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Recent News

Eye Opening Report on Hospital and Physician Medicare Fraud

Health care dollars that could be spent on finding ways to reduce medical malpractice and improve patient safety appears to be falling victim to healthcare fraud and abuse.  A recent investigation by the Center for Public Integrity found that fraudulent billing practices by hospitals and physicians appears to be on the rise, wasting billions of dollars that could be better spent.  Continue reading & see the video …

South Bend Nursing Homes Under Scrutiny for Abuse and Neglect

Indiana nursing homes have for some time now been recognized as the worst in the nation.  For example, in 2009 the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that Indiana had the “greatest number of the ‘most poorly performing’ nursing homes in the nation…”#  Unfortunately, too little is done to publicly inform the public of the neglect and abuse too prevalent in Indiana’s nursing homes.  However, this week, ABC news out of South Bend aired a report after conducting its own review of records related to investigations of nursing homes in the local area.  This report revealed disturbing findings that are indicative of the quality of care problems facing Indiana nursing home patients.  The report referenced mice feces “all over” the kitchen at Cardinal Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and at a nearby facility, the Milton Home, allegations of sexual abuse upon one patient and the withholding of medication from another patient for 11 days.  Continue reading…

 

Indiana Nursing Home Resident Dies After Attack At Nursing Home

It was reported this week that a 77-year old Indiana resident of the South Shore Health and Rehabilitation Facility died after an attack by another resident.  Diane Parkinson died on Sunday, March 11th, five days after being struck by a 75-year old resident.  Gary Police Cpl. Gabrielle King says that witnesses told police that Parkinson was out for her morning walk when the man struck her so hard that she fell to the floor.  She was taken to the hospital with facial injuries.

The manner of the death is still under investigation, and although this maybe a unique case with special circumstances regarding what might have provoked this one resident to attack another, it unfortunately, is not an isolated occurrence of violence or abuse at nursing homes.  In fact, the event further highlights the need across the state for improved patient safety at long term nursing facilities.  The South Shore Health and Rehabilitation Facility received a two-star rating out of five, or below average,  from CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid) on its most recent Nursing Home Compare Quality Rating .  Continue reading …

Profits Over Patients: Study Finds Quality Concerns at Largest For-Profit Nursing Homes

A recent study conducted by researchers at UC San Francisco concluded that consumers considering a nursing home should also ask ‘who owns this place’?  The study found that among the nation’s 10 largest for-profit nursing home chains the quality of care delivered to patients was significantly lower than their non-for-profit counterparts.  The main reason: staffing levels were lower and thus deficiencies were higher.  Low staffing levels are a concern because they are considered the strongest predictor of poor nursing home quality.

The study, the first of its kind to focus on staffing and quality at the ten largest nursing home chains, found that total nursing hours were lower in these chain’s home than any other group.  Additionally, the number of “deficiencies” were 36 percent higher, and “serious deficiencies” were 41 percent higher for homes managed by the large for-profit nursing home chains.  Deficiencies can include failure to prevent pressure sores, falls, infections, improper nutrition, resident abuse or mistreatment, and poor sanitary conditions.  Continue reading …

Indiana Lawmakers Take Action on Nursing Home 911 Calls

Indiana state senator Patricia Miller has proposed legislation that would require nursing homes to call the nearest medical emergency team to respond in urgent situations.  The proposed legislation is in response to news coverage late last year regarding the untimely death of Barbara Parcel, who was a victim of her nursing home’s system to only use their contracted EMS service and not the closest.  Continue reading …

Investigative Report: Indiana Nursing Homes’ failure to call 911 Leaves Patients At Risk

Indianapolis – Indiana nursing home patients are being put at risk in emergency situations because of a practice allowing the homes to call private ambulance services instead of using 911.  A recent investigation by Indianapolis News Station WTHR uncovered that even in emergency situations, nursing homes were calling private ambulance services, leaving their residents to wait extended periods of time for emergency help.The 13 Investigation team found that in the case of Barbara Parcel, a resident at  Kindred Healthcare’s Wildwood Healthcare, the decision to not use 911 emergency services was fatal.  The report indicates on March 5th Barbara began to show signs of suffering a heart-attack.  Yet emergency 911 services were not contacted by the nursing home, rather the first call went to private ambulance service Care Ambulance.  At the time, Care’s crew for the westside was unavailable so they scrambled to use a crew from their Indianapolis downtown location, increasing the response time by over 20 minutes.  By the time Barbara arrived at the nearest local hospital it was too late to save her.  Continue reading …

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