NY OAG Released Results of COVID-19 Nursing Home Investigation

Attorney General Releases Results of Investigation Into Covid-19 Deaths in New York Nursing Homes

In a 76-page report published January 28, NY Attorney General Leticia James’s office (OAG) revealed that the New York Department of Health (DOH) may have underreported Covid-19 deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50%. They came to this conclusion after a months-long investigation into two main issues:

  • Did nursing homes use proper safety protocols regarding Covid-19?
  • Why were/are there discrepancies between the number of deaths reported by nursing homes and the number reported by the health department?

It is not new news that Covid-19 has decimated nursing homes. Until recently, reports have consistently suggested that approximately 1/3 of all Covid-19 deaths have occurred in nursing homes. Now it appears this number in New York is far higher. The report also suggests that some of these deaths were partly due to nursing homes’ failure to abide by proper covid-19 safety protocols.

OAG Investigation Concludes that Nursing Home Deaths Were Underreported in New York

The investigation revealed that “many nursing home residents died from Covid-19 in hospitals after being transferred from their nursing homes, which is not reflected in D.O.H.’s published total nursing home death data.”

According to James, the official death toll from Covid-19 in nursing homes rose 50% when you add-in the patients from nursing homes who died in the hospital.

One specific but unnamed nursing home reported “five confirmed and six presumed COVID-19 deaths at the facility as of August 3 to DOH. However, the facility reported to OAG a total of 27 COVID-19 deaths at the facility and 13 hospital deaths — a discrepancy of 29 deaths.” Unfortunately, this is only one of dozens of discrepancies leading to the conclusion that deaths were underreported by approximately 50%.”

Investigation Finds Nursing Homes Did Not Follow Proper Safety Protocols

Many people filed complaints with the OAG about questionable activities allegedly occurring in nursing homes during the pandemic. Some of those complaints were cited in the report and included:

  • Failing to properly isolate residents who tested positive for COVID-19;
  • Failing to adequately screen or test employees for COVID-19;
  • Demanding that sick employees continue to work and care for residents or face retaliation or termination;
  • Failing to train employees in infection control protocols; and
  • Failing to obtain, fit, and train caregivers with PPE.

Allegations such as the ones above were a large part of the investigation. The OAG concluded that “a number” of nursing homes failed to follow proper safety protocols or “critical infection and control policies.” The investigation report also suggests that New York State government policy may have exacerbated the already dangerous situation facing nursing homes and their residents.

These are some specific findings in the report:

  • Lack of compliance with infection control protocols increased the residents’ risk of harm
  • Lack of nursing home compliance with the executive order requiring communication with family members caused avoidable pain and distress
  • Nursing homes that entered the pandemic with low U.S. Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) Staffing ratings had higher COVID-19 fatality rates
  • Insufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) for nursing home staff put residents at increased risk of harm
  • Insufficient COVID-19 testing for residents and staff in the early stages of the pandemic put residents at increased risk of harm
  • Government guidance requiring the admission of COVID-19 patients into nursing homes may have put residents at increased risk of harm in some facilities. It may have also obscured the data available to assess that risk.

OAG Report Recommends Reforms to Keep Nursing Home Residents Safe

The report did not just criticize the response to Covid-19 and the negative impact it has had on the lives and deaths of many New Yorkers and their families. The OAG’s office outlines several systemic reforms that can help ensure “nursing homes take care of our seniors and our most vulnerable residents with dignity, respect and the sufficient care that the law requires.”
Some of the recommendations are:

