Vox reported that one-third of American adults incorrectly believe that Trump has repealed Obamacare, a new poll from the Economist and YouGov finds. Of those who identify as Republican voters, 44 percent say that Trump has repealed Obamacare. The poll of 1,000 adults shows that 31 percent believe Trump has repealed the Affordable Care Act, 49 percent say he hasn’t, and 21 percent are unsure.

“Obamacare, though, will obviously go on existing. The Medicaid expansion still stands, largely untouched by the Trump administration, and covering millions of Americans. Obamacare’s marketplaces will continue to exist, as will the billions of dollars of subsidies that go towards making coverage purchased there more affordable.”

St. Louis Today reported that troubled nursing home St. Sophia Health and Rehabilitation Center received notice in October that Medicare and Medicaid would not pay for any new residents through the government insurance programs starting Nov. 2.  The 240-bed nursing home is owned and operated by Midwest Geriatric Management, or MGM Healthcare, which owns 22 facilities in three states.

The latest problems stem from a resident who pulled out a dialysis catheter and bled to death in September.  The death marks the second in two years that federal investigators linked to negligence at the nursing home. An 88-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease was found dead in a bathtub at St. Sophia last year after being left unsupervised for eight hours.

An investigative report dated Sept. 28 by the U.S. Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services details the events based on interviews with St. Sophia staff and an emergency responder:

The patient came to St. Sophia on Sept. 7 with diagnoses that included heart failure, dementia, one-sided paralysis and a seizure disorder. The patient had a catheter for vein access in an arm, a dialysis catheter in the groin area and a feeding tube. The patient was also taking blood thinners. On Sept. 8 and Sept. 9 nurses reported the resident continually pulled at the tubing and “requires constant watching.”

At 4:18 a.m. on Sept. 9, a nurse noted that the patient continued to pull at the tubing. The next entry at 6:50 a.m. says the nurse “was called to the room to find a significant amount of blood on the floor and bed” after the patient pulled out the stitches and catheter. At 6:55 a.m. the patient was unresponsive, according to the nurse’s notes.

Investigators discovered that the patient’s electronic medical record was changed two days later to add notes at 5:42 a.m. and 6:38 a.m. showing all tubing intact.  A nursing aide told investigators the patient pulled the feeding tube out earlier the same night. The aide told two nurses “all night, about a thousand times, what the resident was doing” but was not instructed to stay with the patient, according to the inspection report.

An emergency medical technician who was called to the facility later told investigators some of the blood that pooled under the bed was coagulated on arrival. “The resident was not conscious. Staff were unable to say when the incident happened or when (the patient) was last seen. Their stories conflicted,” the EMT told investigators.

 Police were also called to the facility Nov. 3 after receiving a report of sexual abuse. Health inspectors returned to St. Sophia on Nov. 20 and found that on two occasions a resident sexually assaulted another resident who is severely mentally impaired, according to staff interviews.
The family of a resident reported another problem later that month. CuSandra Wright said her mother Mabel Wright, 71, remains hospitalized and unresponsive after falling out of bed at St. Sophia on Nov. 28. Nursing homes can be cited by regulators if a fall was determined to be preventable.

25 News-Week reported that Katrina Wesemann won a $5.2 million settlement against Bloomington-based Heritage Enterprises and its Dwight-based facility, Heritage Manor – Dwight. The jury awarded the sum to a local nurse who says she was fired after refusing to chemically restrain residents and reporting that her nursing home employer was ordering her to “double-dose” patients and cover up injuries.

Wesemann said she refused to follow the director of nursing’s orders to “drop a pill,” or double dose agitated residents with anti-anxiety medications. She also said she refused to delete or omit records of suspicious injuries, her attorney Timothy Coffey said in a press release.

She made a call to her corporate hotline to report her supervisor’s activities, and was fired in retaliation in 2012, Coffey said.

PennLive reported the $250,000 verdict after the jury found a nursing home was at fault for the death of an 85-year-old resident.  The family of Bruce Dove had filed suit against the United Church of Christ’s Sarah A. Todd Memorial Home in Carlisle.

