July 15, 2019

Who takes care of mom and dad in the nursing home? In N.J., the answer can be scary.

We were interviewed in connection with the Newark Star-Ledger’s July 15th investigative report on “Who Takes Care of Mom and Dad in the Nursing Home.” You’ll find that he quoted from our conversation in detail. Beyond that, it’s a good reminder that what happens in the nursing home usually stays in the nursing home, to the great prejudice of the resident’s care.

“Staffing shortages like those described in the article are often at the root of litigation alleging negligence or malpractice.”

Thank you Ted Sherman of the Star-Ledger.

June 5, 2019

9 New Jersey Nursing Homes May Soon Be Ranked Among the Worst in the Country

A new study lists the following nursing homes as being classified as candidates for being classified as “Special Focus Facilities. A special focus facility is a nursing home where there is a history of serious quality issues. New Jersey nursing homes listed include:

  • Millville Center (Millville)
  • Our Lady’s Center for Rehabilitation and HC (Pleasantville)
  • Care One at Evesham (Marlton)
  • Riverside Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (Trenton)
  • Sterling Manor (Maple Shade)
  • Waterview Center (Cedar Grove)
  • Summit Ridge Center (West Orange)

These New Jersey Nursing Homes are already classified as a special focus facility.

  • New Grove Manor (East Orange)
  • Riverfront Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center (Pennsauken)

To read an overview of the study visit NJ.com. View the entire study to see the entire list of problem-plagued facilities.

July 8, 2019

Nursing Homes Routinely Mask Low Staff Levels

The New York Time reports that “most nursing homes had fewer nurses and care-taking staff than they had reported to the government for years.

  • Reports show frequent fluctuations in staffing levels
  • Government 5-star rating system “for nursing homes often exaggerated staffing levels”
  • Payroll records show that some nursing homes did not meet the requirement that a registered nurse is on the premises 8 hours a day. “In the last 3 months of 2017, the most recent period for which data were available- a quarter of facilities reported no registered nurses at work.
  • “Since 2014 health inspectors have cited one of every eight nursing homes for having too few nurses”
  • Some observed that staffing levels on weekends are terrible

Read more in the New York Times.

April 10, 2019

Group Warns U.N. of “Widespread” Anti-Psychotic Abuse in Nursing Homes

Skilled Nursing News published an article that highlights findings from the Long-Term Care Community Coalition (LTCC) on antipsychotic drug use in nursing homes, finding little change since the non-profit last tackled the subject. In some cases, the group found that nursing home residents were being diagnosed with schizophrenia later in life when “you don’t come down with that in your 90s.” The reason is so that residents can be given the drugs with relative impunity.

Another study quoted in the article states that Human Rights Watch found that “179,000 people in U.S. nursing facilities are inappropriately given anti0psychotic drugs.

October 12, 2017

CNN Reports Elderly Medication Abuse At Nursing Homes

CNN published an investigative report and data analysis which shows how the pill Nuedexta is being “increasingly prescribed in nursing homes even though drugmaker Avanir Pharmaceuticals acknowledges in prescribing information that the drug has not been extensively studied in elderly patients.” The report goes on to state that “voluntary reports with the FDA, Nuedexta has been listed by caregivers as a potential cause of side effects and harm ranging from falls to death.”

The CNN story contents that “Neudexta’s financial success, however, is being propelled by a sales force focused on expanding the drug’s use among elderly patients suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease….” The only approved use the pill is for PBA (pseudobulbar affect) which is a disorder which has an uncontrollable crying or laughing as a symptom. While a rare disorder, there has been a 400% increase in prescriptions alongside another finding that “nearly half the Nuedexta claims filed with Medicare in 2015 came from doctors who had received money or other perks from the company.”

If nothing else, the CNN story demonstrates the need for caregivers to closely monitor the medications given to elderly patients and to ask questions regarding the validity of any diagnosis.

Read more at CNN.

August 28, 2017

Serious Nursing Home Abuse Often Not Reported to Police, Federal Investigators Find

NRP report on an alert released by the Office of Inspector General in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that 25% of serious cases of nursing home abuse is not reported to the police.

In 2015 and 2015, investigators found “134 cases of abuse of nursing home residents severe enough to require emergency treatment. The vast majority of the cases involved sexual assault.”

Nursing home neglect and abuse is a serious problem. Any cuts to Medicaid or to the Departments of Health have dire consequences for nursing home residents. Conditions will only get worse unless we care.

Source: NPR.org, accessed 8/28/17, Ina Jaffee, Morning Edition

Congressional Progress in Protecting Against Financial Elder Abuse

The Elder Abuse and Prevention Act has a good chance of becoming law this year according to its’ key sponsor, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley. It is a good step for all states to follow in the steps of California’s comprehensive Elder Financial Abuse protections. Other bills to further protect seniors from Financial Fraud are also pending in the House and Senate.

Gartenberg Howard Rewrites New Jersey Nursing Home Law

Our nursing home attorneys had a major victory in 2017 when we not only won an action on behalf of a client but actually strengthened the law on behalf of all nursing home patients.