KUSH reported that Deborah Jean Craft, business office manager for Westhaven Nursing Home in Oklahoma, was arraigned on a charge accusing her of embezzling $1,645 in cash payments between Jan. 14, 2013, and Oct. 1, 2013.

Stillwater Police Detective Richard Leport wrote in an affidavit that on Oct. 28, 2013, Stillwater Police Officer Chet Skimbo met with Westhaven Nursing Home administrator Micah Quick. "Ms. Quick reported business office manager Deborah Jean Craft had been embezzling funds from Westhaven Nursing Home," the affidavit alleged. The resident provided six receipts signed by Craft dated between Jan. 14, 2013, and Oct. 1, 2013, totaling $1,645, the affidavit said. "Ms. Quick was unable to locate any record of the cash," the affidavit alleged.

She was allowed to remain free on a personal recognizance bond pending a March 3 court appearance when she can ask for a preliminary hearing on the felony charge. If convicted of embezzlement, Craft could be given a five-year prison term, a $5,000 fine and an order to pay restitution.

 

 

A man is paralyzed from the neck down after being attacked by a fellow resident at his Queens adult home — at least the second serious incident at medical homes on the Rockaway peninsula in recent months, according to the NYPD and police sources. Apparently the facility is so short staffed that they cannot supervise the residents.

The victim and the suspect got into an argument inside a recreation room at The New Gloria’s Manor on Beach.The suspect punched the victim in the face, causing him to fall and hit his head on a table. While both were on the ground, the alleged attacker, identified as Bienvenido Cruz jumped on the victim’s chest and continued to pummel him four to five times.  No staff intervened.Cruz then slammed the victim’s head into the table at least five times, according to an eyewitness.

The victim is paralyzed from the neck down, according to the criminal complaint. Cruz who has a prior arrest for weapons possession in Suffolk County, was charged with felony assault.

 

See full article here.

McKnight’s had a great article on a new study showing that burnout, frustration, and cynicism are the top reasons for adminstrator turnover in the nursing home industry. Nursing home administrators with high levels of cynicism related to a feeling of professional burnout are most likely to leave their job, suggests new research from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Cynicism in this context is characterized as a state of disengagement or depersonalization, in which a professional comes to see a client as an “impersonal object” without “unique characteristics,” according to Daley. Work stress, excessive interpersonal interactions and excessive workloads all have been linked by researchers to higher levels of cynicism, she noted.

The findings are the doctoral thesis of former nursing home administrator Christina Daley, Ph.D., NHA.  She analyzed information to determine the administrators’ turnover intention and level of burnout, using a theoretical framework that defined burnout as having three elements: emotional exhaustion, cynicism and professional inefficacy.

“Both emotional exhaustion and cynicism are strong predictors of intentions to turnover in current position and in the NHA profession,” Daley wrote. “However, cynicism is the strongest predictor of the two turnover intentions.”

The importance of emotional exhaustion should not be overlooked. Studies outside the realm of nursing homes that have used this framework have indicated that emotional exhaustion is the “core dimension” of burnout, she noted. Emotional exhaustion — or a feeling of being overwhelmed — can have similar causes, and also can lead to emotional distancing, Daley wrote.

Unsurprisingly, she found that workload manageability was strongly linked to emotional exhaustion, while administrators with a strong sense of community were less likely to be cynical. “The findings suggest the importance of organization executives in supporting NHAs in their mission of caring, as too much focus on the bottom line is alienating,” she wrote.

 

 

An elderly nursing home resident may have died as a result of a morphine overdose administered by a nurse at the facility. The daughters of the dead woman believe the nurses then covered up the incident by falsifying the nursing home’s drug register. The Coroner is investigating the size of the morphine doses and whether Ms Zimmerman had received "an appropriate standard of care".  The resident was injected with 10 milligrams of morphine, a dose that the inquest heard was not appropriate for a woman of her age and in her condition. Michelle Zimmerman, the daughter who happens to be a RN, claims that the nurse Ms Chapman later told her she should only have given Mrs Zimmerman five miligrams of morphine.

