Nursing homes judged by tougher standards

Almost a third of the nations’ nursing home facilities have received much lower scores on the government’s Nursing Home Compare website, giving evidence that tougher standards for ratings have been implemented by nearly 12.5 million consumers to determine the quality of health care in more than 15,000 facilities all over the United States, KYTX reported on February 20.

The ratings, which were posted on the Friday afternoon, were indicative of changes in the way nursing homes’ performances are evaluated.

Among the new assessments included measures of facilities’ use of anti-psychotic drugs, which are particularly dangerous to elderly people suffering from dementia.

The Texas nursing home abuse attorneys of Hotze Runkle know that superior nursing home care is sadly lacking in many facilities. If your loved one has suffered due to negligent care at a nursing home, there may be a method of recourse to hold those responsible fully accountable for their actions. Call our offices at (877) 919-0830 today to learn more about pursuing financial compensation.


Local Austin News Station Investigates Nursing Home Abuse

Local news station KVUE in Austin, Texas recently published a “Defenders” investigation on Texas nursing home abuse.

A “dramatic rise” in abuse in Texas nursing homes is the primary finding of the investigation, according to KVUE. Additionally, KVUE reported that the state is limited in its regulation of nursing home, allowing for abuses and negligence to continue. The most common cases of abuse involved physical abuse, medication errors, and even sexual abuse.

Data from the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS),which regulates nursing homes, supports KVUE’s findings. It says that there has been a 55% increase in the number of the “most severe” types of nursing home abuse just in the last four years.

Nursing home abuse should never have to be tolerated. If you or someone you love is in a Texas nursing home and suffers from abuse or neglect, you may be able to fight back legally, and might even be awarded financial compensation for your suffering. The attorneys of Hotze Runkle can answer your questions and help you decide what the best next step is for your situation. Contact our offices at (877) 919-0830 to learn more.


Report shows Texas 49th in fines for nursing home care

A report from the advocacy group Families for Better Care showed that Texas ranks as the second-worst state in the United States when it comes to fines over nursing home care, the Houston Chronicle reported on February 23.

According to the report, Texas is the second-most fined state in the country in terms of violations against nursing home care policies. It collected around $9 million of fines in the last three years, adding to the “staggering $100 million in nursing home fines” that the country garnered within the same period.

Kentucky was declared the worst-performing state when it comes to nursing home care, collecting around $11 million in fines in the last three years.

If you or someone you love has had his or her health or welfare compromised while staying in a nursing home in Texas due to the negligent actions of other people, get in touch with our attorneys at Hotze Runkle by calling our offices today at (877) 919-0830.


Houston nursing home with multiple violations changes name

Houston-based nursing facility Lexington Place Nursing and Rehabilitation, known for an incident in which two residents died and a poor track record of health and safety violations, changed its name to Brookhollow Heights Transitional Care Center, according to the Houston Chronicle.

In 2014, two residents were bludgeoned to death with a wheelchair armrest, allegedly by a fellow resident. Additionally, the nursing home’s health violations have been known to pose a serious risk to elderly residents.

According to Brookhollow Heights administrator Jesse Sias, the name change was intended to align the facility with the names of other establishments in the area.

The nursing home is northwest of downtown Houston between the Heights and U.S. 290.

Do you have a beloved relative who was injured during his or her stay in a nursing home? If so, do not hesitate to take aggressive legal action against the negligent professionals responsible. Seek the legal advice and representation of our attorneys at Hotze Runkle, who have years of experience serving clients in Texas. Call our offices today at (877) 919-0830 to learn more.


New Mexico files lawsuit against Texas-based nursing home chain

New Mexico’s attorney general sued Plano, Texas-based Preferred Care Partners Management Group, one of the country’s biggest nursing home chains, over allegations that adequate care cannot possibly be provided to its residents based on their thin staff numbers, the Longview News-Journal reported on December 5.

The lawsuit, filed by Democratic Attorney General Gary King, could also be used in other states if it succeeds. King told The Associated Press that “the failure to provide the care that patients need and that homes are paid for will not be tolerated.”

Preferred Care Management Partners has branches in at least 10 states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Nevada, Kansas, Mississippi, and Texas.

We at Hotze Runkle are dedicated to representing victims of nursing home neglect and abuse against the responsible facilities and individuals. Call our offices at (877) 919-0830 today to learn more.


Nation lacking in elder abuse response – HHS official

United States Health and Human Services Department assistant secretary for aging Kathy Greenlee demanded more attention be given to the nation’s older citizens, especially since she claims elder abuse is rampant in the United States, reports MySanAntonio.com.

