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Government Report Finds One-Third of Nursing Home Residents Experience Harm: Consumer Voice Calls for More Staff

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (Consumer Voice) is calling for minimum nursing home staffing standards in response to a recently released Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) report, “Adverse Events in Skilled Nursing Facilities: National Incidence Among Medicare Beneficiaries.” The OIG investigation found that one third of skilled nursing home residents are being harmed, and in some cases, even dying, as a result of “adverse or temporary harm events” – instances where harm results due to the care provided – or not provided – by the facility. Examples of such events include excessive bleeding due to medication, falls, infections, pressure ulcers, blood clots, acute kidney injury and worsening of preexisting conditions due to lack of care.

In addition to a high level of harm, the OIG found that almost 60% of these events were preventable and resulted from substandard care, inadequate resident monitoring and failure or delay of necessary care. According to Robyn Grant, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for the Consumer Voice, providing care, treatment and monitoring of residents are all nursing duties. “Poor and often tragic outcomes result when there are insufficient numbers of registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and certified nursing assistants (CNAs),” Grant said. Low staffing levels are the single most important contributor to poor quality of nursing home care in the United States.1Despite these well-established findings, there is no minimum number of nurse and nursing assistant hours per resident/day mandated by the federal government.

Grant stated that the public should be appalled and outraged that frail elders and persons with disabilities are suffering or dying from preventable events and that tax dollars are paying for treatment needed afterwards. “While you cannot put a price on human suffering, you can certainly put one on hospitalizations,” Grant noted. The OIG estimated that hospital treatment for the harm caused in skilled nursing facilities cost Medicare $208 million in August 2011, amounting to $2.8 billion for all of FY 2011.

To reduce the incidence of these events, the OIG recommends helping nursing home staff to better recognize harm and instructing nursing home inspectors to review what nursing homes are doing to identify and reduce resident harm. “While additional guidance to surveyors could be helpful and educated staff is essential, we must have stronger, more effective enforcement of the federal regulations to bring about change and enough nurses and nursing assistants to carry out good care practices,” said Grant.

The Consumer Voice calls on federal legislators to pass a law requiring minimum staffing standards in nursing homes and to use the wasted $2.8 billion to pay for additional nursing staff so that residents are cared for instead of harmed.

To read the OIG report, click here.

Contact: Robyn Grant (202) 332-2275 x205

1 Charlene Harrington, Ph.D; University of California-San Francisco.

Posted in Articles, Federal Government, Injury, Medicare and Medicaid, National Department of Health and Human Services, Nursing Home.


Fatal Prescription: America’s Pain-Pill Epidemic

By Dr. Sanjay Gupta

More women than ever are dying from painkiller overdoses. How can you spot signs of drug abuse in a loved one? To view the entire story, go to Full Story Here

Posted in Articles, Death and Dying, Drugs.


The Villages of Southern HIlls | A Champion for Change

Hi everyone. Here is a success story that was promoted in a CMS national antipsychotic reduction call today. A good example of how facilities can use success stories to promote good care and themselves at the same time. We would love to see this duplicated across Ventura County and are working hard to make that happen.

Leadership and care providers at the Villages of Southern Hills in Tulsa, OK support a national and state initiative to reduce unnecessary antipsychotic medication. In this video, you’ll meet Bill, and hear how his providers engaged him in the decision to reduce and ultimately eliminate the antipsychotics he had been on for years.

Sylvia Taylor-Stein

Executive Director

Long Term Care Services of Ventura County, Inc.,

Ombudsman Program

2021 Sperry Avenue Suite 35

Ventura, CA 93003

T: 805-656-1986

Fax: 805-658-8540

www.ombudsmanventura.org

a 501 (c) 3 public benefit corporation

All donations are 100% tax deductible

Posted in Nursing Home.


AB 581 has been signed! SB 609 today could be the day!

CLTCOA’s legislative team is excited to share of another legislative victory for LTC residents! This week the Governor signed AB 581 the RCFE Retaliation bill. This bill prohibits RCFE’s from retaliating against residents who make a complaint to the the local LTC Ombudsman program.

 CLTCOA would like to send a special thanks to Benson Nadell and his staff at the San Francisco LTC Ombudsman program for all of their efforts in getting this legislation passed!

 SB 609 Ombudsman Willful Interference Bill, which increases the penalty for facilities who willfully interfere in the duties of a LTC Ombudsman is sitting on the Governors desk at this very moment. The bill is likely to be signed today so get ready!

 Reminder- next Tuesday is the CLTCOA Board meeting and we encourage you to attend.

 

Leza Coleman

Executive Director CLTCOA

916-375-3313 office

916-417-2889 cell

new email address: lcoleman@cltcoa.org

________________________________________

Our ombudsman association is worked hard on this bill and AB581 is a great victory for residents in residential care facilities who have issues concerning their care but afraid to voice them to the ombudsman for fear of retaliation.   Hopefully, now they will feel more free to speak up.

Thanks everyone for your support

Sylvia

 

Sylvia Taylor-Stein
Board of Directors
California Long Term Care Ombudsman Association

Executive Director

Long Term Care Services of Ventura County, Inc.,

Ombudsman Program

2021 Sperry Avenue Suite 35

Ventura, CA 93003

T: 805-656-1986

Fax: 805-658-8540

www.ombudsmanventura.org

a 501 (c) 3 public benefit corporation

All donations are 100% tax deductible

Posted in AB 581, Legislation.


AB 937 The Conservators and Guardians: Personal Rights of Conservatees Bill has been signed

Hello All,

I am so excited to share that the Governor signed AB 937 _The
Conservators and Guardians: Personal Rights of Conservatees Bill this
afternoon!

Thank you so much to all of you who assisted with this
legislation-drafting support letters, reaching out to others and
testifying in committee.

Heather Falkenthal, Assemblemember Bob Wieckowski’s legislative aid,
shared that CLTCOA’s knowledge and experience was integral to the
success of the bill.

Yeah team!

Leza Coleman

Executive Director CLTCOA

916-375-3313 office

Posted in Uncategorized.