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All nursing homes that receive more than $10,000 are required by federal law to report any suspicion of crimes against their elderly residents. While there have been reporting problems, the Department of Health and Human Services has vowed to increase enforcement of these federal regulations.

The mandatory reporting requirement, originally a part of the Affordable Care Act, more colloquially known as Obamacare, has two main provisions – both of which carry heftier fines as of November 28, 2017. A violation of these laws can result in a fine of up to $221,000. If the failure to report the suspected crime results in more harm to the resident, the fine increases to $331,000. The assisted living facility will also be fined for retaliating against any employee or resident that reports a suspected crime. The maximum fine allowable for a retaliatory measure is $221,000. Continue reading

Three nursing home employees in Nassau County have been arrested in connection with the death of nursing home resident at A. Holly Patterson Extended Care Facility.  Registered nurses, Sijimole Reji and Annieamma Augustine and certified nurse aide, Martine Morland were charged with neglect and endangerment of a resident. The patient relied on a mechanical ventilator to breathe and was completely dependent on the facility’s staff.

On December 20, 2015, the wheelchair bound resident became disconnected from her ventilator, setting off audio and visual alarms to alert staff of a life-threatening situation. The three employees were at the nursing station when the alarms sounded, however they did not immediately respond. Staff ignalarm-300x200ored the resident’s alarm for over nine minutes before they attempted to provide assistance to the patient. The resident was found unresponsive and unconscious; she was then transferred to Nassau University Medical Center, where she died the next day. Continue reading

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced new agreements with Auburn Community Hospital in Auburn, New York and Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital in Binghamton, New York, which will assist in supporting equal access to healthcare in terms of language assistance and financial aid, as both hospitals aid diverse communities.  Implementing new policies will ensure that hospital services are available to all regardless of limited English proficiency or an inability to pay.

According to the 2013 Census, roughly two and a half million New Yorkers did not speak English as their primary language and have a restricted ability to read, write, or understand English.  Binghamton, New York has a population of 44,562 over the age of five, 13.7% of whom speak a language other than English as their primary language and 5.4% who do not speak English “very well”.  2013 Census records also suggest that 10.1% of Binghamton’s population did not have health insurance and demonstrated that between 2012 and 2013, 33.3% of Binghamton residents lived under the federal poverty level. The 2013 Census figures for Auburn, New York demonstrated that 6.9% of its residents do not speak English as their primary language and 2.8 % speak English less than “very well.” Auburn residents who had no health insurance constituted 11.3% of the city’s population, while 20.0% were living under the federal poverty level. Continue reading

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