Greenlee spoke at the annual state Adult Protective Services Conference on Wednesday, November 19 in San Antonio. At the conference, Greenlee told attendees that she is crafting a plan to highlight the needs of senior citizens at the federal level. Her team has already instituted a program in Texas that screens for elder abuse and another that aims to increase medication compliance and decrease isolation among the demographic.

Data from the National Adult Protective Services Association showed that one in nine senior citizens are being abused, neglected, or exploited. If a senior loved one has experienced any form of abuse, neglect, or exploitation in the nursing home in Texas, ensure that the nursing facility is held responsible for its actions by pursuing legal action with the help of our attorneys from Hotze & Runkle, PLLC. Call our offices today at (877) 919-0830.


Falls are a major cause of deaths in U.S. nursing homes

Insurance company CNA has recently revealed data from the skilled care and assisted living organizations that they insure, reporting that fall-related accidents made up 41.5% of all closed professional liability claims —  between 2012 and 2013.

According to the estimates from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1,800 nursing home residents are killed each year in U.S. due to fall-related injuries. The CDC also noted that nursing who had fall-related accidents once are more prone to having the same accident again.

The CDC recommends the following in order to minimize the occurrences of fall-related accidents within nursing homes:

  • Educate nursing home staff on the dangers of falls and ways on how to prevent them;
  • Assess any potential fall risks before they happen
  • Quickly evaluate the conditions of patients who have had fall-related accidents;
  • Make changes to the facility to make it as fall-proof as possible.

Our attorneys at Hotze Runkle, PLLC are committed to finding justice for Texas nursing home patients. Call our offices today at (512) 476-7771.


Nursing home chain to settle lawsuits with $38M

The Extendicare Health Services and its subsidiary, Progressive Step or ProStep, will settle allegations of improper billing to federal health problems and accusations of low quality care with $38 million, The Seattle Times reported on October 10.

Department of Justice officials announced that Extendicare will also be compensating for their lack of skilled nurses, failing to provide thorough training to employees, and failure to supervise employees. According to Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the state is expected to receive $1 million as its share of the settlement.

Nursing home negligence can have profoundly negative effects on a nursing facility’s residents. If your loved one, who is currently residing at a nursing home facility, has experienced neglect or abuse from nursing home staff in Texas, call our attorneys of Hotze Runkle, today by dialing (877) 919-0830. Our experienced legal team may help you file a suit to seek damages from those responsible.


Missing sprinkler systems a threat in nursing homes

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the federal agency whose tasks include regulating nursing home facilities, has stated that 385 nursing homes in 39 states have failed to install sprinkler systems, an Associated Press article reported on October 4.

All together, these lacking nursing homes house around 52,000 of the elderly population. To address facilities that were not up to par, an August 2013 deadline was set for facilities to get up to date. However, clearly, many did not comply. Tallahassee, Florida-based Families for Better Care executive director Brian Lee deplored the news and stated that these facilities have the money to construct this critical safety feature – they just don’t.

It wasn’t until 2003 that the CMS required the construction of sprinkler systems in new nursing homes, in direct reaction to fires that happened at Greenwood Health Center in Hartford, Connecticut and at the NHC Healthcare Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Over 20 people died in the fires, and many of these deaths could have been prevented with adequate sprinkler systems.

If you or a loved one residing in a nursing home in Texas has been in any way abused, neglected, or exposed to potential harm, contact our attorneys at Hotze Runkle today by calling (877) 919-0830, and learn about your options for pursuing restitution.


Many nursing homes fail to report instances of abuse and neglect

The Office of the Inspector General for the United States Department of Human Health Services recently revealed in a report that many nursing facilities in the country do not adequately inform the government of instances of abuse or neglect, The Houston Chronicle reported.

Among the findings of the OIG are:

  • Only 76% of nursing homes have instituted policies when it comes to reporting cases of neglect or abuse.
  • Only 61% of nursing homes hold documentation of these reports.
  • Only 53% were reported according to federal standards.

According to federal law, it is mandated that nursing homes record and report every allegation of abuse or neglect that arises, in order to protect the safety of elderly residents.

The OIG, in light of these lackluster numbers, suggested the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services should monitor that nursing homes hold the correct policies, remind those responsible to report suspicious behavior or allegations, and monitor that incidents are reported in a timely manner.

If your relative who is residing in a nursing care facility in Texas has experienced any form of abuse or has been neglected in any way, contact our attorneys at Hotze Runkle at (877) 919-0830 today, and learn how  our legal team can help you hold those responsible accountable.


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