The Abuse and Neglect of the Elderly in Nursing Facilities – Failure to Report and Failure of Oversight

Health Workers Still Aren’t Alerting Police About Likely Elder Abuse, Reports Find

Posted  by Ina Jaffe

NPR [Excertps reprinted from the original to see the original click here.]

Two reports from the federal government have determined that many cases of abuse or neglect of elderly patients that are severe enough to require medical attention are not being reported to enforcement agencies by nursing homes or health workers — even though such reporting is required by law.

Mary Smyth Getty Images

Two reports from the federal government have determined that many cases of abuse or neglect of elderly patients that are severe enough to require medical attention are not being reported to enforcement agencies by nursing homes or health workers — even though such reporting is required by law.

 

It can be hard to quantify the problem of elder abuse. Experts believe that many cases go unreported. And Wednesday morning, their belief was confirmed by two new government studies.

The research, conducted and published by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, finds that in many cases of abuse or neglect severe enough to require medical attention, the incidents have not been reported to enforcement agencies, though that’s required by law.

One of the studies focuses solely on the possible abuse of nursing home residents who end up in emergency rooms. The report looks at claims sent to Medicare in 2016for treatment of head injuries, body bruises, bed sores and other diagnoses that might indicate physical abuse, sexual abuse or severe neglect.

Gloria Jarmon, deputy inspector general for audit services, says her team found that nursing homes failed to report nearly 1 in 5 of these potential cases to the state inspection agencies charged with investigating them.

“Some of the cases we saw, a person is treated in an emergency room [and] they’re sent back to the same facility where they were potentially abused and neglected,” Jarmon says.

But the failure to record and follow up onpossible cases of elder abuse is not just the fault of the nursing homes. Jarmon says that in five states where nursing home inspectors did investigate and substantiate cases of abuse, “97% of those had not been reported to local law enforcement as required.”

State inspectors of nursinghomes who participated in the study appeared to be confused about when they were required to refer cases to law enforcement, Jarmon notes. One state agency said that it contacted the police only for what it called “the most seriousabuse cases.”

Elder abuse occurs in many settings — not just nursing homes. The second study looked at Medicare claims for the treatment of potential abuse or neglect of older adults, regardless of where it took place. The data were collected on incidents occurring between January of 2015 and June of 2017.

The federal auditors projected that, of more than 30,000 potential cases, health care providers failed to report nearly a third of the incidents to law enforcement or Adult Protective Services, even though the law requires them to make such reports.

“It’s very important that the first person who notices this potential abuse and neglect reports it, because then they can begin the investigative process to determine if abuse or neglect occurred,” says Jarmon. “And if it’s not reported, it can’t be tracked.”

The HHSreport says that Medicare could do a better job of analyzing the data it has on hand. It recommends that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the health care program for older Americans, should periodically examine claims for treatment, looking for diagnoses that suggest possible abuse or neglect, as well as where and when those cases occur.

“You have to be able to get the data to see how bad the problem is,” says Jarmon, “so that “everybody who can take action has it.”

However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which pays for much of the health care for seniors and provides guidance on the reporting required ofhealth care workers and health care facilities, has rejected most of the reports’ recommendations.

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Lesmond Peak Nursing and Rehabilitation – 28 Pages Detailing Abuse and Neglect, Ogden, Utah

LesmondPeakNursing

Inspection report details infractions at Ogden nursing home

OGDEN (ABC4 News) – Incidents of elder abuse and neglect are coming to light after two U.S. senators recently released a previously secret list of the 400 worst nursing homes in the United States and one of those facilities is located in Ogden.

Of the 103 nursing homes in the state of Utah, Lomond Peak Nursing and Rehabilitation is the only one to be classified as a Special Focus Facility meaning that inspectors found so many violations here they’re at risk of losing their Medicare certification.

A 28-page report detailing a November 2018 inspection of Lomond Peak details numerous incidents of abuse & neglect. Inspectors found 33 cases of urinary tract infections in female patients and residents fighting over cigarettes.

FULL REPORT: UNCOVERING POOR CARE IN AMERICA’S NURSING HOMES

Utah’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Daniel Musto says his team investigates these types of complaints every day and things can change drastically when facilities have new ownership or management.

“You can have a facility that’s running great a new owner will come along and it goes downhill,” Musto said.

Musto says before you put your loved one into a nursing or assisted living facility, check out the comparisons on https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html.

He also recommends visiting the prospective facility at different times of the day, including meal times and meeting with the Resident Council President, who will be aware of all incidents and concerns. He adds that you can’t judge a facility by its appearance.

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Deplorable Oversight – Nursing Home Owners Continue to Get Permits Despite History of Poor Care – Louisville, KY

Louisville nursing homes named in federal report for ‘persistent record of poor care’

[EXCERPTS]

Pennsylvania’s U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey, a Republican, and Bob Casey, a Democrat, released the names of nearly 400 nursing homes nationwide with poor safety records that, until Monday, had not been publicly identified.