  • Ensure public reporting of Covid-19 deaths that occur at nursing home facilities and those that occur after hospitalization in a manner that ensures accurate statistics
  • Vigorously enforce laws requiring nursing homes to provide adequate care and treatments of residents during times of emergency.
  • Require nursing homes to obtain and provide adequate staffing levels to care for residents and ensure they stop pressuring employees to work while they have Covid-19 or symptoms of Covid-19.
  • Adjust the direct care and supervision staffing levels
  • Require additional transparency (and enforce it) in the operation of for-profit nursing homes to ensure that the owners are not taking profits at the expense of staffing and resources residents’ need for proper care.
  • Support PPE manufacturing and ensure nursing homes have adequate inventory to follow protocols
  • Ensure Covid-19 testing is available and used per guidelines.
  • Eliminate the immunity provision that protects for-profit nursing homes from liability related to insufficient care during the pandemic and other health emergencies.
  • Formally enact and enforce the regulatory requirements that require prompt communication with residents’ family members regarding suspected or confirmed Covid-19 infection or death.

These are just some of the recommended reforms included in the report. Time will tell what real results will come from the investigation and if any real changes will occur in our nursing homes or the laws that govern them. Of special interest is whether the immunity provision will be amended, possibly paving the way for residents and their families to seek compensation from nursing homes that violated protocols.

Contact Our Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP

If someone you love has been injured or died while living in a nursing home, call our lawyers to protect your legal rights.

If negligence occurred, you might be entitled to file a claim and seek compensation. Call our nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at 800-403-6191 for a free evaluation of your claim.



Nursing Home Neglect Goes Beyond Covid-19

Professor Reminds Us That “Nursing Home Horrors” Go Beyond Covid-19

In a December 1, 2020 opinion article in the New York Post (“the Post”), Professor Charles Camosy provided a grim reminder that nursing home residents are suffering during this pandemic in ways that exceed the scope of the virus itself.

Nursing home residents make up approximately 1 percent of our nation’s population. Yet, they make up a startling 40% of deaths caused by Coronavirus. Some reports allege that in New York alone, the “failure to protect nursing home residents” from Covid-19 resulted in at least 6,000 deaths.

According to the Associated Press (AP), at least 40,000 nursing home deaths have been the result of “straight-up neglect.” Has the Covid-19 pandemic made conditions worse for all nursing home patients – even those without the virus? Has nursing home neglect caused tens of thousands of deaths? Perhaps.

Horror Stories Highlight Nursing Home Neglect Across the Country

One report involves Donald Wallace. The 75-year-old who lived in an Alabama residential nursing facility survived Covid-19.

The AP reported that Wallace’s son, Kevin, claims neglect ultimately killed his father. Kevin maintains that the facility stopped taking care of his father and that he became so dehydrated and malnourished that his weight dropped to 98 lbs. Wallace allegedly suffered septic shock and choked on his own food while dining unsupervised.

While the facility denies any negligence, Kevin feels strongly that it was pure neglect that resulted in his father’s death.

Camosy cites other horror stories to support the notion that neglect is widespread in nursing homes, especially now. There are reports of unchanged diapers, causing skin peeling and infections. There are also reports that patients aren’t being moved enough and that they are suffering from such bad bedsores that their bones are visible through the sores.
People are also suffering from the “profound isolation” that has resulted from the pandemic, their death certificates simply stating the cause of death as “failure to thrive.”

According to Camosy, many of these “practices were hiding in plain sight before, but the pandemic has forced Americans to examine how we treat our parents in the twilight of their lives.”

How Does Nursing Home Neglect Occur?

What type of negligence might be causing the suffering and death of non-Covid-19 nursing home residents during the pandemic?

  • Nursing homes tend to be chronically short-staffed, which makes conditions ripe for neglect.
  • Nursing home employees might be responsible for the well-being too many patients to treat them all with the level of care that is required by law
  • Nursing home administrators may not be providing adequate training and supervision to employees to ensure they are performing their duties adequately
  • Nursing homes might not be providing adequate supervision of residents, ensuring their safety
  • Isolation policies make it hard for family members and friends to notice early signs of neglect and seek remedial action or medical attention
  • Isolation policies also make it harder for nursing home residents to speak up about neglect
  • Isolation and staffing shortages have made it difficult for nursing home residents to obtain the emotional, physical, and social stimulation they require and expect, leading to a very fast health deterioration for many elders.

