Thursday, November 29, 2012

California attorney general's office to ramp up elder-abuse investigations

Until he died last month at age 82, Don Esco of Cameron Park had his own way of measuring the passage of time: by the years, months and days since the nursing home death of his wife, Johnnie, after a short stay at a Placerville nursing home.
It was never enough, he always said, to settle a civil lawsuit with the El Dorado Care Center in Placerville, which he blamed for his 77-year-old wife's death in March 2008. No, he said, it was never about the money.
Johnnie's death, he maintained, was a nursing home criminal matter – and the state of California agreed. 
On Thursday – four years, seven months and 24 days after Johnnie Esco died – one of two nurses charged with criminal elder abuse in connection with her death pleaded no contest to the charge.California attorney general's office to ramp up elder-abuse investigations - Capitol and California - The Sacramento Bee:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Falsified patient records are untold story of California nursing home care

A supervisor at a Carmichael nursing home admitted under oath that she was ordered to alter the medical records of a 92-year-old patient, who died after developing massive, rotting bedsores at the facility.

In Santa Monica, a nursing home was fined $2,500 by the state for falsifying a resident's medical chart, which claimed that the patient was given physical therapy five days a week. The catch? At least 28 of those sessions were documented by nurse assistants who were not at work on those days.

In Los Angeles, lawyers for a woman severely re-injured at a nursing home discovered a string of false entries – several written by nonexistent nurses.

Phantom nurses. Suspicious entries in medical charts. Phony paperwork, hurriedly produced after an injury or death.

It is the untold story of nursing home care: falsification of patient records.

While regulators have dogged facilities for years over fraudulent Medicare documentation, the issue of bogus records is more than a money matter. In California and elsewhere, nursing homes have been caught altering entries and outright lying on residents' medical charts – sometimes with disastrous human consequences, according to a Bee investigation.

Medications and treatments are documented as being given when they are not. Inaccurate entries have masked serious conditions in some patients, who ultimately died after not receiving proper care, the Bee found.
Falsified patient records are untold story of California nursing home care - Investigations - The Sacramento Bee: