Articles Posted in Nursing Home Neglect

In Tennessee and all across the country, families place their elderly loved ones in nursing homes each year. When doing so, they expect that their loved ones will be properly taken care of and looked after. Unfortunately, many nursing homes are understaffed, overworked, and improperly trained. This can and unfortunately often leads to nursing home abuse and neglect for many patients. If you feel that someone you love has been injured or died as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect, then you should talk to a Tennessee nursing home lawyer as soon as possible.

According to this case, a lawsuit has been filed against a nursing home after one of the patients was allegedly sexually assaulted. The complaint states that around July 17, 2010, an elderly woman who lived at the Apple Rehab Bunker Hill facility was sexually assaulted by an unknown person. The attack allegedly happened in her bedroom, but does not specify if the suspect was an employee, guest, or another resident.

The lawsuit claims that the nursing home failed to protect the victim from sexual assault, failed to provide adequate security, and failed to report the assault to family members as well as police. However, a spokesperson for the facility says that, “The rehab’s policy includes a full investigation into the facts and findings and continues to commit full resources to uncover the facts which continue to unfold.”

The family is asking for the rehab facility to pay more than $15,000 to cover the costs of medical and funeral costs. The family claims because of the reported incident here, the woman suffered a fear of sexually transmitted diseases, conscious pain and suffering, severe emotional distress and eventually death. The criminal investigation to this is ongoing.
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Imperial Gardens Health and Rehabilitation Center, located at 306 W. Due West Road in Madison, Tennessee has been found by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) to be woefully non-compliant with federal regulations. Our Tennessee Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers are currently reviewing cases from this facility. Medicare has ordered that funding for residents placed in the home will cease in thirty (30) days and that no new residents will be admitted. The State of Tennessee has stepped in and begun making preparation for the transfer of residents still at the facility to alternate placements.

The thrust of the report issued by CMS centered around the widespread neglect observed at the facility. The most significant and consistent complaint was the failure to properly administer medications to the residents that were critically ill and in pain. In the inspection report (found here: ), many instances involving many different residents detail such failures of the home and its staff to give medication timely, to give the correct dose of medication and, in some instances, to give the right type of medication.

In our practice in Tennessee and throughout the Southeast, we represent victims of nursing home abuse and neglect and their families. Many times, the ability of nursing home nurses and assistants to provide care is hampered by the administration and management of the facility. The mentality of putting profits over people results in a nursing home’s unwillingness to spend money to provide enough skilled and trained employees to meet the needs of residents in the facility. The facility has a duty, once it agrees to accepts someone’s family or loved one, to provide the appropriate level of care to ensure that person’s well being. Unfortunately, that is not always done.
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In Tennessee and all across the country, families place their elderly loved ones in nursing homes each year. When doing so, they expect that their loved ones will be properly taken care of and looked after. Unfortunately, many nursing homes are understaffed, overworked, and improperly trained. This can and unfortunately often leads to nursing home abuse and neglect for many patients.

According to a federal report, the U.S. nursing home industry overcharges Medicare by $1.5 billion a year for treatments patients do not really need or fail to receive. Thirty percent of for profit nursing home claims were considered improper compared to twelve percent of claims from non-profit nursing homes. According to the report from the inspector general’s office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in nursing homes, seventy-eight percent of $105 billion in revenues go to for profit in 2010 which is up from seventy-two percent in 2002, according to the latest government report.

Life Care, based in Cleveland, Tennessee, has denied wrongdoing despite a claim that a Life Care Center in South Carolina placed an eighty year old woman who could not keep her eyes open in a standing frame for eighty-four minutes of psychical and occupational therapy two days before her death. This case is just one in several where Life Care has overcharged for unnecessary care. Many U.S. for profit nursing homes have been faced with cases of pushing patients, having patients that were visibly soiled or had bed sores among other cases of improper care and treatment.

According to 2010 law issued during President Barack Obama’s first term, health care providers are encouraged to form “accountable care organizations” that combine doctor practices with hospital groups, which could add to their pricing power. The November study that found $1.5 billion in improper nursing-home bills equal to about five percent of total Medicare outlays to the facilities was by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services office of inspector general. This study followed a 2010 OIG report that found for-profit nursing homes were nearly twice as likely as nonprofits to bill Medicare at the highest rate for patients of similar ages and diagnoses.
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In Tennessee and all across the country, families place their elderly loved ones in nursing homes each year. When doing so, they expect that their loved ones will be properly taken care of and looked after. Unfortunately, many nursing homes are understaffed, overworked, and improperly trained. According to recent reports, a Nashville nursing home has received fines totaling $240,000 in the last year due to violations of state and federal regulations which placed patients in “immediate jeopardy” The citations were given on May 12th for and the other on Dec. 6th for $8,000 following an inspection by surveyors from the Health Department of Crestview Health and Rehabilitation Center. The May citation has been paid according to a spokeswoman for the agency but the $8,000 citation is still pending.

