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September 2019 Archives

Sexual assault in nursing homes

Residents of nursing homes and skilled care facilities are some of the most vulnerable people in our society, yet they are often neglected and sometimes even abused by those whose job it is to care for them. On March 6, 2018, there was a senate hearing to examine the devastating abuse and neglect that is present in nursing facilities, including the sexual assault of Sonja Fischer, who was 83 at the time. George Kpingbah, 76 year-old nursing assistant, was found in the early hours of December 18, 2014 raping Fischer, who was unable to yell out for help or fight back due to her limitations. Unbeknownst to Fischer's family members, this was not the first allegation of abuse by Kpingbah. He had been suspended three times prior to this assault on suspicion of sexual abuse, yet the facility still allowed him to continue working the night shift.

Four people charged over Florida nursing home deaths

North Carolina readers may remember hearing that 12 Florida nursing home patients died of heat-related illnesses in 2017 after Hurricane Irma damaged the facility's air conditioning system. Following a two-year investigation, authorities recently charged four people in the case and said that more arrests are expected to take place.

CMS implements more rigorous standards for nursing home five-star rating system

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has implemented more rigorous standards for the Five-Star Quality Rating System for nursing homes. The standards now require additional data from hospital readmissions, a lower threshold for staffing penalties, and separate evaluations for short-term and long-term stays. The star-rating overhaul aims to improve the quality of care at nursing facilities around the country, in addition to improving the reliability of ratings, and comes as a response to criticism of CMS for being too lenient in the past.

Family of hospital negligence victim awarded $5 million by jury after woman suffered from severe pressure ulcers

ambulance-architecture-building-263402.jpgIn June, a jury awarded $5 million to the estate of a woman who passed away at an Alabama hospital after developing severe pressure ulcers. She was admitted to the hospital in August of 2015, and the family filed a lawsuit in October of 2015, citing that the hospital failed to follow their own policies to properly turn and reposition her in bed. The hospital knew she was at risk for pressure ulcers, as she was mostly bedridden. The hospital staff also falsified medical records to show care that was not actually provided. The patient developed pressure ulcers (also called "bed sores") on her lower back and upper arm. She died on November 3, 2015, with the pressure ulcers causing her significant pain and suffering towards the end of her life.

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