sillz heard a smacking noise coming from Hoffman’s room.

Dillman then quickly walked away and Sillz went into the room. According to the affidavit, Hoffman said to Sillz that Dillman had tried to choke her and hit her numerous times in the face.

After police spoke with Hoffman, she said she had told Dillman she was ready for a shower when Dillman jumped out of a chair, got behind her and put both hands around her neck and choked her.

According to the charging information, Hoffman told police Dillman punched her in the face with his fist."

Tri-State Media

Nursing Home Blamed For Patient Death | TriCities

Nursing Home Blamed For Patient Death TriCities: "BRISTOL, Tenn. – Ninety-eight-year-old Anne Brightwell died in a hospice bed June 16, family members said, after months of screaming over a fractured left femur that would not heal.
Her upper leg bone shattered Feb. 6, when a hammock sling, used by Cambridge House nursing home staff to hoist her from a bed to a wheelchair, snapped. A medical examiner listed the broken femur as the cause of death on Brightwell’s death certificate.
Daughter Ruth Countiss said the fall could have been prevented, and accuses the nursing home of regularly using aging and tattered slings, but throwing newer equipment into use only when Tennessee Health Department inspectors arrived.
Three former Cambridge House employees say administrators hid daily-use equipment from inspectors, only to later pull it out after tucking away the newer items until the next state visit.
On Monday, Countiss filed a $2 million personal injury lawsuit in Bristol, Tenn. General Sessions Court arguing that Cambridge House “knowingly, intentionally and recklessly placed the safety of its residents .... in harm’s way to save money.”"


Monday, September 28, 2009

CA Nursing Homes Carry No Insurance - Victims No Recovery for Abuse or Neglect

n 2007, Grover Brown, a paraplegic 37-year-old, debilitated by multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease, developed a pressure sore soon after arriving at the High Street Care Center in East Oakland.

The sore erupted in March. By August, surgeons had removed his tailbone because the wound had festered without treatment, court documents showed.

Brown is suing High Street Care Center, which had a long list of citations from the Department of Public Health — 164 between 2004 and 2008. The facility is owned by Trinity Health Systems, whose president, Randal Kleis, has operated about a dozen facilities across the state under several corporate names.

But Brown, now 39, likely won't see more than a token settlement from High Street Care Center because skilled-nursing facilities, nursing homes and assisted-living care facilities — charged with caring for the sickest and most helpless Americans whose numbers are rapidly growing each year — are not required to carry liability insurance. The amount of the settlement he may ultimately receive is unlikely to cover the cost of care Brown will require as the result of his shoddy treatment at the High StreetCare Center, Renneisen said. The government will end up picking up the tab for his care.

And Kleis' other assets are untouchable because they were legally registered as separate corporate entities — a common way operators shield themselves and their profits.

full article

Felons working in nursing homes?

Florida seniors and disabled adults too frail to live on their own have been beaten, neglected and robbed by caregivers with criminal records according to an article in the Sun Sentinel.

A cancer patient at a Pompano Beach assisted living facility watched helplessly from bed as a nurse's aide with a record for theft rifled through her handbag and stole $165.

A video camera caught an aide at a North Miami Beach group home for the disabled shoving a cerebral palsy patient face-first to the floor, busting her lip. The aide had previously pleaded guilty to criminal assault and never should have been working there.

More than 3,500 people with criminal records — including rape, robbery and murder — have been allowed to work with the elderly, disabled and infirm through exemptions granted by the state the past two decades, a Sun Sentinel investigation found. Hundreds more slipped through because employers failed to check their backgrounds or kept them on the job despite their criminal past.

Screening gaps

Florida has a patchwork of controls for checking caregivers of the elderly that seems to put more emphasis on protecting against embezzlement than safeguarding patients.