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The attorneys at Gallivan & Gallivan provide effective, aggressive representation to individuals injured in the New York area. Our priority is to maximize the recovery of our clients injured due to the neglect of others.

In the first study of its kind, a new report found that many nursing home residents experience violence from other residents while residents.  In America, 18 percent of staff at one residential facility reported aggression by residents as a daily occurrence. Further, 90 percent of the nursing home resident aggressors had a diagnosis of dementia. Because of the rules surrounding reporting nursing home abuse, the study found it is likely that much resident-to-resident violence goes unreported.

elderly-man-abused-300x169Dementia appears to be the largest cause of resident-to-resident violence in assisted living facilities. According to the Australian report, other risk factors that would make a nursing home resident more violent include being male and recent admission to a nursing home. However, of all these factors – dementia stands out, a diagnosis found in 90 percent of nursing home aggressors in Australia. Continue reading

A new report by Time Magazine shines a harsh light on the hospice care industry in America – reporting that 21 percent of hospices, accounting for more than 84,000 patients, failed to provide critical care to patients in 2015.  The report, which includes vivid and heartbreaking stories, points towards a largely unregulated industry that received almost $16 billion in federal Medicare dollars last year.

sick-man-nursing-home-300x200Hospice is provided to Medicaid patients if they are expected to pass away within six months. Starting in the 1970s, hospice care focuses on relieving the symptoms of a patient and providing “comfort care.” The use of hospice care has become increasingly popular in the last couple decades.  According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, enrollment in hospice care has more than doubled since 2000.

While most Americans think of hospice as a location, the reality is that most Americans utilize hospice care so they can pass away in their own home. With 86 percent of Americans saying they want to die at home, the trend is unlikely to reverse anytime soon, either.

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Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have become increasingly focused on their bottom line in recent years to the detriment of their elderly patients. A recent piece by the New York Times describes the trend where nursing homes have transitioned from non-profits to corporate behemoths – focused on outsourcing and consolidating to minimize costs, reduce their tax liability, and reduce their liability in lawsuits.

According to the nursing homes, consolidation provides a cost-effective way to deliver care to their elderly residents. Through a complex web of corporate ownership, nursing home businesses can reduce their tax liability. According to these nursing homes, those savings are passed on to the residents.

missing-patient-300x196There are also legal benefits to the owners of these nursing home chains – often coming at the expense of the elderly residents. Whenever a person is injured in a nursing home, a complex web of corporate ownership may help the nursing home avoid liability for the harm it has caused. By siphoning the profits of a nursing home into unrelated corporations, injured victims of elder abuse may not be able to hold their nursing home responsible for their damages. Continue reading

gavel-bed-300x199Home care agencies in New York and across the country are routinely denying chronically ill patients access to their services, according to a report by Kaiser Health News and NPR. In many instances, the home care agency will falsely state that Medicare does not cover home care for chronic illnesses.  in order to find out why, the NPR report dug a little deeper.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the government agency responsible for the healthcare programs, Medicare is required to pay for home health care if two conditions are satisfied. First, it must be ordered by the doctor. Second, the patient must have “great difficulty” leaving their home. If these two conditions are satisfied, then federal law requires Medicaid to cover home health care expenses indefinitely and without charging a copayment or deductible to the sick patient.   Continue reading

nursing-home-1-300x137After reaching an agreement with the Attorney General, a New York nursing home chain is prepared to grow throughout the tri-state area. The Brooklyn retirement home chain, Allure Group, came under heavy criticism after purchasing a retirement home and assisted living facility for New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS and then subsequently selling the properties to luxury developers. After Allure’s growth plans were halted by a state investigation into the matter, Allure seems poised to rapidly expand – with the purchase of Greater Harlem Nursing first on its list.

Allure was started in 2010 by Marvin Rubin and Joel Landau when they purchased the vacant Victory Memorial Hospital in Bay Ridge for $20 million, according to Crain’s New York. The pair changed the name to Hamilton Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, a successful purchase for the pair that led to buying four more nursing homes in Brooklyn. Allure’s assisted living facilities now have a revenue stream of almost $200 million a year. Continue reading

courthouseThe Dumont Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care has received 65 total citations over the four-year period between November 2013 and October 2017, according to the New York State Department of Health. With 65 citations, the nursing home and assisted living facility in Westchester County has almost twice the number of citations for the average nursing home in New York, which stands at 34 for the same time period. Perhaps more ominously, though, five of these citations were “related to actual harm or immediate jeopardy” – up from the average nursing home, which only had one of these kinds of citations.

