The Honolulu Advertiser had an article about the sentencing of CNA Mark Genetiano He was
sentenced to only a year in prison and five years of probation for molesting four helpless elderly women in a retirement home. Genetiano pleaded guilty to six counts of third-degree sex assault, admitting that he assaulted two of the victims twice while working at the Kāhala Nui retirement home.
The victims ranged in age from 89 to 92 when the crimes took place in May and June of last
year. All four women suffered from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and were "mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless," prosecutors said.
According to a police report, three of Genetiano’s co-workers reported that he pinched the
patients’ breasts while they were changing clothes or in the bathroom. The co-workers said the women tried to fend him off by waving their arms and yelling at him to stop and that Genetiano laughed at them. How do you properly compensate someone for that kind of experience?
In a somewhat related article in the Honolulu Advertiser, the authors discuss the lack of liability insurance among nursing homes in Hawaii. This is common in the vast majority of states including South Carolina.
Industry officials believe as many as half the roughly 500 licensed care homes in Hawai’i don’t carry liability insurance, though no one has reliable data on that. The percentage probably is much greater among Hawai’i’s unlicensed care homes, which industry leaders estimate number anywhere from a few dozen to close to 500.
Liability insurance protects the insured from claims made by others who suffer injury at the business. The breadth of coverage can vary significantly depending on the terms of the policy. But it also provides an avenue for the injured person to seek redress, particularly if the harm is caused by a hazard at the home or negligence.
Without liability insurance, an injured senior would have no recourse to pursue a claim — short of suing the caregiver, a costly and time-consuming process. States should require nursing homes who accept taxpayer money through Medicare and Medicaid to carry minimum insurance. A reasonable number would be $1 million per claim or 20% of gross revenue from Medicaid and Medicare. There should be a reasonable consensus as to a proper amount.
Oregon, for instance, does not require liability insurance for homes with five or fewer residents, a state spokeswoman said, but facilities with six or more that take Medicaid patients must have coverage. In Washington state, all facilities that take Medicaid clients are required to have liability insurance.
Mandating basic coverage also would nullify the unfair advantage care-home operators without insurance have over all the others, according to Medy De Lara, president-elect of the alliance and a care-home owner for 24 years. A bare-bones policy costs less than $700 per year for an entire facility.