In May, the citations were given for failing to inform a treating physician of the deteriorating condition of one of his patients, who was later found dead. The patient’s physical and mental health had deteriorated with “repeated behaviors, anxiety, agitation, repeatedly low oxygen, symptoms of swelling, dyspnea, coolness, paleness and abnormal lung sounds and elevated temperature.”The report revealed that the failure to inform the physician placed the resident “in immediate jeopardy.”According to the report, the physician told the state inspector that had he known about the patient’s decline, he “would have sent him out,” adding, “He needed to go back to the hospital.”The physician said he also was not informed that his patient was found eating a topical ointment that contained a warning that ingestion of large quantities could be hazardous. The unnamed patient was found not breathing early on the morning of Jan. 19th of last year and was pronounced dead.

The inspection report also cited the nursing home for verbally abusing two incontinent patients and for failing to investigate and report suspected abuse and also for failing to treat a pressure sore that caused harm to a patient. They were also cited for failing to develop patient care plans. Robert Jordan, spokesman for Vanguard Healthcare, which owns Crestview, said all the deficiencies have been corrected and new management put in place at the nursing home. He also stated that, “We are restoring our high standards for quality care at Crestview.” As a Nashville Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer I truly hope Crestview will do as promised.
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In Tennessee and all across the country, families place their elderly loved ones in nursing homes each year. When doing so, they expect that their loved ones will be properly taken care of and looked after. Unfortunately, many nursing homes are understaffed, overworked, and improperly trained. This can and unfortunately often leads to nursing home abuse and neglect for many patients. If you feel that someone you love has been injured or died as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect, then you should talk to a Tennessee nursing home neglect lawyer as soon as possible.

In a recent study, Tennessee has accumulated a little over $4 million in nursing home fines over the past three years, making it the sixth highest total of any state in the United States, according to data collected by ProPublica the non-profit news organization. Tennessee handed out eighty-six fines and the average fine amount is the second highest in the nation.

The fine amounts are between $2,015 and $525,188. They were handed out to forty-two of over three hundred licensed nursing homes in Tennessee. The largest single fine of $525, 1882 was handed to the Bristol Nursing home in Bristol. The second highest, $465,195 was handed to the Colonial Hills Nursing Center in Marysville.

The data found that forty nursing homes in Tennessee had serious deficiencies. The local nursing homes that received fines include: Ridgetop Haven in Goodlettsville at $83,115, Spring Meadows Health Care Center in Clarksville, which was fined $245, 735, Imperial Gardens Health and Rehabilitation which was fined $347,043, and The Health Center at Richland Place in Nashville was fined $2,633.
The Crestview Health and Rehabilitation Center in Nashville did not receive a fine but received citations for fourteen serious deficiencies. Lebanon Health and Rehabilitation was also cited for five serious deficiencies and Imperial Gardens in Nashville had three serious deficiencies that were cited.
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Over the years we have litigated Nursing Home Neglect cases in Tennessee and throughout the country. One difficult part of these cases is that by the time a family comes to our office the neglect has already occurred and the harm has been suffered. As such, anytime we find new tools to help a family avoid potential neglect we try to pass it along. One tool that we recommend is the Nursing Home Compare. Although these tools are helpful please remember there is nothing better than visiting the home on a regular basis.

The Nursing Home Compare tool was created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. They have uploaded full stats from 15,000 nursing home inspections reports. Historically, you would only be able view ranking and general inspections results but not the information is much more detailed. Specifically, you can view the full report and look at the details of the entire inspection. It is a great tool to start you search for a good home. However, it is crucial that you do not stop here.

Specifically, it is important to remember that even though information on the internet is helpful it is no substitute for visiting the actual nursing home you are considering. Here are some tips that may help in selecting a good home and making sure adequate care is being received:

1. Location — Your loved one needs both your regular visits and your irregular ones. Studies show that unscheduled visits to nursing homes help insure good care. Though it is not always possible it best that a nursing home be a convenient trip for friends, relatives and physicians. The nursing home should also be fairly close to a hospital that can handle medical emergencies.

2. Observe– Although it sounds simple make sure it is a place that you would feel comfortable staying in for a few nights. Does it look and smell clean? Is the lighting, noise and temperature all at pleasant levels? Do the meals look appetizing?

3. Talk to Everyone.. Talk to both the staff and families of other residents. The staff should welcome your questions and be eager to provide information. There always needs to be an open line of communication.

4. Activities. Take notice of the activities offered. You are not necessarily looking for the number of activities but the type of activities. Are they the type your loved one would enjoy? It is important that we all keep busy doing activities that stimulate us physically and mentally.