Mrs Zimmerman was prescribed small doses of morphine for pain linked to various health problems. The inquest heard that a registered nurse, Rosemary Chapman, injected the 84-year-old with morphine a number of times over several days. When the elderly woman’s daughters visited her, they found her in a comatose state, with her eyes open but not responding.

Daughter Michelle Zimmerman claims the nurses refused to act at this point, stating Mrs Zimmerman was dying as a consequence of her pre-existing health problems and nothing could be done. Michelle Zimmerman called Crime Stoppers, who arranged for an ambulance to attend. Mrs Zimmerman was taken to the Blue Mountains District Hospital, where she died a few days later.

 

Kathy Hess was fired from job as a nurse at Woodland Hills Care Center in Lawrenceburg, Indiana on December 27, 2013, for causing the death of 77-year-old Dionne Scalf. There is at least one eyewitness account of Hess abusing Scalf. An autopsy of Scalf’s body showed that his cause of death was from a broken vertebra. Hess was arrested and charged with reckless homicide, battery resulting in the death of an endangered adult, and neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury. Hess’ bond was set at $50,000.

An incident like this raises an infinite amount of questions. Why did other staff members not stop Hess? Were these staff members take part in the abuse as well? How long did this go on? What other residents in this facility were/are repetitively harmed? The list goes on.

Nursing home abuse occurs more frequently than anyone would like to admit. Unfortunately, reports of abuse are often swept under the rug, or denied by a facility. It seems that a facility will only take administrative action against abusive staff when claims are as tragic as Donnie Scalf’s, which result in death. See full report at Fox19.

Mcknight’s had an article on a New Jersey state law to protect nursing home residents.  This law cannot be invoked to bring a suit against an assisted living provider, a federal judg ruled, reversing his earlier decision.

The plaintiff, Helena Andreyko, alleged that her mother, who had dementia, had been beaten and neglected by the staff at a Sunrise Senior Living assisted living facility in New Jersey. Sunrise — which was acquired by Health Care REIT in 2012 — argued that the charges should be dismissed because the state’s Nursing Home Responsibilities & Rights of Residents Act does not apply to assisted living communities.

A U.S. District Court initially ruled against Sunrise, but reversed itself after weighing the defendant’s motion for reconsideration. The law does define “nursing home” broadly enough to include assisted living facilities, but it also distinguishes between the two settings, according to the Jan. 24 ruling.

The law specifically limits the use of arbitration agreements in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, but in other matters, the law does not explicitly extend protections to assisted living, Senior District Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise noted. Furthermore, the “legislative scheme” of the state treats the settings differently with respect to “licensing, standards and regulations,” he wrote.

These factors suggest a “distinction” between the two settings, meaning the legislature would need to “expressly” create a resident rights law for assisted living, separate from the existing nursing home law, Debevoise ruled.

The judge seemed to advocate for such a law in his ruling.

“Considering the vulnerability of this population, there is little reason to distinguish these groups by enabling only one with an enforcement mechanism to realize its rights,” he wrote.

Extended Care Physicians (ECP), the Southeast’s largest geriatric physician practice working in the long-term care setting, announced that it has acquired the clinical assets of South Carolina-based Network Geriatric Services (NGS).

The move adds 10 physicians and nurse practitioners into a practice group called ECP-SC, extending the ECP footprint into new markets in South Carolina. The new ECP-SC group serves the populations of more than 25 Nursing Homes, assisted living facilities and Hospices throughout the region. In addition, the physicians of ECP-SC are actively engaged in geriatrics-related research and medical student training.

With the NGS acquisitions, ECP now has 65 physicians and nurse practitioners working in more than 100 facilities in the Mountains, Piedmont and Coastal regions of North Carolina and in Upstate South Carolina.

“Because of ECP’s expertise in working in long-term healthcare, their experience in recruiting providers and their innovative use of technology, including the electronic health record gEHRiMed, our physicians can focus exclusively on providing quality patient care and medical direction to the facilities we serve,” said Chris Patterson, MD, President of NGS.

