Regency IHS of Windsor Duval, LLC and Regency Integrated Health Services, LLC has been sued because an employee at the facility posted videos on the internet that show someone smearing feces on her body and face allegedly taunting the woman with a feather as she smeared her own feces on her face.

83-year-old Mary McCaughan filed the lawsuit alleging negligence. Chandler McCaughan — the son of Mary — cites Windsor Nursing and Rehabilitation Services of Duval for allegedly failing to report the incident to law enforcement and their family.

The lawsuit says Carlos Alberto Santa Cruz, a certified nurse aide at Windsor Nursing and Rehabilitation Services of Duval, is “a despicable human being who proved himself to be someone who has no business caring for another helpless and defenseless human being.” He allegedly photographed the woman’s naked body and posted video on Snapchat showing someone smearing feces on her. A Snapchat photo shows someone tickling the woman’s nose to make her touch her face with her hand, KVUE-TV reported in March.

The lawsuit also accuses the nursing home of negligently hiring Carlos Santacruz. The lawsuit claims Santacruz should not have been hired to work at the nursing home because he has a lengthy arrest record which includes drug charges, criminal mischief and fraud.  As a result, the lawsuit alleges more people at the nursing home were at risk of being “abused.”

Chandler McCaughan removed his mother from the nursing home after the incident. In a previous interview with KVUE, he said he hoped the District’s Attorney’s Office would step in to hold the nursing assistant accountable.

Rather than notify authorities, the nursing home “lied, denied and covered up the abuse.”

See articles at KHOU and American-Statesman.

The Albuquerque Journal reported the nursing home verdict against Village of Northrise nursing home.  Inez Martinez was a resident for 20 days recovering from pacemaker surgery. The surgical incision from the implant was neglected and oozing, red.  The 82-year-old matriarch told her kids – and nurses at the nursing home – that pain was radiating down her arm from the wound. Her throat and blistered lips hurt. The family knew something was wrong, but no one would listen to them

Yet Dr. Guadencio Pavia, one of the Village of Northrise nursing home’s contract doctors, never visited Martinez in the nursing home, court records show. And even when she visited his office two days before her discharge, he never looked at her incision.

One day after the visit with Pavia, Martinez told Northrise nurses that her incision was sending pain down her arm and chest. So they faxed that information to Pavia. He signed the fax but never followed up.

She died 11 days later of a blood infection, kidney failure, a heart attack and more triggered by MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, an infection she acquired during her stay at Northrise.

Dr. Pavia never examined Martinez’s incision during her stay at (Northrise), and it was later revealed at trial that attending physicians were not required to come to the facility to see their patients,” the state’s Court of Appeals judges wrote in a September 2016 opinion upholding the daughter’s multimillion-dollar wrongful death lawsuit verdict against the nursing home.

“Experts for both sides agreed that this conduct fell below the standard of care,” Judge Linda Vanzi wrote in the opinion with Judges M. Monica Zamora an J. Miles Hanisee.

A jury awarded the family $2.5 million, plus interest, from the for-profit nursing home company.

That award was in addition to settlements the family received from the urgent care company and its doctor and a physician assistant, and from Pavia, the contract doctor with Northrise who was responsible for Martinez’s care while in the nursing home.

But the nursing home company and its parent companies fought that judgment – and partly won.

Peak Medical Assisted Living was the primary parent company to the Northrise nursing home. But that parent company had several of its own parents, including Sun HealthCare Group, which has since been purchased by Genesis HealthCare. The company owns several facilities across the state, including in Albuquerque.

 

 

The Advocate has had a series of articles about the failed and corrupt system of long term care in Louisiana.  One article explained how lobbyists and campaign contributions control the legislation passed by the politicians.

A team of government experts and industry stakeholders spent more than two years painstakingly crafting a plan that would have reduced Louisiana’s expensive and unpopular reliance on nursing homes to house the state’s most helpless residents.

But it took just one email from the head of the industry’s powerful Louisiana lobby to kill the reform even though estimates show the state could save more than $100 million a year while improving patient outcomes.  Months before he pulled the plug on the long-term care overhaul, Jindal received a pile of checks from nursing home interests in support of his quixotic presidential campaign. The stack added up to about $370,000 — roughly 5 percent of the total he raised. The industry had long been stuffing Jindal’s coffers: As governor, he had taken in nearly $800,000 from the industry.

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Over many decades, industry leaders have made themselves perhaps the state’s most powerful lobby, enjoying unfettered access to the state’s policymakers and protecting their profit margins even in the worst of budgetary climates. The Louisiana nursing home industry is a juggernaut in Louisiana’s political fundraising arena, with much of the muscle provided by three prominent owners: Ronnie Goux, Elton Beebe and Teddy Ray Price.

