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Experienced Injury Lawyers

Kindred Healthcare Pays Federal Government $125 Million

Published on Jan 16, 2016 at 9:14 pm in Nursing Home Abuse.

In an agreement finalized on Tuesday, Kindred Healthcare Inc., a nursing home company located in Louisville, Kentucky, has agreed to pay $125 million to settle federal allegations that it gave patients unnecessary treatment in a grand scheme to overbill the federal Medicare program and increase company profits.  The allegations include placing patients in the highest therapy level, even when the patients were unresponsive and did not benefit from or require the therapy.  Kindred agreed to pay the settlement to quiet the issue, but do not admit to any wrongdoing.  Additionally, several nursing homes that hired Kindred’s therapy unit, RehabCare, have agreed to pay $8 million to the federal government for participating in the scheme. 

Nursing Home Employees Use Social Media to Capture and Share the Abuse of Nursing Home Residents

Published on Jan 16, 2016 at 8:41 pm in Nursing Home Abuse.

In a disturbing and growing trend, nursing home employees are posting disrespectful and embarrassing pictures of residents on social media. ProPublica has identified 35 instances since 2012 in which workers at nursing homes and assisted-living centers have shared photos or videos of residents, some of whom were partially or completely naked.  The most popular outlet being used for sharing of these images is Snapchat, an app that allows users to send photos or videos that will appear for a few seconds then disappear with no lasting record.  Some of these incidents have resulted in criminal charges, but most have not.  Photos taken without resident’s permission may violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the federal patient privacy law that carries civil and criminal penalties.

Overworked nursing home staff is often a sign of potential neglect and abuse

Published on Dec 16, 2015 at 5:22 am in Nursing Home Abuse.

Nursing home facilities are often understaffed, undertrained, and overwhelmed and Kentucky Nursing Homes are no different.  Employees are overworked and unhappy, two qualities that effect judgment and ultimately lead to poor resident care.  The term “nursing home facility” is misleading, as many facilities do not have a registered nurse present all hours of the day.  The majority of the care received is at the hands of aides.  Aides who are paid poorly and are often not given the proper training to care for the wide range of health concerns of their residents.

What You Need to Know About the Take Justice Back Organization

Published on Dec 1, 2015 at 1:10 pm in Nursing Home Abuse.

One of the most dangerous threats to civil rights and liberties is the risk of large corporations and the deeds some do for the sake of profit.  Due to the sheer size of most corporations and the substantial financial power most harness, it’s often possible for corporations to create and write contracts that remove justice from the American population and place it solely in the hands of the corporation. Once they create immunity for themselves they are no longer liable for harms caused to victims of personal injury, products liability and nursing home neglect and abuse.  This gives these corporations the leeway to do what corporations often do best—rake in even more money.

However, there is one campaign that’s dedicated to putting the tools of justice back in the hands of the general American population. This campaign is called Take Justice Back. Formed in 2012, the Take Justice Back organization is a grassroots campaign that was founded on ideals of accountability, awareness, and fairness. Working together with attorneys and law firms around the nation, the organization aims to raise awareness of the unaccountability that often runs rampant in large corporations, promote safety, and ensure every American always has access to the legal system. When the population is aware that corporations often lack personal responsibility, it becomes easier to fight against these corporations and place justice back into the hands of the people. While the campaign is national in nature, Kentucky victims of personal injury and nursing home abuse and neglect are helped by the group’s efforts.

Since the Take Justice Back campaign was launched, the organization has raised awareness and made progress in many areas. Some of the areas addressed by Take Justice Back include food safety, auto safety, women’s health, medical safety, drug safety, product safety, asbestos safety, and nursing home safety. These areas are all commonly controlled by large corporations and shouldn’t be. Safety is a human concern, and should not be controlled by a corporation.

Mishandled Allegations at a Kentucky Nursing Home Facility Allow for Three Cases of Abuse in One Month

Published on Nov 16, 2015 at 9:08 am in Nursing Home Abuse.

Earlier this year, three residents at a nursing home facility in Louisville, KY were abused by staff members.  The Parkway Rehabilitation and Nursing Center located at 1155 Eastern Parkway failed to provide protection for its residents and properly discipline the employees who committed the acts of abuse.  Following the first incident, the facility provided an Allegation of Compliance stating that it had properly removed the employee, provided training to all remaining employees, and notified State Agencies of the incident.  This report was found false when two more incidents of abuse were reported later that same month.

The first incident of abuse occurred when a Certified Nursing Assistant was harsh in speaking to a resident who was requesting to be repositioned.  The CNA responded to the resident angrily, stating that she had just repositioned her fifteen minutes ago, she would not do it again, and left the room.  The resident laid in bed in pain, too afraid to call for help, fearing the CNA would return angry again.

The second incident occurred eighteen days later and involved a different CNA and resident.  The allegation stated that the CNA was mean and rude and threw the bed covers over the resident’s head.  Though the CNA was removed from caring for the resident, she was still allowed to remain on the unit to care for other patients until a supervising staff member arrived and suspended her.

The third incident of abuse involved an Outreach Technician Restorative Aide who kissed a resident on the lips.  Although the act was observed and confirmed by other employees, the ORT Restorative Aide was allowed to continue working his full shift and cared for more than forty more residents before leaving for the day.  The facility did not report the sexual abuse to the State Survey Agency until two days later.

The Parkway Rehabilitation and Nursing Center’s failure to protect residents after a reported allegation of abuse caused serious harm and potential injury.  Had the facility followed appropriate steps to resolve the first incident, the two succeeding incidents could have been prevented.   This nursing home has been cited for neglect, however it does not change the reality that incidents like these occur frequently in homes like it across the state.  Residents deserve to feel comfortable in the care they receive and their families should be able to trust that their loved ones are properly cared for.  If someone you love is living in a nursing home and you suspect they are being or have been abused, contact Thomas Law Offices for more information on what can be done to protect them.