The Kentucky nursing homes included in the list are:

  • Klondike Center, Louisville

  • Springhurst Health and Rehab, Louisville

  • River Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Paducah

  • Woodcrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Elsmere

  • Mountain Manor of Paintsville, Paintsville

  • Twin Rivers Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Owensboro

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Problems at Louisville nursing homes

Representatives with Klondike Center and Springhurst Health and Rehab did not immediately return requests for comment.

On the federal Nursing Home Compare website, Klondike Center, 3802 Klondike Lane, received a rating of “Much Below Average.”

Among the complaints against Klondike Center detailed in federal reports is a failure by staff in May 2018 to immediately notify a resident’s doctor when needed medication was not available to treat the resident.

The resident “had periods of confusion and an elevated ammonia level during the time when the medication was not administered,” according to the report.

Klondike Center’s failure to have “an effective system in place” to ensure physicians were notified when residents did not receive their medications “has caused or is likely to cause serious injury, harm, impairment or death to a resident,” the report noted.

In August 2018, a resident accused a male staffer at Klondike Center of sexual assault. Investigators determined the facility did not remove the alleged perpetrator from his role to “prevent the potential for further abuse.”

Klondike Center also failed to train staff on abuse prevention after the allegation, according to the report.

The nursing home was hit with a $13,627 fine in November 2018 and a $104,878 fine in October 2017, according to records.

Springhurst Health and Rehab, 3001 N. Hurstbourne Parkway, also received a one-star rating on Medicare.gov and has received numerous complaints in the past few years.

In January, investigators said a medication cart was left unlocked and unattended with two drawers open in the middle of a hallway.

Investigators also described in undated incidents how open food items with no dates or labels and expired food and drinks were found in Springhurst Health and Rehab.

A walk-in freezer had no thermometer and chemicals were stored in areas where food was prepared, according to reports.

Springhurst Health and Rehab has received 23 health citations, according to its Nursing Home Compare page, well above the average of 5.3 citations given to facilities in Kentucky and 7.9 given nationwide.

The nursing home was hit with fines of $250,023 in May 2018 and $88,021 in May 2017, according to the Nursing Home Compare website.

River Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Paducah also was mentioned among cases of nursing home neglect and abuse in the Senate report.

One resident at the facility who suffered from a burn wound and was receiving treatment that included a skin graft did not have their “dressing changed or showers administered as ordered,” according to the report.

State investigators at the Paducah facility found the individual “lying in bed with a large amount of green drainage on (their clothing) and a pool of green drainage on the bed sheets,” the Senate report said.

The resident told investigators they were not sure the last time their clothing had been changed.

“As evidenced by this report, oversight of America’s poorest quality nursing homes falls short of what taxpayers should expect,” the senators concluded.

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The Frankel Family – Taking on Greenwood for the Death of Joseph Frankel “Abuse is Strictly Prohibited”…

Posted: 3:29 PM, Jun 12, 2019

 

Updated: 8:11 PM, Jun 12, 2019

GREENWOOD — A Johnson County family is taking on a senior living community they say abused their elderly father, contributing to his death.

Joseph and Shulamit Frankel shared love and life in good and bad times after nearly 60 years of marriage.

“He was a good man,” Shulamit said. “He loved the children unbelievably.”

PHOTOS | Pics of Joseph & Shulamit Frankel and their family

The couple met in Israel and both served in the Israeli military before moving to America in 1968 where they raised three children.

Joseph, a mechanic in Indiana for most of his life, retired to Florida. But when his health started to decline he moved back to Indiana for care.

READ | List of troubled nursing homes includes 17 in Indiana

Joseph’s family decided the Hearth at Stones Crossing in Greenwood would be the best place for his quality of life.

There were various pieces that we looked at. [Hearth at Stones Crossing was] the one that we looked at that would check on him more frequently than others,” Glenn said. “And you pay a little bit more for that, but it was one of the pieces that we really excited about.”

Joseph only lived at The Hearth at Stone Crossing from March 31, 2016, until he was removed from the facility on May 26, 2016.

He died less than a month later on June 13, 2016.

A pending lawsuit filed in 2018 claims that an employee assaulted Joseph on May 9 or May 10, 2016, which resulted in severe physical, emotional and psychological trauma.

“Listen to everything,” Joseph’s son, Glenn Frankel said. “If something doesn’t sound normal, it probably isn’t. We were told, he told us many times: ‘there’s an issue, there’s an issue.’”

In documents obtained from a state investigation against Hearth at Stone Crossing, the company expressed that abuse or mistreatment of patients is strictly prohibited.