Here are some of Dumont Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care’s most serious violations:

  1. Failure to provide care and services for residents to maintain the highest well-being possible. Per Section 483.25 of the Federal Code, each resident is legally entitled to receive the care and services necessary to “attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being.” The New York State Department of Health said that Dumont Center failed to meet this standard because it did not have “effective policies and procedures” to make sure all of the staff knew Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR. Sadly, the government agency found that a resident who was found unresponsive was not treated with CPR by two nurses because they did not know how to perform CPR. The nursing home lacked documentation on the incident and failed to ensure that at least some of the nurses on staff that night were CPR-trained. The New York Department of Health not only ranked this as the “most severe” kind of citation but also described the problem of sub-standard care at the Westchester assisted living facility as “systematic and severe.”

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In October of 2017, two nursing home residents in Westchester County were diagnosed with Legionnaires disease. One of the residents passed away due to complications from the disease. Unfortunately for the Sky View Rehabilitation and Health Care in Croton-on-Hudson, this was not the first time that Legionnaires disease has been found at its facility.

woman-hospital-225x300Legionnaires disease is not typically fatal if it is treated promptly with antibiotics. The bacteria that causes the disease are not spread by human-to-human contact,.  It is usually found in soil or water.  The likelihood is that the disease at the nursing home spread through its air conditioning systems or showering facilities. While the New York State Department of Health said an investigation was ongoing at the time of the outbreak, no information has been released by the government agency accounting for the source of the bacteria as of January 2018. Continue reading

sick-man-nursing-home-300x200In August of 2016, the New York State Veteran’s Home in Montrose, New York had a horrific rhinovirus outbreak. At one point, the facility in Westchester had one-out-of-every-four residents sick with the virus. Altogether, there were 58 documented cases of rhinovirus at the 221-bed retirement home for veterans. Sadly, four of the elderly residents with rhinovirus passed away.

Speaking to ABC News 7, Dr. Dennis Nash of the CUNY School of Public Health said that “If so many are affected by the same infectious disease, it does point to infection control issues. And that’s something that the state will want to be looking at right away.” At the time, the New York Department of Health told ABC News that they were investigating the outbreak and whether the nursing home facility had implemented sufficient infection prevention and control measures.

However, it does not appear that the New York Department of Health investigation went very far. The Department of Health provides a “profile” for each assisted living facility or retirement home in the Empire State. According to its profile on the New York State Veterans Home at Montrose, the nursing home facility had zero citations related to “actual harm or immediate jeopardy.” Continue reading

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has charged a Pawling nurse with failing to administer medication to three residents at Putnam Ridge Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Brewster, New York. Further, not only did the nurse, Stacey McAdams, fail to administer the necessary medication to the elderly residents at the nursing home, she also falsified medical records to conceal her actions. For these actions, the Attorney General has charged her with three counts of first-degree endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person and three counts of falsifying business records.  In addition to these felonies, the nurse was also charged with three misdemeanor counts of a willful violation of health laws.

gavel1-300x200The charges, which were filed on October 26, 2017, allege that McAdams failed to provide medication to three different residents. She failed to provide an anti-seizure medication to a resident with a history of seizures. She also failed to provide an anticoagulant medication to a patient with a history of blood clots and a heart medication for an elderly resident with congestive heart failure and obstructive pulmonary disease. Then, according to the New York State Attorney General, McAdams intentionally falsified the records to show that each of these residents had received their medication.

“Nurses have a fundamental duty to properly administer essential medications to residents in their care and to truthfully record the circumstances,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Neglecting care for our most vulnerable citizens will not be tolerated by my office.” Continue reading

A Bronx nurse’s aide has been convicted of three counts of willful violation of public health law and three counts of endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person. The nurse, Sandra Kerr, was convicted on December 24, 2015, for violations that occurred at Gold Crest Care Center, a nursing home in Bronx, New York.

The conviction stems from Kerr’s vicious treatment of an elderly resident of the facility. The resident, whose name is protected for privacy purposes, physically struck an elderly resident whose Alzheimer’s disease is so advanced that is unable to verbally communicate. The horrific case of elder abuse came to light because of the elderly woman’s granddaughter who installed a “hidden video camera” in her grandmother’s room.

Suspecting that her grandmother may be mistreated, the victim’s granddaughter, Diana Valecam-300x225ntin, said that “when I actually saw [the abuse] I was horrified and heartbroken.” When she had previously told Gold Crest Care Center of her concerns for her grandmother’s well-being, hospital administrators replied that her grandmother was hurting herself. Continue reading

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