Saturday, December 17, 2011

Nursing Home Abuse caught on Tape

Three workers at a nursing home in Pennsylvania have been arrested after being caught on tape hitting and mocking an elderly woman who suffers from dementia. Relatives of the 78-year-old woman installed a hidden camera after officials at the home rejected their suspicions that she was being abused, ABC News reported. The woman had told her daughter she was being punched and slapped by staff, asking: "Why do they keep picking on me?"

The video shows the employees "engaging in acts which I can only describe as humiliating, taunting and abusive of the victim in this case, including forcing the victim to stand topless for several minutes while the defendant and the other employees mocked her," the district attorney said. "The way the defendants allegedly abused this victim is inexcusable. Patients suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s are among our most vulnerable citizens." The three employees have been charged with offenses including aggravated assault.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Insurance Industry Manufactures Crises and Harms America

Great article today from Center for Justice and Democracy on the planned phony insurance 'crisis' planned by insurance companies to manufacture falsehoods to the American public in order to deny Americans access to the Courts and to advance tort reform.

The first definitive expose of 35 years of manufactured insurance crises. So far there have been three. They document how this industry is now creating a fourth.

Imagine an industry that sold a product which every person and business in America needed. This product was so important that the industry could literally threaten the economy of a state by pulling its product out. The seller of this product was accountable to no federal agency and regulated only by very weak state agencies. It was also exempt from anti-trust laws so the entire industry, including so-called “competitors,” could use the same collusive pricing agencies to help determine the product’s price – price fixing that would land others in jail. Other laws permitted it to keep its financial data secret, enabling it to routinely mislead lawmakers, regulators and members of the media about its financial condition. This secrecy allowed it to create phony “crises” to help promote its own legislative agenda, padding its bottom line at the expense of everyday Americans.

The industry’s economic cycles lead to what are known as “hard” and “soft” insurance markets; there have been three full cycles in the past 35 years, with soft markets characterized by stable or low rates (good for policyholders but disliked by the insurance industry) and hard markets, characterized by sudden and astronomical rate hikes for policyholders. These hard markets lead to sometimes devastating “liability insurance crises.”
While the existence of this self-made cycle is clear to insurance industry insiders, insurers often
publicly deny the cycle’s existence while their lobbyists try to take advantage of skyrocketing
rates to push for so-called “tort reform.”
A bill has recently been introduced to eliminate the anti trust exemption irrationaly enjoyed by insurers over the years at the expense of policy holders:

Study: Repeat Offenders: How the Insurance Industry Manufactures Crises and Harms America

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Former nursing home employees claim firing for reporting fired for reporting maggots

Three former employees of a Pittsfield Township nursing home where maggots were found on a patient have sued the nursing home and its parent company alleging they were fired for reporting patient abuse and neglect at the facility.
The three all worked as certified nursing aides at Whitehall Healthcare Center of Ann Arbor and were involved in the state’s investigation into the discovery of maggots in a patient’s genital area last summer, the lawsuit states.
One was fired after filing a complaint that brought the state to the facility to investigate a patient’s fall, the lawsuit states. Two others were fired after they and the employee who filed the original complaint told state investigators about the discovery of the maggots, the lawsuit claims.

Ex-nursing home employees: We were fired for reporting maggots at Whitehall

New York Scores a dismal rating on Nursing Home Care

New York has a surprisingly poor record in providing long-term care for its residents, according to a new score card comparing all 50 states and the District of Columbia on the availability and quality of services. New York ranked 41st.

The rankings, published by AARP, the Commonwealth Fund and the Scan Foundation, incorporated data on 25 measures of long-term carefor the elderly and the physically disabled, and on the support services given to family members who provide care like bathing and feeding in the home. The report focused primarily on services for people who need assistance with routine activities of daily life but may also need medical care.
New York’s poor marks on the quality of care delivered and quality of life provided are especially disturbing. The state ranked 44th in the percentage of high-risk nursing home patients who develop bed sores, which is often a measure of neglectful care. It ranked 50th in the percentage of home health patients and 28th in the percentage of nursing home patients who were sent to the hospital, which is often considered an indicator of inadequate care in the system.
It also ranked 50th in the percentage of disabled adults living in the community who always or usually get the support they need. This is an ominous statistic given the drive to move larger numbers of people out of institutions and into community-based care.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Drug tampering by nurses in Kansas nursing regulations

A nurse with a prior felony conviction for forging prescriptions dilutes morphine solutions for five Halstead nursing home patients. Another nurse convicted of stealing drugs from patients at an nursing home gets another job in Topeka, where she adds tap water to a painkiller prescribed for a 105-year-old patient.
Still another nurse fired from her last job at a Wichita hospital over drug discrepancies gets a new job in Salina, where she's later accused of taking home syringes full of morphine and replacing the medicine with a dangerous sodium chloride solution.
Drug tampering cases by 3 Kansas nurses highlight gaps in state nursing regulations | The Republic