This year, the 259 nursing homes in Louisiana that accept Medicaid are slated to take in more than $1 billion in public funds. That’s roughly 4 percent of the overall state budget and about 10 percent of the state’s Medicaid budget — a bigger slice than any other sector, including hospitals and physicians.

KCMO reported the disturbing story of Mark Allen Keeney, the owner of a nursing home, accused of sexually abusing residents.   Keeney is charged with rape and sodomy in connection with a March 2015 incident in his long-term care home. Keeney has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Sacramento Bee also ran an article on Keeney.

In March 2015, an authoritative knock stirred Keeney into answering the door to Room 6 of a motel in southeast Missouri. A sheriff’s deputy and police chief wanted to know who was with him. They found empty beer cans and two women, both described in a state health report as mentally ill and under the care of a guardian.

The women, in their mid-40s, also were residents of Keeney Country Homes, a state-licensed residential care facility that Keeney owned in the neighboring county.

Keeney had taken both women, along with their medications, from Keeney Country Homes. Keeney drove around looking for a motel room and picked up a 30-pack of beer. Both women took “several oxycodone pills,” and each had a history of drug or alcohol abuse. At the Leerjack Motel, Keeney had sexual intercourse with one and “made” each perform oral sex on him.

At a preliminary hearing in January, one of the women testified that she had sex with Keeney because she was afraid to say no.

One of the women he’d taken from Keeney Country Homes used Keeney’s credit card to check into the motel. Then, they overstayed the 11 a.m. check out.  Motel employee Tiffany Voyles dutifully called the phone number the woman had left at check-in. Instead of a cellphone, it turned out to be a business. But Voyles heard a familiar voice at the other end.

“Tiffany, this is Janet,” said a woman Voyles knew from church who happened to be at work — at Keeney Country Homes. Something was wrong. Voyles called the sheriff.

Donna Norviel, a nurse who worked at both of Keeney’s care facilities, at first assumed the resident had stolen Keeney’s card. The incident still haunts Donna Norviel, whose voice broke as she spoke about that day. “It’s been over two years, and it’s like it was just yesterday,” she said.

Missouri regulators reacted quickly and decisively to close Keeney Country Homes. In the Keeney Country Homes case, the state notified Keeney five days after the March 21, 2015, incident that it was revoking his license for the facility. A second notice revoking the license for his Maple Crest Residential Care Facility came five days after that. Keeney did not appeal.

 

 

 

 

The Kansas City Star had an article on the epidemic of under-reported sexual assaults at nursing homes. Sexual abuse of residents in long-term care facilities, assisted-living centers and nursing homes is a largely hidden problem nationwide.

It hides behind reporting systems that fail to catalog such complaints separately from other forms of abuse that afflict the elderly and disabled. It hides behind business incentives that drive facility owners to conceal abuse.

It hides behind apathy and the reluctance of family, friends and visitors who know or suspect something has happened but don’t want to get involved. It hides behind the failure to believe victims.

“People don’t even think that an older person would be sexually assaulted, would be raped, would be a victim,” said Edwin Walker, once the head of Missouri’s former department on aging and now a deputy assistant secretary at the federal Administration on Aging.

Yet inspection reports, regulatory notices and court documents describe many instances of sexual abuse of long-term care residents. One federal program has cataloged more than 20,000 complaints of sexual abuse at long-term care facilities over 20 years — a rate of nearly three such complaints a day.

When sexual abuse is discovered in care facilities, regulators usually take milder actions aimed at preventing further abuse.

Publicly available deficiency reports document that the home violated regulations — “failure to keep residents free from abuse” — and require the operator to offer a plan of correction. Be alert, for the sake not only of loved ones but also for other facility residents who may be left alone.

 

The St. Louis Dispatch reported on the guilty plea of Johnnie Mac Sells, owner and operator of Benchmark Healthcare that has a history of neglect and deficiencies.  A Post-Dispatch investigation in September showed how Benchmark Healthcare, a nursing home on Highway TT, became a dirty and dangerous place as Sells, its president, faced a mountain of debt.

Bills went unpaid. The phones were shut off. Paychecks bounced. Trash piled up. Flies swarmed. And food deliveries stopped. A patient advocate described the situation as “a disaster.”

How did conditions get so bad at a Festus nursing home that the state needed to rescue 60 residents?

That question was finally answered in federal court when Sells admitted he stole more than $667,000 from Medicaid and spent much of it on strippers, gambling, pet care and country club fees.

Prosecutors revealed that for three years starting in 2013, Sells stole a large portion of funds provided by Medicaid for Benchmark residents, jeopardizing their health. During periods of 2014 and 2015, Sells used Benchmark’s debit card to pay $185,000 at adult entertainment clubs and $15,000 on pet care. He also spent $4,500 at casinos and $12,000 at his country club.