Camosy hopes that the pandemic forces America to look at the way we treat our elder population, especially those in a nursing home. He calls on the government to assess the situation and make changes to “protect and honor our elders.”

He emphasizes the need to address understaffing and stop paying nursing home employees “less than a living wage.” Camosy insists that these factors, which go hand in hand, are crucial to resolving the rampant nursing home neglect occurring across our nation.

If Your Loved One is the Victim of Nursing Home Neglect, Call Alonso Krangle, LLP for Help.

If you have a loved one in a nursing home who is suffering from neglect or you suspect their death was caused by neglect, call our lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP. We have experience handling nursing home abuse and neglect claims and can determine if you are entitled to collect compensation. We believe in holding nursing homes accountable when their negligence causes injuries to innocent victims. We fight for the rights of nursing home residents and their families when neglect has severe consequences.

Call our New York nursing home neglect lawyers today at 516-350-5555 for a free case evaluation.



Nursing Home Neglect Deaths Increase in the Wake of Pandemic

Fox Reports:

Nursing Home Neglect Has Caused “Excess” Deaths Since the Start of the Pandemic

In a recent article, Fox News reported that it is not just Covid-19 that has resulted in an alarming number of deaths in nursing homes.

The piece published November 19, 2020, claims that one nursing home expert analyzed data from 15,000 US facilities. This expert estimates that for “every two COVID-19 victims in long-term care, there is another who died prematurely of other causes. Those “excess deaths” beyond the normal rate of fatalities in nursing homes could total more than 40,000 since March.”

The number of “extra” nursing home deaths not related to COVID is approximately 15% more than what is considered normal.

Many of these deaths, according to this article, might be the result of nursing home neglect. The increased rate of non-Covid-19 patient deaths in a given nursing home may be directly related to the number of Covid-19 positive cases it experienced.

Daughter Attributes Mother’s Death in Nursing Home to Neglect

On Long Island, at Gurwin Jewish Nursing Home, 59 residents have died from Covid-19. Carolyn Best, whose mother was a resident there, never got Covid-19. She did, however, die from what Best strongly believes was nursing home neglect. While the staff was caring for Covid-19 patients, her mother was dying.

Best noticed her mother looked terrible over a FaceTime call and was surprised. Until the pandemic arrived, she had been receiving excellent care. Now, her mother’s eyes were closed, and she was moaning. Best said her hands were flailing, and she kept repeating the word, “no.”
It was then that Best insisted the doctor check on her mother.

The doctor called Best, who remembers her saying in a manner she described as “frantically,” “The COVID is everywhere,” “It’s in every unit. The doctors have it, the nurses have it, and your mother may have it.”

Best’s mother did not have Covid-19. But she was dead three weeks later from dehydration. Amidst all of the chaos, people calling in sick, and residents battling Covid-19, no one made sure she was drinking.

Stories of Severe Nursing Home Neglect Are Being Reported

This story is one of too many that have emerged since nursing homes closed their doors to visitors at the start of the pandemic. Families across the country have revealed horrifying situations in which their loved ones suffered needlessly in days and weeks, leading to their avoidable deaths. Unchanged diapers, uncut fingernails, infected bedsores, and unwashed bodies and linens are part of many reports.

Lack of supervision has been reported as well. Some families claim that their loved ones died because no one was paying attention to them. At least one person alleges that her father died while choking during an unsupervised meal. Others report loved ones dying from dehydration, malnourishment, untreated infections, and wasting. Nursing homes often suffer from short-staffing and negligent supervision.

Covid-19 appears to have worsened an existing problem.

It has often been the task of visitors, family members, inspectors, and volunteers to ensure nursing home residents are receiving proper care and attention. They are often the ones to report abuse and neglect and fill in the holes where nursing home care fails to follow through. With doors closed to the outside world, it has become apparent just how large a role these outsiders might play in caring for nursing home residents.

