Friday, June 01, 2012

Massachusetts cites 3 hospitals for denial of care of patients

Health officials cited three Massachusetts hospitals in the past six months for wrongly sending away patients from their emergency rooms, in one case resulting in the death of a patient while en route to another facility.
In that episode, caregivers at Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River failed to provide needed medical treatment before transferring the patient, who was unstable and in respiratory distress, state investigators concluded.
In a case at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, an on-call surgeon refused to come in late at night to perform an emergency operation on a patient with flesh-eating bacteria, investigators found. The patient was transferred to another hospital, and the surgeon no longer operates on patients at St. Vincent, hospital officials said.
Hospitals that break federal rules ensuring public access to emergency services can face especially tough sanctions. Flagrant or repeat violators risk losing their right to treat Medicare and Medicaid patients, which can cost a hospital millions of dollars.
Massachusetts cites 3 hospitals for inappropriate care of patients in emergency rooms

Monday, May 28, 2012

Nursing Home Nightmare

"Kill me or let me die," were Alan's dying words, one month after the trauma of his forced eviction from a nursing home that didn't want him anymore. Those words still haunt my sister and I, knowing in our hearts the nursing home trauma killed him prematurely.
Alan (not his real name) was going to die anyway, terminally ill with Alzheimer's and Lewey Body dementias.
But dying in terror wasn't part of the plan. We never expected as prophetic, his WWII-generated fears as an orphan being "taken away by police."
We believe the living nightmare of his being"Baker-Acted" was the result of having to go on Medicaid.
Medicaid reimbursement to health care facilities is less than Medicare or private insurance. Nevertheless, we'd been assured a Medicaid-paid room would be available, as a current resident of the nursing home, once his Long Term Care insurance ran out.
We were wrong to believe them.
My sister and I shared a grim bond that Christmas day. Her husband Alan just died the day before. My husband died exactly ten years before, the day after.
We spent the day in stunned awareness of the painful irony.
This article isn't about us, however.
It's about advocacy.
My sister spent almost every day in the nursing home with Alan for two years. Caregivers relied upon her for help. I was there when she couldn't be. We did that and more. Still, this happened.
After the shock of Alan's death, anger set in.
The cruel acts perpetrated on him would not go unanswered. Many, fearing retribution if challenging caregivers, don't speak up and nothing changes.
Nursing Home Nightmare: Alan's Story Part II - Life in the Slow Lane

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Attorney Hamill files Wrongful Death Suit against Massachusetts Nursing Home

Hamill Law Office recently filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit in the Berkshire County, Massachusetts superior court on behalf of the Estate of John B. Satiro against Sweet Brook nursing home. Satiro was fatally injured by a fall at the Williamstown facility. Plaintiff Satiro was a resident of Sweet Brook transitional care and living center located at 1561 Cold Spring Road in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Sweet Brook Transitional Care and Living Center is owned by Des Senior Care Holdings, LLC, of Fort Lee, NJ.
According to the complaint (Berkshire county docket # 2012-1248) filed by attorney Hamill, Satiro was injured when staff members dropped him from a hoyer lift while attempting to transport him.
Elder Advocate Attorney files Wrongful Death Suit against Massachusetts Nursing Home