The Hearth and Stone Crossing also completed their own review and concluded that Joseph’s injuries could have been caused by his falling out of bed. The facility did fire two employees for failing to meet performance and patient standards, although they could not definitively conclude that the workers had injured Joseph.

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The Horrific Cases of Nursing Home Abuse – Shocking the Conscience – Start Paying Attention!

6 Horrific Cases Of Nursing Home Abuse

From the Good Samaritan Society Nursing Home scandal to the shocking arrest of caregiver Nathan Sutherland, these are six of the most horrific cases of nursing home abuse.

 

There’s a special horror we feel when we see people being victimized who can barely defend themselves. Most often, it’s upon hearing stories of child abuse by the adults who should be doing their best to protect them. But it’s not just the youngest among us who fall victim to opportunistic predators. Abuse of the elderly or infirm commands far less attention in the 24-hour news cycle, but it happens with alarming frequency.

Those in long-term care facilities are sometimes ignored by family and at the mercy of staff that are either overworked or indifferent to their struggles. In this environment abuse can go unchecked until it is far too late. These are some of the worst cases of nursing home and elderly abuse in recent memory.

1St. Rita’s Nursing Home

When Hurricane Katrina hit St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, in August 2005, a mandatory evacuation order was issued. Other area nursing homes moved their patients, but the owners of St. Rita’s chose not to, fearful that it would put their residents at risk and confident they were safe on high ground, according to ABC News. When the levees broke, however, floodwaters came rushing in, drowning 35 residents, many still in their hospital beds or wheelchairs. Owners Sal and Mabel Mangano were eventually tried on 35 counts of negligent homicide and 24 counts of cruelty to the elderly or infirm but were acquitted on all counts in 2007, according to CBS News.

2Luis Gomez

A native of Guatemala, Gomez got a nursing degree after moving to Waynesville, North Carolina, in the late 1990s. Over the next 20 years, he would be accused of sexually abusing six women in three different area facilities, according to CNN. His victims ranged in age from their 50s to 80s, with most suffering from long-term debilitating conditions. In 2017, Gomez was found guilty on two counts of forcible rape, one count of forcible sex offense and three counts of sexual activity by a custodian, according to local newspaper The Mountaineer. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison, according to FOX8 in North Carolina.

3Good Samaritan Society Nursing Home

In late 2008, six teenagers who worked at the Good Samaritan Society Nursing Home in Albert Lea, Minnesota, were arrested for abusing its residents. Most of the victims suffered from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and, according to the Associated Press, the criminal complaint said the teens would spit in residents’ mouths, spray them with water and poke and grope their genitals. While the cases of those under 18 were settled in juvenile court, Brianna Broitzman and Ashton Larson were charged as adults and sentenced to 180 days in jail after pleading guilty to three counts each of disorderly conduct by a caregiver. Both were released after 42 days, according to the Albert Lea Tribune newspaper.

4George Kpingbah

In 2014, a fellow nurse walked in on 76-year-old George Sumo Kpingbah having sex with an 83-year-old Alzheimer’s patient at Walker Methodist Health Center in Minneapolis, MN. According to CNN, it wasn’t the first time sexual abuse complaints had been filed against Kpingbah, who had previously been suspended by the facility. In 2015, he was sentenced to eight years in prison and agreed to pay $15 million dollars to the estate of the rape survivor if he is ever convicted again of criminal sexual conduct, according to Minneapolis’ Star Tribune.

5Hacienda HealthCare Facility

On Dec. 29, 2018, a 29-year-old-woman gave birth to a baby boy at Hacienda HealthCare facility in Phoenix, Arizona. The woman had been in a vegetative state since nearly drowning at the age of 3, and staff was not even aware she was pregnant, according to Arizona’s KPHO-TV.  Weeks later, police arrested one of her caregivers, Nathan Sutherland, 36, after a DNA test matched him to the child and charged him with one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse, according to Fox News. He has pleaded not guilty, and he is currently being held in a Maricopa County jail on $500,000 cash-only bail, according to the Arizona Republic newspaper.

6Brookshire Assisted Living Facility

When 39-year-old Guettie Belizare went missing on the job for two hours, her co-workers at a Melbourne, Florida, assisted living facility went looking for her. She was later found wearing nothing but her bra in the room of a 69-year-old resident suffering from dementia, according to the Miami Herald. The man claimed Belizare had raped him, which was later corroborated by DNA evidence. She was arrested in April 2019 and charged with abuse of elderly or disabled adult without great harm and lewd and lascivious molestation of elderly or disabled adult and released after posting $10,000 bond. She is currently awaiting trial.

To follow coverage on this topic and the doctors, nurses and medical professionals involved, please click here.