5. Staffing. Staffing is one of the most critical issues we see in these cases. An insufficient number of staff or poorly trained staff will inevitability result in bad care. Ask how the staff is chosen and if criminal background checks are performed. Also, make sure there are enough employees around to care for the residents. Are call lights being answered? Food being delivered and cleaned up in a timely manner?
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In a recent case, a nursing home abuse lawsuit was filed against forty-seven year old nursing aide, Anthony Johnson who has been accused of groping a fifty-three year old patient in the nursing home in January. Johnson is also being accused of trying to force a forty-three year old patient to perform oral sex on him the spring before. Johnson was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual battery and a misdemeanor sexual battery.

Days following his arrest, forty-one year old Diane Renee Kline, a registered nurse and administer at the nursing home was arrested in connection with Johnson. Kline was charged with failing to report possible elderly abuse and neglect. The family of one of the victims ended up being the ones to report the incidents. A second worker is also facing criminal charges for alleged nursing home abuse; however, they have not yet been arrested.

Have handled hundreds of Tennessee Nursing Home Neglect cases, we have seen many tragic events. However, these depraved sexual attacks are just simple sickinging. The damage they cause not only to the resident but to also the children and loved ones of the victims is devestating.
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In our experience of pursuing Tennessee Nursing Home Negligence Cases, we have unfortunately discovered that many nursing homes are understaffed, the staff overworked, and improperly trained.

In one case, Deborah Norman and her sister Elizabeth Marquis claim that their father had been overdosed while a patient of the Pawtuxet Village Care and Rehabilitation Center. In an investigation conducted by Medicare, it has been revealed that their father was indeed given powerful medicines that almost killed him. He was taken to the hospital and went into a coma. He survived; however, the sisters are appalled and disappointed by the lack of care at the Pawtuxet Village Care and Rehabilitation Center. The daughters have stated that they are considering filing a civil lawsuit against Sunbridge, the parent company of the nursing home.

Sunbridge runs another nursing home in the state, but there has been no evidence that the facility is being run improperly. The Department of Heath closed the Pawtuxet Village Care and Rehabilitation Center in April. The Sunbridge Company denied comment on the Medicare investigation.
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Our Tennessee Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers have been witnesses to disturbing events over the years. A recent news story highlights the potential dangers that residents sometimes face in these homes. According to a recently reported case, an investigation was started into a nursing home after an eighty-nine year old resident with severe dementia reported to two family members that on June 15, 2012, she had been raped by a man she did not know. The family member then reported this claim to a nurse who examined the patient and then as told by the nursing home’s doctor, transferred the patient to a hospital emergency room so a rape test could be performed. The Police Department interviewed family members and nursing home residents on June 16th and opened an investigation.

On August 29, 2012, the Department of Health as well as the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services concluded that the nursing home owned by Kindred Healthcare Inc., is accused of providing residents substandard care and of placing them in immediate jeopardy. The nursing home received a fine of $6,000 per day until the Department of Health and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are satisfied that the problems have been resolved. The Health Department and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services cited that the nursing home failed to notify the resident’s doctor so she could be tested for STD’s, and failed to properly question the male staff and to provide proper counseling for the resident.

The investigation is ongoing, and no one has been charged. The resident’s family moved her to another facility.
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Nursing home abuse and neglect litigation continues to be on the rise in Tennessee and around the Country. Many large nursing home chains have created a system to maximize profits at the expense of providing proper care. Additionally, State surveys of nursing homes reflect glaring deficiencies in care that are not apparent to a first time visitor to the home who is deciding whether or not to place a parent or loved one there.

People who have relatives that need nursing home care due to advanced medical conditions, dementia or other illnesses that require total assistance care have a difficult choice to make in deciding where to place their relative. Advertisements for nursing homes certainly do not provide detailed information about deficiencies or problems in the homes. For such a critical decision, and with such a large number of facilities that receive below average marks for care, it is important that one thoroughly investigates the nursing home when considering where to place a loved one.

One tool that has been recently opened to the public that provides some information is through ProPublica, a non-profit investigative journalism company. The tool is a Nursing Home Inspection database that covers nearly 118,000 deficiencies in 14,565 nursing homes. The database uses State surveys and information from Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare database and attempts to provide more detailed information about specific deficiencies. While it is not perfect, the database is a good starting point to help in the evaluation of any particular nursing home and to help in the placement decision.

The database provides a snapshot in time of deficiencies and does not focus on corrective action taken by any nursing home. However, if you know of a documented deficiency, that will help you in asking the right questions to find out if the deficiency has been addressed. This tool is helpful, but it is only as complete as the information that has been analyzed. State Surveys and the Medicare database provide additional information that may not be reflected in the database.
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