Dove had five children, now adults, some of whom were there throughout the trial, and it was the circumstances of his February 2014 death at the nursing home that spawned the lawsuit, filed in 2015.  According to the complaint and testimony at trial, the incident occurred like this:

On Feb. 5, 2014, Dove was in his wheelchair, waiting, near the entryway to the dining room, for dinner to be served. A supervising registered nurse asked another registered nurse to push him into the room.  But the second nurse pushed his wheelchair fast and recklessly down the hall toward the dining room without giving Dove warning or attaching footrests – a violation of safety standards. This motion flung Dove from his wheelchair. He hit his head on the floor and broke his neck.  The nurses rolled him over — failing to immobilize him — placed him back in his wheelchair and then moved him into his bed.

Dove suffered cervical spine fractures of the C1 and C2 and an odontoid fracture with displacement, as well as neurological damage. He died the following day.

“It was very important to my clients that the truth come out,” attorney Michael Kelley said. “They had been told early on that he just fell out of his wheelchair. They never believed that.”  The two nurses involved had been fired after the incident, which Kelley said was among the strongest pieces of evidence against the home.

AL.com reported the tragic and preventable neglect of a nursing home resident at Cherokee Health and Rehab nursing home.  Three employees,  Sandra Michele Curry, Kacey Minerva Allen, and Shawna Rogers, have been convicted in the neglect of the resident. All three pleaded guilty in Cherokee County Circuit Court to one count of attempted elder abuse, a class C felony.

The trio – former employees of Cherokee Health and Rehab nursing home – was indicted earlier this year after an elderly resident was found to be suffering from about 100 ant bites.  Authorities say the three charted that they had entered the room numerous times throughout the night to check on the resident. However, a review of the surveillance video showed none of the three entered the room for approximately 11 hours.

“Alabama law recognizes that the care of those who are vulnerable is a serious responsibility, and those who are entrusted with this charge have a legal obligation to properly fulfill their duties,” Marshall said in a prepared statement. “These defendants not only failed to provide adequate care, but they were shown to have lied about their negligence that resulted in harm and injury to a nursing home patient.”

 

 St. louis Today reported another nursing home employee arrested for sexually abusing three residents.  Tony T. Bailey was charged with misdemeanor counts of assault, illegal deviate sexual intercourse with a resident of a skilled nursing facility and sexual conduct with a nursing facility resident.  The crimes took place between Dec. 8, 2016, and Jan. 20 of last year, charges say.

 A a 71-year-old resident of the Crestwood Health Care Center, reported that Bailey grabbed her bare buttocks as she came out of the shower. The woman described the contact as “surprising and shocking and unwanted,” charges say.  Two other female residents, both in their late 20s, had performed sex acts on Bailey while he was on the job, court records say.

Crestwood’s parent company is Maryland Heights-based Reliant Care Management, which says on its website that it operates about two dozen nursing homes across Missouri.  This past summer, Reliant’s holding company agreed to pay $8.3 million to settle claims that the company and affiliates provided unnecessary physical, speech and occupational therapy to nursing home residents and billed Medicare. The company also has agreed to a five-year “Corporate Integrity Agreement” with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.

It mission statement says its facilities are “dedicated to providing quality care in a caring and dignified manner” to those 18 and older who are frail, elderly and mentally ill: “Our goal is to provide unparalleled care using a team like approach through empowering employees while at the same time meeting the needs of the respective communities, physicians, hospitals and other health care providers.”

New York Magazine reported that 63,000 Americans died of a drug overdose.  About 42,200 of last year’s drug deaths were linked to opioids, up from 33,000 the year before. In October, President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a public-health emergency – but declined to call for a single dollar in new funding to address the crisis.  Nothing is being done about it.  It is a national tragedy that affects every strata of society.