What Happens When Nursing Home Neglect Causes Injuries or Death?

Families of residents who experience injuries or death for nursing home neglect might be able to collect damages by filing a lawsuit against the nursing home. Proving nursing home neglect usually involves demonstrating that an employee, administrator, or owner of the nursing home failed to provide reasonable care to the victim of neglect.

Some states have recently enacted laws to limit the ability to file lawsuits against nursing homes during the pandemic. However, it is important to speak with lawyers who can tell you what your options are. You don’t want to forfeit any legal right you might have to hold the nursing home accountable for your loved one’s injuries or death.

Call Our Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers At Alonso Krangle, LLP.

If you have a loved one who died or suffered because of nursing home neglect, please call our lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP. Our lawyers have experience representing victims of nursing home neglect and can ensure that your legal rights are protected. Call us at 800-403-6191 or 516-350-5555 to schedule a free evaluation of your nursing home neglect case.



Nursing Home’s Neglect Residents During Covid-19

Covid-19 Puts Nursing Home Residents At Risk

As Covid-19 has rapidly progressed around the globe, New York is finally beginning to emerge from the darkness. After months of isolation and strict precautions, Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths are declining. Sadly, as we start to recover, it is not without tremendous loss and concern for the future.

For those with loved ones in nursing homes, this journey has been a particularly difficult one. The vulnerable population of nursing home residents has been hit hard by Covid-19. Numbers estimate that about 40 percent of Covid-19 related deaths in the US have occurred in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Nursing Home Safety Measures Isolate Residents

As a safety measure, nursing home residents have been in strict isolation for months. Not only have residents been unable to have visits from family and friends, but they have also been confined to their rooms. Policies are in place to protect nursing home residents from Covid-19. But are they being protected from neglect during this time?

Often, visitors are the ones who ensure their family member is receiving proper care and attention.

How can you do that when you can’t visit? Do you know how your loved one is doing? Is he or she getting the proper care? How is the nursing home handling the Covid-19 crisis?

Surely you are concerned about the health and safety of your loved one. During “normal” times, nursing home residents are already susceptible to a variety of injuries from falling, infections, choking, bedsores, and more. They require supervision, medication, and movement.

When these needs are neglected, serious harm can result. What is it like now?

Nursing Homes Must Keep Residents Safe

Nursing homes have duties to protect their residents and keep them reasonably safe. These responsibilities don’t disappear during a pandemic. They become more important and require a greater sense of commitment and attention to ensure your loved ones remain healthy.

At Alonso Krangle, LLP, our lawyers are here to hold nursing homes accountable when they neglect and harm their residents. During this pandemic, it is especially important to consider some specific questions:

Is the nursing home providing adequate staff? Is the nursing home sending people to the hospital when necessary? Is the nursing home following guidelines for cleanliness? Is my loved one getting essentials like food, water, medication, and socialization?

Call Alonso Krangle, LLP, Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers to Ensure the Safety of Your Loved One During Covid-19 Pandemic

If you have a loved one in a nursing home and suspect he or she is the victim of neglect or abuse, call Alonso Krangle, LLP today. We are committed to holding nursing homes accountable for mistreating, neglecting, and abusing residents. If your loved one suffers an injury, contracts an illness like Covid-19, or experiences emotional distress because of the actions of the nursing home staff, administration, or others, get help immediately. Call our nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at 800-403-6191.

Trump Administration Pushes for Nursing Home Transparency

Trump Administration Simplifies Nursing Home Comparison Tools

In a press release issued by CMS.gov, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency praised the Trump administration for enhancing transparency about nursing home abuse and neglect. The administration announced that it would be making enhancements to the “already robust Nursing Home Compare tool” on the CMS website that will better empower “consumers to make the right decisions for themselves and their loved ones.”

