Articles Tagged with California nursing home abuse lawyer

Could “ownership transparency” help to prevent injuries and severe harm to patients in skilled nursing facilities in San Diego County? Nursing home abuse and neglect in Southern California have many causes, including issues of understaffing and failure to properly investigate staff members prior to employment. Commentators often argue that certain nursing homes put profits before patient well-being. According to a recent article in Skilled Nursing News, the Biden administration has been focusing on “ownership transparency,” or addressing who owns — or what entities own — skilled nursing facilities across the country. The idea is that nursing homes that are owned by real estate investment trusts (REITs) may not provide the same quality of care as other nursing homes.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently proposed a rule aimed at “ownership transparency,” or as the article describes it, “a rule requiring more ownership disclosures and floating definitions of private equity and real estate investment trusts.” Yet as the article reports, “providers are pushing back on elements of this proposal,” and commentators argue that “the proposed policy’s definitions of different ownership structures is still too vague.” What do you need to know about the proposed rule and its implications? Our San Diego County nursing home abuse lawyers can say more.

Proposed Rule is Part of Broader Ownership Transparency Plan

When a senior in a Los Angeles County nursing home suffers an injury because of the facility’s negligence or because of an intentional act committed by a staff member, it may be possible to file a claim against the facility in order to seek compensation and to hold the facility accountable. Yet it can be difficult to know when a facility should be sued, especially since there are so many different types of injuries and harm that an older adult can experience. One type of harm that may not be discussed as often as physical abuse in nursing homes but that can cause serious psychological injuries is harm to a person’s dignity. What rights does a nursing home resident have in California concerning rights to dignity and the right to be free from psychological or emotional harm? Our Los Angeles County nursing home abuse attorneys can provide you with more information.

Harm to a Person’s Dignity Can Be a Form of Nursing Home Abuse

It is critical to know that nursing home abuse is a term that can refer to many different types of harm — not just physical abuse. Indeed, there are many kinds of elder abuse and neglect that can occur at nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Southern California. In some cases, a staff member at a nursing home might not even intend to cause harm but may be so busy or overwhelmed that they cannot fully perform the requirements of their job, which results in a nursing home resident suffering an injury. In other cases, various forms of intentional abuse, including physical abuse, psychological abuse, and willful deprivation, may result in harm to a person’s dignity.

Although COVID-19 does not pose the same broad risks in San Bernardino County that it did in the early years of the pandemic, the virus does continue to pose a relatively serious risk to older adults in nursing homes. Even seniors who have been fully vaccinated and boosted are still at higher risk of developing serious symptoms from COVID-19, and nursing homes have a duty to ensure that infection-control measures are in place to prevent the spread of the virus if a resident does become infected. According to a recent story from KQED, some nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are using COVID-sniffing dogs to identify the virus in residents. Can dogs really sniff out COVID? And when can a nursing home be liable for injury or death caused by COVID in a nursing home, assisted-living facility, or another type of long-term care facility?

Learning More About COVID-Sniffing Dogs in California

Can dogs really sniff out COVID? And can this practice make nursing homes and assisted-living facilities safer for residents? According to the KQED story, using COVID-sniffing dogs can be quick and effective, in large part. Indeed, the piece says, “in less than a half hour, dogs can scan hundreds of patients at a nursing home by sniffing their shoes and ankles,” and “if they identify COVID, they will sit down next to the suspected resident.” Facilities are then using rapid antigen tests to “verify the results” provided by the dogs.

If you are considering the possibility of filing a nursing home abuse or neglect claim in Orange County, or if you are wondering whether you have a valid nursing home abuse or neglect claim, it is important to learn more about how these claims work. A recent Forbes article provided information about the key elements of a nursing home abuse claim regardless of where you are in the country. Still, it is also important to understand how California law works specifically. The following is a general guide to nursing home abuse and neglect claims in Orange County and throughout California.

Understand What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse, Neglect, and Negligence

The terms nursing home “abuse” and “neglect” are often used interchangeably, and you will also often see references to “nursing home negligence.” Generally speaking, nursing home negligence claims can include claims of abuse and neglect, and they usually name a specific nursing home or group of facilities (although sometimes additional parties may be named, such as certain staff members), and they allege that the nursing home’s negligence resulted in a resident’s injuries. More specifically, nursing home abuse claims tend to involve specific allegations of known types of nursing home abuse, and they may name the nursing home in addition to a specific staff member who perpetrated the abuse. At the same time, you may see these terms used interchangeably in various circumstances.

While hospice fraud in Riverside County and elsewhere in Southern California is not new, California has been attempting to crack down on hospice fraud over the last year. Indeed, according to a report from ProPublica, hospice fraud has been drawing more attention recently, and it is linked to nursing home negligence and abuse throughout the country. What is hospice fraud, and how does it relate to residents of nursing homes receiving negligent or substandard care? Our experienced Riverside County nursing home neglect attorneys can provide you with more information.