He wrote company checks and made wire transfers totaling $439,000 into his personal accounts, separate from “the substantial salary that he was paid by Benchmark.” He also transferred $153,000 to a close relative.

Sells pleaded guilty to two counts of health care fraud. The accusations were first made public at the hearing. He could face 37 months in prison at sentencing, set for July 25. He also will have to pay back the money.

 On Sept. 13, the state finally took the rare step of closing the nursing home and relocating 60 residents to other facilities.

Sells was charged with domestic abuse and sexual misconduct. According to prosecutors, he slammed his girlfriend through a glass coffee table and exposed his genitals to her 12-year-old son.

 

The Conservative Review had an article by Logan Albright, a researcher for Conservative Review and Director of Research for Free the People, on the AARP’s multi-year investigation into the practices of America’s nursing homes. Below are excerpts:

In an alarming number of cases, elderly residents have been given powerful and dangerous drugs without their consent. In addition to the illegality and the moral transgressions against the residents’ autonomy, in some cases this practice has had deadly consequences.

Antipsychotic drugs are routinely used in nursing homes, often without good reason. According to research from the University of California, San Francisco, up to one in five patients in 15,500 nursing homes has been inappropriately prescribed a dangerous drug.

Patients are simply an inconvenience to staff, and keeping them drugged up makes them more manageable.  The pretense of “medical care” is used to give legitimacy to what would otherwise be a crime.

American society is now at a stage in which unproven allegations of mental incompetence can be used to rob our fellow human beings of their liberty and their dignity, with only the opinion of a so-called expert required to do so. And while the legal team of the AARP has won some commendable victories in exposing wrongful death and mistreatment of the elderly, these cases only scratch the surface of the deeper problem.

The elderly do not cease to be human. Their rights are not forfeited when they reach a certain age. That they should be so misused against their wills is a damning indictment of a system that ought not be possible in “the land of the free.”

 

The Dallas News and WISHTV had articles on the malicious treatment of residents at Windsor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Duval.  A nursing-home employee recorded an elderly woman being made to rub feces on her face and shared the cruel video on social media. Footage shared on Snapchat shows someone tickling the woman’s nose as she sleeps, causing her to rub her face, KXAN-TV reports. Her hand appears to be smeared with feces. A second photo shows someone tickling the sleeping woman’s nose with a tissue or feather apparently prompting her to reach up and touch her own face with her dirty hand, which a third photo also shows.

Jasmyn Long, who saw the videos Monday, told KVUE-TV that she knew the man who posted them.  “I really can’t believe there are people out there that find that kind of stuff amusing,” Long said. Long said she responded to the man, who told her he wasn’t worried about losing his job.

A fiery online exchange shows someone offended by the pictures writing: “Imagine if that was your parents…”

The employee responded: “Who gone make me loose [sic] my job surely not you!” When KXAN went to the man’s home, his family said they had no comment.

Then a young man came back outside, responding to KXAN’s questions about the man’s whereabouts and if he would answer why the photos were posted.

“He’s sleeping. We don’t have time for that,” the man said.

The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services said that the center had notified it of the incident.

 

 

 

 

McKnights reported that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are directing nursing homes to submit of payroll based journaling data well ahead of the May 15 deadline in order to catch errors. Providers will have until that date to submit data for the fiscal quarter lasting from Jan. 1 to March 31, 2017.

CMS staff told attendees of the Skilled Nursing Facility Open Door Forum call to not hold out until the deadline in order to see if there are “errors and issues” and leave time for corrections if needed.

While providers’ compliance with the program has not been added to their Five-Star rating yet, CMS officials noted the addition of a badge to the Nursing Home Compare website that will show whether or not a facility has submitted staffing data. A green badge indicates that the facility is already participating in the PBJ program; gray means a facility isn’t participating yet.

The badge also includes a note that the staffing reporting program will “be on Nursing Home Compare by early 2018.”

Michigan’s MLive reported that Kathryn Brackett, a dementia patient and resident of Crystal Springs Assisted Living Center was found dead in the early hours of Oct. 27 on the grounds outside the center. She died of hypothermia after being stranded outdoors for more than four hours in mid-30-degree temperatures and rainy conditions.

Yahira Zamora and Denise Filcek are the assisted living center employees facing felony charges which led to the October death of Brackett.

Zamora is accused of resetting an alarmed door designed to keep residents inside without checking whether any residents exited the facility. She faces a charge of second-degree vulnerable adult abuse — a felony punishable by up to four years in prison, or a fine of $5,000.

Filcek was responsible for making bed checks every 30 minutes and failed to check on patients despite falsely indicating she had on records. She faces a charge of intentional inclusion of misleading or inaccurate information in a medical chart — a felony with a maximum sentence of four years in prison, and/or a $5,000 fine.