Nursing Home Compare Website Provides Essential Health and Safety Information

The Nursing Home Compare website contains a wealth of information families need to assess whether a facility is suitable for their family members. It includes details about things like:

  • Staffing levels and ratios
  • Whether it meets federal standards of safety (safety inspection reports)
  • Whether it meets national standards of health (health inspection reports)
  • Quality of performance

Centers for Medicare and Medicate Nursing Home Compare Website Has Flaws

While this website and its contents have provided families with access to useful information, it is not without flaws. For example, the website can be tough to navigate, especially for those who are elderly and perhaps not tech-savvy. Finding information about abuse, for instance, currently requires multiple steps and a “deep-dive” into the health inspection reports.

The current Star Rating system on the CMS site also has some flaws. For example, a nursing home with five stars would appear to be a perfect place for someone. A highly rated nursing home, however, may excel in some areas but have severe problems in others. There is little reason for a consumer to do additional research when they see five stars – but the rating alone does not depict the entire story.

New Icon to Help Families Understand Nursing Home Ratings and Reports

Beginning October 23, 2019, this icon will appear beside an “ facilities cited on inspection reports for one or both of the following: 1) abuse that led to harm of a resident within the past year; and 2) abuse that could have potentially led to harm of a resident in each of the last two years.” The icon will be updated monthly, simultaneously with CMS inspection results. The presence of this icon will be an automatic warning to the consumer. It presents an easy way for people to access critical, current information directly related to decisions about the health and safety of their loved ones.

The new icon will support the Star Ratings but will add a new level of transparency for consumers. As CMS stated in its release, “a nursing home cited for an incident of abuse may have adequate staffing numbers and provide excellent dementia or rehabilitative care. Previously, consumers would clearly see this facility’s performance in these areas through the Star Ratings, but abuse complaint allegation information may not have been as clear. Under the CMS action announced today, this facility would have an alert icon displayed, allowing consumers to see both its Star Ratings and the icon, helping them easily weigh the facility’s quality.”

CMS’s Five Pillar Approach Includes Better Transparency

The Trump administration and CMS’s Seema Verma have been pushing to keep America’s nursing homes safe for all residents. Helping consumers make informed decisions and ending abuse and neglect are the goals of the administration’s five-part plan. The plan involves:

  • Strengthening Oversight
  • Enhancing Enforcement
  • Increasing Transparency
  • Improving Quality
  • Putting Patients Over Paperwork

Implementation of the new Icon puts this new initiative squarely in the category of increasing transparency. As administrator Verma stated, “With today’s action, the Trump Administration is putting critical information at consumers’ fingertips, empowering them and incentivizing nursing homes to compete on cost and quality.”

Contact Alonso Krangle if You or a Loved One is Experiencing Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

Our lawyers understand how difficult it can be to watch someone suffer at the hands of a trusted caregiver. Call Alonso Krangle, LLP today at 800-403-6191, for a free evaluation of your nursing home abuse claim.



Nursing Home Abuse Unreported

Nursing Home Abuse is a National Problem That is Under-Reported

Reports released in June 2019 by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General (OIG), indicate that nursing home abuse in the United States remains a problem that is “under-reported.”

An article posted by ABC Action News discusses some of the reports and their findings and suggests that nursing home occurs at an alarming rate across the nation. One report analyzed more than 37,000 “high-risk hospital ER claims” made to CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) by nursing home residents in 2016. The study discovered that 1 in 5 visits to the ER by nursing home patients is the result of nursing home abuse. Of course, this number only reflects claims to CMS and does not include claims processed through private insurance.

Nursing Homes Often Fail to Report Abuse, Violating Federal Regulations

This report also found that nursing homes “frequently failed to report incidents of abuse to either CMS or local law enforcement, as required by federal regulators.” Both CMS and the OIG agreed that the CMS use available data in a way that tracks abuse and better ensures the safety of its beneficiaries. There needs to be better monitoring of the nursing homes that participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs.