Learning More About Hospice Fraud

What is hospice fraud, exactly? And what is the relationship between hospice fraud and allegations of nursing home negligence? In short, as the ProPublica report explains, hospice facilities can receive money from Medicare (or Medi-Cal in California) for patients at the hospice facility. You might be thinking that this makes perfect sense, but consider this: the Hospice Foundation of America explains that hospice is a specific type of “medical care for people with an anticipated life expectancy of 6 months or less when cure is not an option and the focus shifts to symptom management and quality of life.” If hospice is only for people who will not get better, why are nursing home residents with broken bones or other temporary conditions and injuries moving into hospices?

Are California nursing homes in San Diego County prepared to keep residents safe in the event of a wildfire? According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, nursing homes in California where wildfires are a risk or ill-prepared for these emergencies and for other emergency situations that may arise. More specifically, nursing homes in areas that are likely to be affected by wildfires are often out of compliance with the emergency preparedness standards required by Medicare, putting residents throughout the facilities at risk of a wide range of injuries in the event of an emergency situation. What do you need to know about the study and its implications for nursing home neglect and injuries in nursing homes in Southern California? Our San Diego nursing home neglect lawyers can say more. 

Details of the Recent Nursing Home Emergency Preparedness Study

The article stems from an analysis conducted by researchers at Yale University. As background to the study, the authors indicated that they were interested in assessing the “relationship between the risk of exposure to environmental hazards and the emergency preparedness of nursing homes” since this relationship is not well known or well studied.

When most of us think about nursing home abuse in San Bernardino County, we think about instances of physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, or even sexual abuse. Many people also know that passive neglect, which can result in serious resident harm, can lead to a nursing home abuse and neglect claim. Yet discussions about resident-to-resident abuse are less common. What should you know about resident-to-resident abuse in Southern California? The most important thing to know is that nursing homes have a duty to protect patients from injuries and to appropriately handle instances of abuse and neglect, even when the perpetrator is another resident. As such, similar to cases involving other forms of abuse, nursing homes may be liable for resident-to-resident abuse. Our San Bernardino nursing home abuse attorneys can provide you with more information.

Resident-to-Resident Mistreatment Can Take Many Forms

Resident-to-resident abuse or mistreatment is a form of nursing home abuse or neglect that is often overlooked. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), resident-to-resident abuse or mistreatment can be defined as “negative, often aggressive, interactions between residents in long-term care communities.” This type of abuse or mistreatment may include “physical, verbal, and sexual abuse,” and the NCEA emphasizes that it is “likely to cause emotional and/or physical harm.”

Depending upon the outcome of a U.S. Supreme Court case, the rights of nursing home residents in Orange County could become devastatingly limited. The Supreme Court recently heard the case of Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County v. Talevski, a case that concerns the right of individual nursing home residents to file lawsuits for elder abuse and negligence. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, this case “raises the issue of whether Medicaid beneficiaries can seek relief in federal court when they believe their rights are being violated by state officials, or whether enforcement of state compliance with federal Medicaid rules should be left solely to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).” 

Ultimately, the case could have reverberations far beyond nursing home resident rights. Our Orange County nursing home abuse lawyers can provide you with more information.

Getting the Facts About Talevski

Nobody wants to think about the risks of injury that an elderly loved one could face in a nursing home or assisted living facility in Riverside County. Yet nursing home negligence and elder abuse and neglect are more common than you might expect. As a result, seniors in nursing homes and residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs) sustain injuries that could have been avoided with proper care. How can you prove that the facility is responsible for a resident’s injuries? And what type of evidence can be used in a Southern California nursing home negligence lawsuit? Our experienced Riverside County nursing home neglect lawyers at our firm can provide you with more information.

Understanding the Elements of a Nursing Home Negligence Case

First, in order to prove liability in a nursing home negligence lawsuit, you should know that you will need to prove the elements of a negligence claim. While the specific and detailed elements of your case will be based on the circumstances and facts surrounding your elderly loved one’s injuries, the following are the general elements of a negligence claim in California:

Southern California experiences year-round high temperatures, but the summer months can be particularly intense in Orange County. People of all ages can experience heat-related injuries due to exposure, but older adults can be particularly susceptible to heat-related injuries as a result of their increased susceptibility to dehydration and health complications. It is critical for nursing homes to take steps to prevent heat-related illnesses and injuries, monitor patients for signs of heat-related illnesses and injuries, and take immediate action when a resident shows signs of a heat-related illness or injury. When a nursing home resident does experience an injury as a result of the heat, the nursing home could be negligent. You should get in touch with an experienced Orange County nursing home neglect lawyer who can help you with your case.

Recognizing the Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses and Injuries

Heat-related illnesses and injuries can range from mild to severe, and they can affect older adults in serious ways. As the Mayo Clinic explains, dehydration is especially common among the elderly when they do not drink enough water or experience exposure to high temperatures. There are a few reasons for increased susceptibility to dehydration and heat-related illnesses among seniors, including the fact that “older adults naturally have a lower volume of water in their bodies,” and older nursing home residents frequently take medications that place them at greater risk of dehydration and heat-related illness during heat waves. 

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