Philadelphia Nursing Home an Example of How Administration Profits From Elder Abuse

0

St. Francis Center for Rehabilitation and Health Care

A former manager has pleaded no contest to the charge of recklessly endangering residents at the Darby Nursing Home known as the St. Francis Center for Rehabilitation & Health Care. The misdemeanor charges were filed after the state Health Department completed an inspection that found severe neglect of patients in the home, including one patient with “wounds that went down to the bone with exposed tendon”.

This may seem like an outlying case, but unfortunately, nursing home administrations often profit by neglecting and abusing the elders who are in their care, making this kind of situation horrifically common. At McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt, we have years of experience bringing nursing home administrators and owners to justice after instances of neglect and abuse. We can help you successfully file a claim if your loved one has suffered due to negligence or malpractice while living in a nursing home or long-term care facility.

 

What Happened at St. Francis Center for Rehabilitation and Health Care?

In September of 2017, The PA state Health Department took the extraordinary step of revoking the center’s license and installing a temporary manager at St. Francis after an inspection found multiple instances of negligence, and immediately removed manager Chaim “Charlie” Steg.

The Health Departments inspection was prompted by five complaints. The inspection itself found multiple issues at the facility, including:

Three residents tragically died in the facility due to these types of abuse and neglect. These issues began at St. Francis shortly after staffing was severely cut back under manager Charlie Steg. 

 

Why Was St. Francis Understaffed?

St. Francis was majority owned by Charles-Edouard Gros, who bought St. Francis along with seven other nursing homes in 2014. Gros operated under the umbrella of Center Management Group, who used Charlie Steg as their regional director of operations. Center Management had previously paid fines to state and federal authorities related to neglect. 

A 2018 analysis done by the Philadelphia Inquirer showed that staffing at all facilities purchased by Gros fell sharply after his takeover, while his profits soared. Gros reduced the amount of care provided by registered nurses by 29% at St. Francis by cutting hours for nurses. The number of registered nurses at the facility fell by almost half after the facility was purchased by Gros. Numerous studies have shown that the presence of registered nurses is one of the key elements to providing high-quality care in nursing homes. 

Photo by Sabine van Erp via Pixabay

Is Elder Mistreatment More Common in For-Profit Nursing Homes? 

Despite all this, Gros has yet to face any criminal charges, with only manager Charlie Steg facing penalties. Attorney General Josh Shapiro has stated that  “We filed criminal charges where they were warranted. We held the establishment accountable to the best of our ability.” So why is it so difficult to file charges against the owners of facilities that commit gross acts of negligence?

The answer lies in the complicated legality of for-profit nursing homes. Nearly 70% of the nursing homes in the United States are owned by for-profit companies that often change hands. Who actually owns a nursing home can then become a convoluted question. 

 

How To Hold Negligent Nursing Homes Accountable

For-profit nursing homes can change owners multiple times in a single week, and often have management and ownership structures that are purposefully complex in order to obscure who is responsible for delivering care – and who is ultimately responsible when major issues arise. In fact, the charges against Steg are believed to be the first criminal reckless endangerment charges based on inadequate staffing levels and practices in a nursing facility in Pennsylvania. 

The experienced team at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt know how to navigate the complex legal issues surrounding liability in cases of nursing home abuse and neglect. If your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect at a nursing home, contact us today for a free consultation, and we can help you hold the responsible parties accountable. We can be reached at 1-866-690-2848 or by filling out our form here.

 

 

 

COVID 19 Outbreaks in Nursing Homes Linked to Quality Score

0

As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered industries across the nation. One field particularly hard hit has been the nursing home and residential care industry. With hundreds of residents living in close proximity, often people that are highly vulnerable to the virus, alongside their caretakers and center staff, nursing homes across the country have experienced major outbreaks. Many of the residents and their families have suffered as a result.

The unfortunate reality is that however difficult it has been for these kinds of facilities to contain the virus, those that made the effort to fulfill their regular duty of care to their residents performed better at controlling the spread of the virus when it hit. A new study from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) showed a correlation between the quality of care in nursing homes and the spread of COVID-19. They found that facilities that had better federal rating scores were less likely to have major outbreaks.

Correlation Between Quality Of Care and Likelihood of an Outbreak

In the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, they announced the findings of their researchers, who discovered a relationship between how good a nursing homes rating by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) was, and the facility’s ability to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during outbreaks. Overall, the higher the nursing was rated, the better they were at protecting their residents.

To collect data for the study, researchers used information from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources to pinpoint all of the area’s coronavirus outbreaks in nursing homes from March through June with outbreaks including any number of cases above one within two weeks. They also used data from CMS’s Nursing Home Compare website, which rates nursing home facilities from one star to five stars based on their health inspections, quality measures, and staff level.

From their data, the CDC found that 14 of the 123 nursing homes they looked at suffered COVID-19 outbreaks. Of these nursing homes, the odds of a coronavirus outbreak happening at a facility with a 2 or 3-star rating was 87% lower than a 1-star facility. Whereas facilities with a 4 or 5-star rating were 94% less likely to have a COVID-19 outbreak. This information could be used to find facilities that are likely to suffer coronavirus outbreaks and be proactive in preventing them.

Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times

Coronavirus Outbreaks in Nursing Homes

During the course of this COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been much attention given to the spread of the outbreak in nursing homes. Many nursing homes have failed to contain the spread of the virus in their facilities due to understaffing, unpreparedness, and the increased vulnerability of their residents. A summer CMS report showed that nursing homes and long term care centers reported over 216,000 COVID-19 cases and had an additional 129,000 suspected cases. The confirmed cases resulted in 53,196 coronavirus related deaths up until August when the data was collected.

As a result of these findings, investigators from federal agencies are looking into the possibility that nursing home neglect is a significant factor in the devastating spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes and similar facilities, rather than as a natural result of the fundamentals of these types of facilities and the residents that live there. They suspect that a failure of nursing to respond correctly, taking the effort, time, and resources to prevent the virus from spreading between residents when infections do occur may be a larger factor. This means that the residents that entrusted their health and safety to these facilities may have been unnecessarily put at risk.

Know the Signs of Elder Abuse

0
nursing home malpractice lawyers Philadelphia

National data on cases of abuse in America’s 15,600-plus nursing homes and other elder-care programs is hard to come by. But several recent studies by government investigators, advocacy groups and the news media have chilling implications.

Cascade of Errors Led to Fatal Fire at Pennsylvania Nursing Home

0
fatal fire lawsuit Philadelphia

West Chester, PA – A woman whose parents burned to death in a nursing home fire claims in court that a series of blunders by multiple parties resulted in a preventable catastrophe. 

Call Now ButtonCall Now