The Problem of Abuse in Nursing Homes Is Nationwide

Despite the rules, regulations, and publicity surrounding nursing home abuse, it continues to be a problem across the nation. During the last 4 or 5 years, some of the most horrific nursing home abuse cases have come to light in nursing homes in Arizona, Minnesota, Florida, and more.

  • In 2014, in a facility in MN, a nurse/employee who had previously been suspended by the facility because of complaints of sexual abuse, was caught raping an 86-year-old female Alzheimer patient.
  • In 2018, in one of the most nationally publicized nursing home abuse cases, a caregiver in an Arizona facility was arrested for sexual assault after a 29-year-old vegetative patient gave birth to a child that matched his DNA.
  • In 2019, an employee of a Florida assisted living home was arrested for sexually assaulting a dementia patient after she was found in his room in nothing but her bra.

These cases are particularly egregious, resulted in criminal charges, and received widespread attention. However, many instances of nursing home abuse and neglect occur quietly, with the victims suffering with little to no assistance.

Call Our Lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP if You See Signs of Abuse in a Nursing Home

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, be on the lookout for signs of abuse. Many times, it is up to visitors to recognize that someone is being neglected or mistreated. You may have to be an advocate for someone who can’t speak for or protect themselves.

If you suspect abuse or neglect in a nursing home, contact our attorneys at Alonso Krangle, LLP. We can assist you in making sure your loved one is safe and can help hold the nursing home responsible for any injuries caused by abuse. Call us at 516-350-5555 to discuss your nursing home abuse case.



Criminal Abuse in NJ Nursing Home

Nursing Aides Face Criminal Charges For Abuse in New Jersey Care Facilities

Nursing home abuse and neglect take place at an alarming rate. Abuse of residents in nursing homes occurs in a variety of ways. Abuse is often physical, leaving not only physical injuries but emotional scars as well. It can also be emotional abuse, which can result in depression, anxiety, and fear but can also manifest in physical illness. The same is true of neglect. Financial abuse is also a common occurrence in nursing homes, with staff members stealing from the very people for whom they are supposed to be caring and protecting.

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Can Result in Criminal Charges and Civil Liability

When nursing home abuse harms victims, there are civil and criminal remedies available. For example, the victim may file a lawsuit against the perpetrators of abuse and collect monetary damages for their physical and emotional injuries. The nursing home administrators, owners, or operators may also be responsible for the harm if they knew or should have known about it and failed to act to protect the patient. The nursing home may be liable because of the negligent hiring of an abusive employee or negligent supervision as well.

Unfortunately, the public does not always hear about all of the abuse and neglect taking place in our nursing homes. What we do find out, however, is about the extreme cases. Recently, according to a report on NJ.com, several nurses’ aides were charged with a variety of crimes stemming from their abusive behavior toward long-term care patients.

The indictments of Nurses’ Aides in New Jersey

In one of the indictments handed down, two psych aides at Bancroft Neuro Health in Mount Laurel were charged with “physically abusing a disabled resident” at the facility, which cares for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Maria Ruiz and Kendall Crouch, tasked with caring for a disabled man, allegedly “struck him in the face, twisted his hand and wrist, forcefully restrained him to his bed, and forced a urine-soaked towel on his face.” They face charges of conspiracy, neglect, and endangerment.

In another indictment, this one for “theft by failure to make disposition of property received and misapplication of entrusted property,” Karissa-Anne Frannicola was accused of stealing of $20,000 from an elderly nursing home resident. Frannicola had power of attorney over the victim and allegedly took the money over several months in 2017.

Indictments of New Jersey Nurses’ Aides Were the Result of a Large Investigation

The indictments obtained stem from investigations conducted by the New Jersey Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor. The office investigates Medicaid fraud as well as the abuse or neglect of Medicaid patients or patients who live in facilities that receive Medicaid funding from the federal government.