This epidemic of drug deaths reduced life expectancy in the United States for the second consecutive year — the first time that’s happened since the early 1960s. Beyond the incalculable human toll of all this death, the opioid crisis cost the American economy $504 billion in 2015 alone, according to the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

The most effective remedy for opioid addiction, bar none, is medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Under MAT, addicts are provided with methadone and buprenorphine — less powerful opioids that satiate most addicts’ cravings, and arrest their withdrawal symptoms, without inducing heroin’s debilitating, euphoric high. Decades of research, the World Health OrganizationCDC, and National Institute on Drug Abuse have all demonstrated MAT’s efficacy. Some studies suggest that the treatment reduces mortality among drug addicts by more than 50 percent. And yet, the therapy is only available in about 10 percent of America’s conventional drug-treatment facilities.

WKYT reported that Polly A. Campbell, who was a registered nurse at Signature at Heritage Hall, was arrested after police say she stole medicine from a nursing home.  Officers say Campbell stole from multiple patients at the center. They say she worked at Heritage Hall for five or six months.

Campbell is charged with multiple counts of Theft by Unlawful Taking Controlled Substances, multiple counts of Theft of Medical Records and Presciption Controlled Substance Not in Proper Container.  More charges are possible after the nursing home completes an audit of their medications.

The Nation had an article about “Non-disclosure agreements” (NDAs) which effectively bound victims to secrecy, barring them from publicly revealing their stories.  NDAs are part of an arsenal of legal tools that employers and insurance companies have at their disposal to protect both their reputation and their bottom line—but those tools often come at the expense of victims.  Another is “forced arbitration,” a provision in many contracts that requires victims to channel their disputes through an extralegal negotiation process, rather than through the courts. Under Obama, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau had banned forced arbitration in employment contracts, but last month Trump and Congress killed that protection.

According to the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), both forced arbitration and NDAs have in many workplaces become a standard tactic to preempt workers from taking legal action or disclosing sexual-harassment and -assault charges. These agreements force workers to sign away their rights in exchange for a job, by making them agree to settle future disputes outside the courts through an opaque negotiation process controlled by management and lawyers—effectively sentencing women to silence before they ever step into a courtroom.

“The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission estimates that 75 percent of abuse incidents go unreported, yet “anywhere from 25 percent to 85 percent of women report having experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.” Many are deterred by fear of retaliation—three in four respondents feared being re-victimized, in other words, for speaking out. But the commission also stresses that forced arbitration works against the public interest “by requiring individuals to submit their claims to private arbiters rather than public courts,” and the ability to rely on forced arbitration “can also weaken an employer’s incentive to proactively comply with the law.” Both policies, non-disclosure and mandatory arbitration, drive consumers and workers into silence and powerlessness by keeping their cases out of court.”

According to NWLC Vice President for Workplace Justice Emily Martin, “Congress could act to prohibit employers from requiring mandatory arbitration of harassment and discrimination complaints.”

WREX reported that Forest City Rehab & Nursing Center nursing home was fined $25,000 after the state says the facility caused a resident’s death.  The first incident reported by the Illinois Department of Health says a female resident, who lived at Forest City Rehab & Nursing Center since 2001, got medications she wasn’t supposed to.  The report says she was given multiple opioids that were meant for other residents.  The report says the woman was unresponsive and needed Narcan after the opioids were given to her.

A physician ordered the facility to monitor her vital signs every hour, something the facility did not do, according to the report. The resident died one week later.

But Forest City Rehab and Nursing didn’t just get penalized because of that fatal error. The state says says the facility failed to take proper care of her after the incident happened. On top of that, the report says it failed to let the woman’s power of attorney know what happened. That power of attorney later told the state in that report, “I was called when (R1) went into hospice in April, but I have not received any calls from the facility since then.”

Forest City Rehab & Nursing Center is also facing punishment for another incident to a different resident. The IDPH report went on to say that resident fell, breaking  both his arms and legs. The reason the nursing home faces a penalty is because the report says two people were supposed to help that resident move, but only one did.

That resident told IDPH, “There was just one girl helping me and I told her my legs weren’t working and then down I came. There was no belt around my waist, they usually don’t use one. I don’t recall hitting anything on my way down. I was just weak that day. I broke both my arms and my legs.”

Click here to read the full report.