Antibiotic Usage in Nursing Homes Linked to Serious Health Problems

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), up to 70% of nursing home residents are prescribed antibiotics during the course of any given year, ranging in cost between $38 million to $137 million per year. Recently, the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) released the results of a study that linked the high usage of antibiotics in nursing homes to many health problems such as gastroenteritis, clostridium difficile, and resistance to superbugs, drug-resistant germs.

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New York Required to Hand Over Records on Disabled Patients

On March 18, 2016, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Sharpe ruled that the Cuomo administration and New York’s Justice Center must disclose records related to the abuse of disabled and mentally ill patients in the State’s care. Disability Rights New York (DRNY) has requested records involving disabled youths and adults who were allegedly abused, on multiple occasions but all of the requests were denied.

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The Musical Icon Prince May Have Died Without a Will

According to documents obtained by People Magazine, Prince did not have a Last Will and Testament. Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson filed an Emergency Petition in a Minnesota Court seeking the appointment of a Special Administrator.

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Protecting Loved Ones from Elder Abuse

Finding professional and caring home care services for an elderly family member can be challenging.  Families express concerns over the prevention of elder abuse and how they can protect a loved one’s legal rights.  Seeking advice from an experienced elder law attorney can help you make the right decisions when it comes to your elderly loved ones.

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Caregivers Kept in the Loop with NY CARE Law

The Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable Act (CARE), signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on October 14, 2015, has been fully enacted as of January 7, 2016.  The law requires hospitals to allow a caregiver to be added to a patient’s record when being admitted.  The law goes further in requiring hospitals to keep the caregiver well informed about how to care for the patient, even training the caregiver before the patient is discharged.

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Operation Cocoon

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Customs and Border Protection Agency are working together to combat a new trend of drug traffickers who fool seniors into becoming international drug mules.  Traffickers either forge a relationship with seniors or promise inheritance or other monetary incentives.  In targeting the elderly, traffickers hope that the drugs pass through security undetected.  This scheme has worked to some degree because eighty-three U.S. citizens who fell victim to drug trafficking tricks have been arrested in foreign countries since 2013.

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Employees of Medford Multicare Found Guilty on Charges in Connection with Rehab Patient’s Death

Recently, five former health care workers at a nursing home facility were convicted of several crimes in connection with the death of a 72 year old rehabilitation patient.  A respiratory therapist and three nurses were sentenced to various jail terms and probation for the attempted cover–up of the circumstances surrounding the patient’s death.  In addition, another respiratory therapist entrusted with the patient’s care was convicted of criminally negligent homicide.

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Nursing Home Employee Indicted on Charges Related to Resident Trust Account Theft

The New York State Attorney General recently announced that a former employee of a nursing home has been arrested and indicted on 24 counts related to stealing over $6,000 from a nursing home trust fund.  The indictment alleges Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree; two counts of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree; and seven counts of Petit Larceny for incidents occurring between April 2013 and February 2014.

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The Care Planning Act of 2015

The U.S. Senate introduced a bill that would allow doctors to be reimbursed by Medicare for providing end of life planning advice to their patients.  This bill is called “The Care Planning Act,” and it would amend title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act.  This legislation resulted from findings that because Americans are living longer, they are also facing more serious conditions later in life.  The goal of the Act is to ensure that aging individuals with advancing illnesses understand their treatment options and can assist in making their health care choices before losing capacity.  Previously, Medicare would not reimburse qualified health care professionals for this type of counseling.

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New Federal Nursing Home Rating System Causes Lower Scores

Choosing a nursing home for yourself or your loved one can be challenging and emotionally taxing.  With so many stories about nursing home abuse and neglect, it can take a lot of research to find a location you feel comfortable with.  However, even the pricey nursing homes may not have the nicest accommodations or provide the best health care.  A few weeks ago, the federal government put a new nursing home rating system into effect.  The goal is to provide a more accurate rating system for nursing homes that reflects the quality of accommodation and care the residents receive.   Approximately 80% of the nursing homes originally received 4 or 5 star ratings based on the old criteria.  However, the ratings were mostly inaccurate due to the lack of specificity and different criteria of the previous rating system.

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