Whether the victims of the criminal activity file lawsuits or seek settlements for their injuries remains to be seen. The victims and their families will have to make the decision that best suits them. They should consider seeking the help of an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer who can help them uncover the facts. Information that may be relevant to their decision to proceed might include:

  • Did the care facilities have reason to know the employees might commit these acts?
  • Did the facilities take proper precautions or actions to keep their residents free from harm?
  • Did someone report the abuse and was any action taken to discipline the employee?

Contact Us

Alonso Krangle, LLP handles nursing home abuse and neglect cases for families throughout New York and New Jersey. Call us today for a free evaluation of your nursing home abuse case.




Senate Nursing Home Abuse Hearing

US Senate Holds Hearing to Learn More About Nursing Home

Reports of nursing home abuse have become epidemic. Our nation’s government is taking these reports seriously, investigating how to better ensure the safety of those at risk for abuse. A March 6, 2019 article by CNN reporters Jaqueline Howard, Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken highlights horrific testimony from family members whose loved ones suffered neglect and abuse at the hands of so-called “caregivers.”

During the hearing in front of the US Senate Committee on Finance, Maya Fischer shared the details of learning her mother was the victim of sexual assault in her nursing home. Her mother was unable to speak or fight back against her attacker due to Alzheimer’s. She spent days trying to tell her about the rape with gestures and tears.

Another daughter, Patricia Blank, spoke about the neglect her mother experienced in her nursing home. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley’s office issued a statement noting that the nursing home where Blank’s mother died “received the highest possible ranking from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for quality of resident care, though it had been fined for physical and verbal abuse a year before [her] death.” How is this possible?

Is the System For Rating Nursing Homes Flawed?

A CNN 2017 investigation revealed that the federal government has cited more than 1,000 nursing homes for mishandling or failing to prevent alleged cases of sex abuse, including rape and assault, at their facilities between 2013 and 2016. Since that investigation, there have been some changes made to the way Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) investigates nursing homes.

In Senator Grassley’s statements, he questioned how a long-term care facility with confirmed reports of neglect or abuse could receive the highest rating from CMS. The testimony presented to the committee, he added: “lead(s) me to believe that continued oversight is needed in this area.”

CMS Promises Improvements

Following the Senate committee hearing, CMS announced that it was going to be making improvements to its rating system as well as the tools that allow consumers to compare homes. According to the CMS website, the intended changes will “advance CMS’s goals to improve the accuracy and value of the information found on the site and promote quality improvement in nursing home care with the result of better health outcomes for residents.”

Dr. Kate Goodrich, the director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality at CMS, said they would continue efforts to implement better safety measure in federally funded nursing homes. These efforts, she says, will include:

  • Working with states to enforce regulations
  • Increasing transparency
  • Increasing and improving staff
  • Promoting healthy results

Cooperation from Nursing Homes Is Needed

A more accurate nursing home rating system will help families make informative decisions when choosing a place for their loved ones. But without improvements at the ground level, this may not be enough. Isn’t conduct in nursing homes at the root of abuse and neglect? Abusive staff members and the failure to investigate or report improper behavior are issues that must be addressed.

For example:

Nursing home administrators and staff members must adhere to laws that exist to protect their patients. Some laws govern how and when they should investigate and report allegations of abuse and neglect. Many nursing homes dismiss claims with no real investigations because the alleged victim is unable to communicate in a way that makes their allegations believable. In other cases, residents are afraid to report the abuse.

Additionally, an employee must be trained to spot abuse and neglect. Many of them don’t know what to look for. No one is better suited than well-intentioned staff members, who are on the front lines, to recognize the signs of abuse and report the behavior.

Nursing homes must also ensure that they conduct full background checks on employees. Dr. David Gifford, from the American Healthcare Association, suggests:

“We should expand federal programs that attract health care workers to the nursing home profession. We should strengthen federal regulations around reporting and sharing of information about employees who have engaged in abuse through the creation of a national background check registry. And we should make resident and family satisfaction ratings of nursing homes publicly available.”