The Abject Failure of Nursing Homes in US to Report Thousands of Elder Abuse and Neglect Cases – and a Lack of Oversight

U.S. nursing homes failed to report thousands of elder abuse and neglect cases, report

WASHINGTON — Nursing facilities have failed to report thousands of serious cases of potential neglect and abuse of seniors on Medicare even though it’s a federal requirement for them to do so, according to a watchdog report released Wednesday that calls for a new focus on protecting frail patients.

Just 2 of 69 cases checked in five states were reported to local law enforcement

Auditors with the Health and Human Services inspector general’s office drilled down on episodes serious enough that the patient was taken straight from a nursing facility to a hospital emergency room. Scouring Medicare billing records, they estimated that in 2016 about 6,600 cases reflected potential neglect or abuse that was not reported as required. Nearly 6,200 patients were affected.

“Mandatory reporting is not always happening, and beneficiaries deserve to be better protected,” said Gloria Jarmon, head of the inspector general’s audit division.

Overall, unreported cases worked out to 18% of about 37,600 episodes in which a Medicare beneficiary was taken to the emergency room from a nursing facility in circumstances that raised red flags.

Responding to the report, Administrator Seema Verma said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services does not tolerate abuse and mistreatment and slaps significant fines on nursing homes that fail to report cases.

Verma said the agency, known as CMS, is already moving to improve supervision of nursing homes in critical areas such as abuse and neglect and care for patients with dementia.

CMS officially agreed with the inspector general’s recommendations to ramp up oversight by providing clearer guidance to nursing facilities about what kinds of episodes must be reported, improving training for facility staff, requiring state nursing home inspectors to record and track all potential cases and monitoring cases referred to law enforcement agencies.

Neglect and abuse of elderly patients can be difficult to uncover. Investigators say many cases are not reported because vulnerable older people may be afraid to tell even friends and relatives much less the authorities. In some cases, neglect and abuse can be masked by medical conditions.

The report cited the example of a 65-year-old woman who arrived at the emergency room in critical condition. She was struggling to breathe, suffering from kidney failure and in a state of delirium. The patient turned out to have opioid poisoning, due to an error at the nursing facility. The report said a nurse made a mistake copying doctor’s orders, and the patient was getting much bigger doses of pain medication as a result. The woman was treated and sent back to the same nursing facility. The nurse got remedial training, but the facility did not report what happened. The report called it an example of neglect that should have been reported.

The nursing facilities covered by the report provide skilled nursing and therapy services to Medicare patients recovering from surgeries or hospitalization. Many facilities also play a dual role, combining a rehabilitation wing with long-term care nursing home beds.

Investigators said they faced a challenge scoping out the extent of unreported cases. They couldn’t query a database and get a number, since they were looking for cases that weren’t being reported to state nursing home inspectors.

To get their estimate, auditors put together a list of Medicare billing codes that previous investigations had linked to potential neglect and abuse. Common problems were not on the list. Instead it included red flags such as fractures, head injuries, foreign objects swallowed by patients, gangrene and shock.

The investigators found a total of 37,600 records representing 34,800 patients. Auditors then pulled a sample of cases and asked state inspectors to tell them which ones should have been reported. Based on the expert judgment of state inspectors, federal auditors came up with their estimate of 6,600 unreported cases of potential neglect and abuse.

Investigators found that nursing facility staff and even state inspectors had an unclear and inconsistent understanding of reporting requirements.

Medicare did not challenge the estimates but instead said that billing data comes with a built-in time lag and may not be useful for spotting problems in real time.

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The Allure of Displacing Nursing Home Patients for Big Development and the Alluring Strategy Behind It

Former Nursing Home in Bed Stuy Is Being Razed for Controversial New Development

by Craig Hubert

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Space is being cleared for a large new development—almost an entire block long—in Bed Stuy.

Located at 270 Nostrand Avenue, it fronts Nostrand, Dekalb, and Koscuiszko Street. The property was the former home of CABS Nursing Home Company, which was established in 1973. Beginning in 2009, the facility began operating at a loss, according to the owner in a court filing, and began to look for a buyer who would keep the nursing home open.

270 nostrand avenue

City records show that NNRC Properties LLC, which is part of the Allure group, bought the property from CABS for $15.6 million in June 2015.

270 nostrand

270 nostrand

But their plans, unbeknownst to CABS, included building apartments on the property. In October 2015, they filed permits for a seven-story development, which was approved later that same year. Current renderings show a plain facade, one side colored white and the other a lighter shade of brown.

270 nostrand

CABS sued the developer in 2016, claiming “they lied about plans to keep the home operational and instead moved patients out with the intention of turning the building into apartments,” according to a story in DNAinfo. They sought to rescind the sale while asking for “more than $30 million in damages.” In 2017, the fraud claims were dismissed.

Allure Group is also behind the controversial Rivington House nursing home sale in Manhattan, where they were accused of similar actions.

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