Founded in 2000, ECP specializes in providing and managing primary and post-acute medical care in the long-term care environment. Its affiliate, Geriatric Practice Management (GPM), develops systems and technological tools specifically for use in LTC, including gEHRiMed, a Drummond-certified electronic health record.

 

The Gerontologist reported a new study that confirms what most nursing home lawyers already know: employee absenteeism negatively affects the quality of care.

"In this analysis, the association of nurse aide absenteeism with quality is examined. Absenteeism is the failure of nurse aides to report for work when they are scheduled to work. Design and Methods: Data used in this investigation came from survey responses from 3,941 nursing homes; Nursing Home Compare; the Online System for Survey, Certification and Administrative Reporting data; and the Area Resource File. Staffing characteristics, quality indicators, facility, and market information from these data sources were all measured in 2008. The specific quality indicators examined are physical restraint use, catheter use, pain management, and pressure sores using negative binomial regression. Results: An average rate of 9.2% for nurse aide absenteeism was reported in the prior week. We find that high levels of absenteeism are associated with poor performance on all four quality indicators examined. Implications: The investigation presented, to our knowledge, is one of the first examining the implications of absenteeism in nursing homes. Absenteeism can be a costly staffing issue, one of the potential costs identified in this analysis is an impact on quality of care."
 

 

The Daily News Online reported that Sarah Waclawski, a certified nursing aide at the Genesee County Nursing Home, has been charged in connection with the fall injury of a 100-year-old woman. Waclawski is accused of transferring the woman — who suffered from dementia — from her wheelchair to her bed, without the assistance of another staff member, as required by the patient’s care plan. After the woman was in bed, Waclawski for some reason decided to transfer her back to the wheelchair, again without assistance. Once back in the wheelchair, the woman fell to the floor. She hit her head on the wheelchair, suffering a laceration and pain. 

Without seeking medical assistance or advising a supervisor of the fall — in order to conduct a nursing assessment — Waclawski enlisted the help of another aide, to place the woman back into bed. Waclawski then left the room without reporting the incident but re-entered about 15 to 20 minutes later and observed blood on the woman’s head.  She attempted to clean up the blood for an hour.  At no time did Waclawski seek medical help for the woman.  Waclawski is accused of actions which injured the woman, and then failing to seek medical attention.

By ignoring her patient’s care plan and then failing to seek medical attention for her when she fell, Sarah Waclawski showed blatant disregard for the health and safety of her patient,” the prosecutor continued. “My office will continue to prosecute cases like this to the fullest extent and send the message, loud and clear, that this conduct will not be tolerated.”

Waclawski has been charged with first-degree endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person. The charge is a felony and carries a maximum prison term of four years.

 

Aviv REIT, Inc. announced it has acquired a post-acute and long-term care skilled nursing facility in Houston, TX for $15.9 million. The SNF, which was just recently built in 2013, is triple-net leased to existing Aviv operator Fundamental Long Term Care L.L.C. ("Fundamental"), an operator of 104 facilities in nine states. The investment has an initial cash yield of 9.1%, a 2% fixed annual escalator and an initial lease term of ten years.

"Our investment strategy continues to produce quality opportunities, with the addition of this brand new, state-of-the-art SNF, which was brought to us by Fundamental and this represents our third transaction with Fundamental since the end of last summer," said Craig M. Bernfield, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aviv. "We have already closed $56 million of acquisitions in 2014 and we believe Fundamental will be a part of our growth story. We executed $241 million of investments in 2013, all with quality operators, real estate, markets and disciplined valuations. Our goal is to continue to source attractive, accretive investments with new and existing high-quality operators."

About Aviv

Aviv REIT, Inc., based in Chicago, is a real estate investment trust that specializes in owning post-acute and long-term care skilled nursing facilities and other healthcare properties. Aviv is one of the largest owners of SNFs in the United States and has been in the business for over 30 years. The Company currently owns 286 properties that are triple-net leased to 39 operators in 29 states.

For more information about the Company, please visit our website at www.avivreit.com or contact:

David J. Smith, Managing Director, Investor Relations & Capital Markets at 312-855-0930.