Closing the Gap

There has been a tremendous improvement in quality control, safety measures, and staffing of nursing homes across the country. There are penalties to impose when inspectors spot abuse and neglect. However, there is work to be done to shrink the gap between expectations and reality. Rules and regulations to punish nursing homes and abusers are good. But there should also be better systems for rating, reporting, investigating, hiring, and transparency if our loved ones in nursing homes are to be truly safe.

Contact Our Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Today

If you are dealing with nursing home abuse and neglect, call Alonso Krangle, LLP today at 516-350-5555 for a free case evaluation.



Elder Neglect: Has your loved one wandered off from a nursing home?

elder neglectYour loved one deserves to live out their twilight years in dignity. You put them into a nursing home because neither you nor anyone else in your family could provide them with the care, treatment, and oversight they need. You had every reason to believe that caring, committed and staffed the nursing home and competent professionals. You now have good reason to suspect that this is not the case, and that your elderly loved one is not being looked after.

What is Nursing Home Abuse? 

Nursing home abuse is the intentional or unintentional harming of an elderly person through neglect, violence, or exploitation. It is one of the most under-reported crimes in the country. This owes to the fact that most elderly people are unwilling to tell loved ones about their mistreatment because of the embarrassment it might cause them.

Most elderly people have a hard time adjusting to the physical and mental deterioration that comes with their age. That is why it is up to younger members of the family to watch for the signs of abuse and mistreatment in the nursing home.

The Signs of Neglect 

Elder neglect is one of the most common forms of abuse. If every time you visit your loved one you smell urine or see soiled clothing and bed sheets, it is an indication that your loved one is not being looked after.

Another alarming sign of this form of mistreatment is receiving a report that your loved one has wandered off. This often happens with persons who suffer from dementia. If your loved one was found outside of the nursing home in a state of confusion and terror, it is a sign that they are being neglected.

Why You Should Hire an Attorney 

You should hire a nursing home negligence attorney to investigate the matter and bring suit if necessary. You want to hire an attorney who is known to fight for victims of nursing home abuse. Alonso Krangle LLP is an elder abuse fighter who will get your elderly loved one the care and compensation they deserve.


How Nursing Home Staff Shortages May Affect Your Loved Ones

nursing home staff

How Nursing Home Staff Shortages May Affect Your Loved Ones

Concern over the abuse and neglect of nursing home residents has led to a startling discovery about a major contributing factor to these incidents. At least 95% of nursing homes are understaffed and that shortage of personnel may be the reason behind incidences of abuse and neglect.

Since states place staffing requirements on such facilities, this can result in certain employees being compelled to work significant overtime hours.In fact, many nursing home abuse attorneys who fight for victims blame understaffing for serving as a catalyst in abuse and neglect cases. 

Causes for Neglect or Abuse

When people are compelled to work double shifts or excessive hours of overtime, they become tired, overly stressed, and often feel frustrated. In fact, when a nursing home abuse attorney questions a nursing home staff member about allegations of abuse, the individual often blame forced overtime and an understaffing for causing them to become abusive. The staff members often feel rushed in dealing with each patient, which can cause them to mistreat or mishandle patients. 

Additionally, staff members only have a limited amount of time to spend with each patient in order to complete all of their duties. This may mean residents aren’t getting the attention they need. In some cases, immobile residents, who need more frequent attention, may be neglected altogether. 

Get Legal Help

While some of the signs of neglect are fairly easy to spot, some symptoms are a little more difficult. However, if you notice that your elderly loved one has severe bed sores, seems dehydrated or malnourished, or seems to not have been assisted with personal grooming, it may help to speak with a nursing home injury lawyer. The attorneys at Alonso Krangle, LLP are experienced and know how to fight for victims of abuse and neglect. It is unlikely that the nursing home caring for your loved one will correct understaffing problems on its own but consulting a knowledgeable and skilled attorney can help you to help your loved one.