Charleston’s Counton2 reported that an employee at Twin Oaks Assisted Living Facility in North Charleston was arrested on sexual assault charges.  Nathaniel J. Richardson would sneak into the 80-year old female victim’s room and sexually assault her in various ways that included lifting her shirt and biting her chest. Court papers say there is photographic evidence from bite wounds.

 State Law Enforcement background check shows he has a criminal record going back years.  It includes arrests for threatening the life of a public official, resisting arrest, criminal domestic violence and armed robbery. The background check showed he received a 5-year sentence at Lieber Prison for that conviction. 

 

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected earlier this year that replacing Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) payment formula would cost $138 billion. This projection was $100 billion less than prior estimations, but Congress’s first bill to repeal and replace the SGR is estimated to add much more to that baseline. The SGR is already controversial because it’s so costly, and with this proposal from Congress, the hope that this could be cost effective was shattered. The bill included incentive programs which add budgetary expense. Because of this, no one working on the proposal could accurately estimate how much the program would cost within ten years. The uncertainty around the cost of replacing the SGR is the top obstacle to the proposal’s implementation. The bill doesn’t have a built in plan to pay for the program, and as of now, no one has a concrete idea how to fund it. See article at Medpage.

8 News Now had a great article on the problem of short staffing in the nation’s for profit nursing homes.   Patient advocates and staffing experts say the low minimum numbers required by ambiguous state laws are causing neglect in local facilities. A recent report rates Nevada nursing homes as some of the worst in the country. State inspectors cited every single Nevada facility for deficiencies, including actual harm to residents.  One of the issues appears to be a lack of workers inside nursing homes. Nevada, and most other states, do not have clear regulations on how many residents are too many to oversee. 

A caregiver at one facility, who asks to go by the name Rachel because she doesn’t want to face repercussions for speaking out, talks about the problem.

"Understaffed, underpaid, and overworked," she said.

She covers the overnight shift and is sometimes required to handle as many as 10 residents at once.

"You can’t be constantly working, worried about this one falling, when you’ve got all these other people to take care of," she said.

"Half the time, these companies ought to realize, you get what you pay for, like in anything."

The article quotes advocate and former ombudsman Brian Lee who says staffing issues could be leading to neglect.

"The staff stretched too thin, couldn’t supervise, couldn’t watch the resident," said Brian Lee with Families for Better Care.

 

In Maryland, Donte L. Spriggs pled guilty to abusing a vulnerable adult. He worked at a nursing care facility in Baltimore as an activity aide. The Attorney General said that he caused an elderly man physical harm at the facility where he worked. Spriggs told the 53 year old man to sit down. He then pinched the man with both hands. Other employees who saw the event reported it to the police, which prompted the investigation that led to his arrest. He received two years probation and he cannot work in a position with vulnerable adults during that time. See article at ABCNews.

Camille Parent’s mother was being mistreated by four aides in the nursing home where she lived. The 85 year old woman was subjected to abusive treatment.  When Camille saw his mother’s black eye and no one could explain it, he decided to see what was going on when he wasn’t by his mother’s side. He planted hidden cameras in his mother’s room, where he caught the four aides abusing her.

The aides were investigated and fired, but police say they won’t pursue criminal charges.  There is no reason why these aides should not be arrested for abuse.  The family believes that the aides’ punishment would have been much more severe if the victim had been a child.  Abuse is abuse. Elderly people cannot protect themselves, in the same way that children cannot. Simply because a person is elderly, that doesn’t mean that we should condone their abuse and neglect.

 

See article at the Daily News.

Nita Lowery died of extremely low blood sugar, due to a fatally high insulin dose. Lowery had never before taken insulin. Jodi LaClaire was the only person on Lowery’s floor on the night in question.  The suspicious events surrounding Lowery’s death led to LaClaire’s arrest.   LaClaire is charged with second-degree murder, financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult, and elder abuse.

While Lowery was dying, LaClaire was attempting to use her credit card. After her death, LaClaire stole $4000 from her account.   The murder trial of Jodi LaClaire will begin soon.

The financial records of Thompson House, the nursing home, will be used in the upcoming case, although LaClaire’s lawyer, Daniel Sedon, attempted to get those records excluded. The records are expected to reveal multiple counts of exploitation of elderly residents. There’s also another suspicious insulin related downturn from another resident of the home. The resident, known in this article from The Times Argus, as “T.I.” didn’t take insulin and wasn’t diabetic, however, they received a suspected large dose of insulin and had extremely low blood sugar.
 

About 6.4 million Americans eligible to buy insurance through the new health exchanges will pay $100 or less a month in premiums because of tax subsidies, according to a Department of Health and Human Services report to be released Tuesday and obtained by USA TODAY. The report by the HHS office for planning and evaluation said the lower premiums would primarily apply to insurance customers who buy what are called "silver" plans on the exchanges that open Oct. 1.

In the 25 states that have decided to expand Medicaid, 12.4 million uninsured Americans will be eligible to pay less than $100 a month, the report found. People in this group will pay either nothing or a small premium to participate in Medicaid.

 

The U.S. is facing a long-term-care crisis and needs to do a better job of preparing for it, a new congressional report says. Government agencies should work quickly to better harness public and private resources to best provide and pay for long-term care as 78 million baby boomers, born from 1946 to 1964, head into old age at the same time many of their parents are living into their 80s and 90s, according to the federal Commission on Long-Term Care, which released a series of recommendations for dealing with the problem.  See full article at the Wall St. Journal.

The Hartford Courant reported fines issued to 4 different nursing homes in Connecticut in connection with several incidents that included a resident drug overdose and two residents suffering broken bones.

Cambridge Manor of Fairfield was fined $1,380 on July 31, in connection with two incidents at the home.  One was for a resident who was admitted to a hospital as unresponsive and suffering an overdose of morphine and thyroid medicine by mistake.  The second incident, on July 12, a resident was left unattended in a wheelchair in the lobby,and was found on Easton Turnpike.

The Greenwich Woods Health Care Center in Greenwich was fined $1,300 for incidents involving three residents, including a case on March 4, in which a nurse found a resident with a bruised and swollen arm. X-rays found a broken arm that occurred when nursing home staff were lifting or repositioning the resident.

On June 28, staff members discovered that a Greenwich Woods resident had fallen when an aide had left the person alone in a bathroom. Two days later, when the resident complained of chest pain, it was determined at a hospital that the resident had multiple rib fractures.

DPH also fined the Rosegarden Health & Rehabilitation Center of Waterbury $1,860 on July 22, in connection with the hospitalization of a resident whose had been given the wrong intravenous fluid on Nov. 12, 2012 after a nurse said she had a busy night and did not recognize that the wrong solution was used.

In another citation, DPH fined Regency Heights of New Britain $1,020 in connection with the verbal abuse of a resident by a nurse’s aide in March.

 

Audit reveals Sands Point Center for Health and Rehabilitation nursing home must repay state for cars and other expenses that were never used for patient care.  The nursing home will repay $470,367 in Medicaid money after an audit revealed that the facility had billed the state for items having nothing to do with patient care, according to the state’s Office of the Medicaid Inspector.

The Sands Point Center for Health and Rehabilitation billed for "disallowed costs associated with automobiles and other vehicles not related to patient care and instead determined that the cars were for the personal use of members of the facility’s management," according to an audit by the state’s agency.  Auditors also found mortgages expenses that could not be verified.