The New York Times: Aug.18, 2017 – “Individuals are very vulnerable when they sign contracts to enter a nursing home,” said Kimberly A. Valentine, a lawyer in Orange County, Calif., who has represented scores of nursing home residents. “In many cases, they are transferred from a hospital, and they are in a nursing home bed for several days before the contracts are even signed. The arbitration agreement may be just one page in a voluminous contract of 30 to 40 pages. Most of the people who come to me have no idea they’ve even signed an arbitration agreement.”
By ROBERT PEAR
WASHINGTON — Low-income people and older Americans would find it more difficult to win lawsuits for injuries caused by medical malpractice or defective drugs or medical devices under a bill drafted by House Republicans as part of their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.
The bill would impose new limits on lawsuits involving care covered by Medicare, Medicaid or private health insurance subsidized by the Affordable Care Act. The limits would apply to some product liability claims, as well as to medical malpractice lawsuits involving doctors, hospitals and nursing homes.
Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said the bill would limit “frivolous lawsuits that unnecessarily drive up health care costs.”
A new Public Policy Polling survey commissioned by the American Association for Justice finds that voters in seven states are decisively opposed to H.R. 1215.
Voters in traditionally “red” states are appalled by a proposal in the U.S. House of Representatives that strips patients and nursing home residents of their legal rights to hold the health care industry accountable if they are injured or killed by a medical provider, or a dangerous drug or device. The bill, deceptively named the “protecting Access to Care Act” (H.R. 1215), is expected to face a vote in Congress soon. According to a recent poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, at least 63% of voters in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Utah oppose the bill. In all seven states, this coalition of opposition includes majorities and pluralities of Democrats, Republicans, Independents, women, men, and voters in all three age groups polled. Among the seven states polled, the highest level of support for the bill was just 24% while the lowest was 16%.
A very important law in California is silently under attack, and no one knows. It is a law that was designed to protect vulnerable elders and disabled adults. Continue reading
BY MARJIE LUNDSTROM AND PHILLIP REESE
11/10/2014 10:00 AM
11/12/2014 1:15 PM
Last of three parts.
Ten years ago, Pat McGinnis took the state of California to court.
As head of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, McGinnis was peeved that state officials failed to follow the law and collect complete and accurate nursing-home ownership information. What the state did collect, her group charged, was “often outdated and so poorly organized” it was virtually inaccessible to the public.
The advocacy group won its lawsuit, but the fight was not remotely over.
Today, McGinnis’ group is back in court with a new complaint about how the Department of Public Health is overseeing the complex, multilayered nursing-home industry in California. And she is spitting mad over what she calls the department’s “contempt” in keeping its promises to ferret out and fully disclose the identities of California’s nursing-home owners. Read full article
Marisa Conover of Fair Oaks built her career dealing with complicated people and problems. As a former executive with CBS Records International, she handled worldwide distribution of video and merchandising for such artists as Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand and The Rolling Stones.
Then she encountered a challenge closer to home.
Conover believes that questionable care at a Roseville nursing home – and the injection of a powerful antipsychotic drug – contributed to the death of her mother in December 2012. Genine Zizzo, a 5-foot-1 widow who had lived in the same Orangevale home for 50 years, died at age 82 following a 10-day stay at Roseville Point Health & Wellness Center.
One nursing home chain operating in California racked up abuse complaints last year at a pace seven times the statewide rate.
A large competitor placed one in every 15 of its long-term residents in restraints.
Still another corporate giant whose nursing homes dominate the Sacramento region experienced high nursing staff turnover at 90 percent of its facilities.
If you’re a consumer anguishing over the placement of a loved one needing full-time nursing, how would you know this?
The short answer: You wouldn’t. Read full article
By Kim Valentine and Anna M. Bruty, Valentine Law Group, APC, The Gavel, Summer 2014, pp. 8-10
In 2009, men and women over the age of 65 accounted for 12% of the U.S. population. That translates into one out of every eight US citizens. Aging Statistics, Department of Health & Human Services, http://www.aoa.gov/aging_statistics/ (May 23, 2014). In the next twenty years, The Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging projects that number to double. (Id.) With this boom in age longevity, more and more Americans will find themselves in need of nursing home services. As sons or daughters, we would like to think that we can prevent our parents from experiencing any physical or mental harm at the hands of others. As lawyers, we would like to think that we will protect our senior population from the tragedy of elderly abuse. But imagine this – your very healthy and vibrant mother or father trips over a rug fracturing their hip ultimately landing him or her in the hospital. That is when you receive a call. A call from the hospital discharge planner stating you need to find a facility for your parent. You may think you have days, but in most circumstances you would be wrong. Instead you will be given just a few short hours to find a nursing facility in which to place your beloved family member for the duration of their recovery. What you do in those next few hours is imperative to ensuring your mom or dad receives the quality of care they need to properly recover. As the population ages, the ability to find a proper nursing home becomes increasingly important to us on both a personal level for our loved ones, and a professional level for our clients. Continue reading
A Mission Viejo-based nursing-home operator, Ensign Group Inc., has agreed to pay $48 million to settle allegations regarding inflated bills to Medicare for therapy sessions that were either unnecessary or never took place. Ensign incentivized therapists to increase the amount of therapy provided to their patients in an effort to meet planned targets for Medicare revenue,regardless of whether the patients needed the treatment. The federal settlement agreement was unsealed late Monday by a federal judge in Los Angeles.
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It is time for the winter Operation Helping Hands project. The two day event will take place December 14 and 15. We are aiming to fill and have our youth deliver 1000 backpacks directly into the hands of our homeless. This is certainly a far cry from the 50 target bags we started with just 3 years ago. It has only been with your generous help and support that we have been able to make this happen.
What is new this year???? First off, Operation Helping Hands has added yet another county to our project. We are proud to announce that in addition to Orange County, San Diego County and Los Angeles County, we will also be servicing the Inland Empire.
Please consider how you can help.
Donate goods including blankets, hygiene items, protein bars, water or sweatshirts. Donate funds to purchase the backpacks and goods to put in them. Visit our donation page or send checks to VLG made out to Operation Helping Hands.
Saturday: December 14, 2013 at 10:00 ~ Help assemble backpacks and pack them in vehicles. Assembly will be in the VLG parking lot.
Sunday: December 15, 2013 at 10:00 am ~ Meet in VLG parking lot and caravan to any one of the many counties we service.
Bring age appropriate kids/teens to make and hand out the backpacks to the homeless. It is a rewarding experience for all. Trust me. Not only do we touch 1000 lives with the backpacks we deliver, we touch the hearts of the kids involved in giving. Not everyone is impacted the same way. And certainly I can always tell that some are touched and affected more than others. It is written all over their faces and in their actions. And sure enough, the mom of one of the girls who I always knew as a “true giver”. . . recently shared her daughter’s college essay with me. Her daughter had written about her experiences with OHH and the art of giving. But better yet, she wrote about how helping someone else is the very best gift you can give yourself.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
Visit link below to view informational brochure:
Visit Operation Helping Hands website at www.operationhelpinghandsocal.org
Explore site to learn more about us and view photos of several past projects!!!
For your convenience donate directly on line by visiting http://www.operationhelpinghandsocal.org/Donate.html
Visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Operation-Helping-Hands/379553278786060