Texas nursing home care ranks last in the U.S.

Texas has been reported to have the worst nursing homes in the United States, and Amarillo is one of the worst cities for nursing home care in Texas, News Channel 10 reported on September 16.

Families for Better Care executive director Brian Lee said the state of Texas, particularly Amarillo, needs some improvement in the field of nursing home care, as there have been many cases over the years of neglect, medication errors, and even abuse. Lee stated further that many of these problems come down to staffing shortages and a lack of trained workers.

Nursing home negligence and abuse is unacceptable; when a family entrusts the care of their loved one to a nursing home, they expect him or her to get the care and comfort they need. Should you or a loved one suffer from abuse, negligence, or malpractice in a Texas nursing home, seek the help of the experienced attorneys at Hotze Runkle by calling (877) 919-0830 today.

Class action filed against Casa Rio nursing home for 9 deaths

A class action suit was filed on August 28 against San Antonio facility Casa Rio Healthcare and Rehabilitation for allegedly causing the death of nine patients due to extreme negligence, KENS 5 reported.

According to one lawsuit, a 46-year-old woman had not been attended to properly and was not administered proper care–so much so that an infestation of maggots lodged inside of her ear. Even then, Casa Rio did not call the EMS; the patient’s mother did.

Seven plaintiffs were included in the class action, while two separate lawsuits were filed earlier against the nursing home. According to the plaintiffs’ lawyers, the allegations date as far back as October 2011, when Casa Rio first began operating.

Some nursing homes do not provide their patients with the care they need, and go as far as to abuse these people who they are supposed to be taking care of. If you or a loved one has experienced sub par treatment at a nursing care facility in Texas, contact our attorneys at Hotze Runkle by dialing (877) 919-0830 today, and learn about your legal options.

Texas senator calls for abusive nursing homes to close

Lawmakers in the state of Texas are urging for the close of nursing care facilities that have been linked to cases of abuse, Time Warner Cable News reported on August 14.

In a meeting on August 13, the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission proposed the aggressive move. The commission urged the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services to remove the licenses of nursing care facilities that have experienced at least three serious violations in two years. Some Democratic representatives protested this move, taking issue with the black-and-white aspects of enforcement.

Nursing care facilities provide assistance to families looking for a place that can ensure protective care for their elderly relatives. However, sometimes some nursing homes fail to provide the services that your loved ones deserve. If your senior relatives have experienced dangerous sub par care, neglect or abuse, call the experienced legal team of Hotze Runkle by calling (877) 919-0830 today.

AARP Texas calls for nursing home reform

AARP Texas has called on the local legislative body to institute some reforms concerning the state’s nursing home industry, The Pampa News reported on August 13.

The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission met on August 13 to discuss matters concerning the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. The report found that the relatively low financial penalties can make it hard for state regulators to eliminate nursing homes that provide substandard or mediocre services to patients.

The recommendations, if they are approved by the Commission and enacted into law next legislative session, will allow state regulators to conduct stricter inspections and raise the financial penalties on nursing home facilities that perform poorly. Texas’ long-term quality of care and quality of life was ranked 49th among the other states in the country in a report conducted by AARP, the American Association of Retired Persons, earlier this year.

Unfortunately for some nursing home patients, instead of finding the solace and appropriate care they should be given in such facilities, they are subjected to substandard service and sometimes abuse. Should a loved one of yours experience something like this, call our attorneys at Hotze Runkle in Texas by dialing (877) 919-0830, and we may extend legal help to you.

Empowering nursing staff leads to higher quality care

According to a recent study, empowering nursing staff and resident family members in the managerial decision making process improves the overall quality of care in nursing homes. Specifically, empowering nursing assistants improves quality of service more than with nurses or family members.

The study, led by Darla J. Hamann, Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Arlington, sent out surveys to 1,000 employees as well as the primary-contact member of each resident at 33 nursing homes across the country.  The surveys asked about each individual’s involvement in the decision making process within the facility such as with menu planning and activities. With this data, Hamann examined the relationship between the decision making process at certain hierarchical levels and quality of service.

“Empowering the NAs, who spent more time with the residents and their families, was more effective for improving service quality than empowering other types of employees,” Harman wrote.

Many injuries are the result of management making decisions without the welfare of the resident in mind. As such, if management would just take the time to listen to the caregivers who know the residents and their families best, then there would likely be fewer negative outcomes.

Even when this is done, nursing home management still has the competing pressures of maximizing profits. At Hotze Runkle PLLC, our attorneys know that even with input from caregivers, injuries can still occur when nursing home management puts their finances ahead of patient well being. As such, if your loved one has been hurt while in the care of a nursing home or other long-term care facility, our Texas nursing home abuse attorneys are here to help you pursue justice. Call us today at (877) 919-0830 to learn more about what we can do for you.

Characteristics of the worst nursing homes

Most nursing home facilities in the U.S. possess safe, friendly, and helpful environments.  Although geriatric care facilities receive quite a bit of oversight, there are still a handful of nursing homes with abhorrent conditions. If you are trying to find a nursing home to entrust the care of your loved one to, look out for the following warning signs recently published by U.S. News & World Report.

The first sign to look out for is if the facility has a history of violations or bad reviews. You can research this through Medicare.gov, which rates nursing homes based on health inspections, staffing,  and the quality of medical care given to residents. If the nursing home has just a few severe violations, it would absolutely be wise to steer clear of that facility.

Furthermore, staff turnover rate is a big sign to watch out for. If staff members have been working there for 15-20 years, it is a very good sign. If staff members are frequently leaving after just a year or two, on the other hand, this often shows that not even the staff enjoys the environment they are in.

Another bad sign is when residents lack independence; if residents are able to add their own personal touch to their rooms, they generally feel much better and less like they are in a jail. So lastly, if you just have an overall uneasy feeling in the facility, it likely will not be a good place to put your loved one.

At Hotze Runkle, PLLC, our attorneys care about the welfare of nursing home residents and, in the event of abuse, will do everything in our power to fight for justice on their behalf.  To learn more about how our dedicated legal team can help you and your loved one, call our Austin offices today at (877) 919-0830.

Poor working conditions for nurses leads to decreased quality of care

Recently, the Vickie Milazzo Institute, a nurse consulting company, conducted a survey into the working conditions of nurses and recently provided its results.A recent survey indicates that poor working conditions for nurses directly affects the quality of care that they provide to patients.

Ninety percent of the 3,300 survey’s respondents said that a general lack of concern and regard by superiors affects their performance at work. The survey concluded that these factors can cause nurses to feel extremely stressed, sometimes “dangerously so”, and declared that the avoidance of this circumstance should be a “national priority”, with the government promptly responding to this problem.

If a loved one residing in a nursing home has reported any instances of abuse from the staff, you should seek legal help immediately to protect your family member and other patients from experiencing further abuse. Call the Texas Hotze Runkle by dialing (877) 919-0830 today.

Texas 30th in nursing home care

A national report on care for the elderly which was released by the AARP, the Commonwealth Fund, and the SCAN Foundation, ranked the state of Texas last for nursing home staff turnover, the Houston Chronicle reported on June 19.

Choosing nursing home staff that will stay long-term is important to maintain adequate supervision and care for the vulnerable elderly population. Texas ranked 30th over-all, making a slight move forward from its position at 32 when the report’s first edition was released in 2011. Other rankings Texas received: tenth in affordability and access; 16th in choice of setting and provider; 49th in quality of life and care; 11th for support for family caregivers; and 47th for effective transitions, among others.

Nursing homes need to be facilities that families can rely on to give elderly loved ones the special care they deserve as they continue to age. As such, a case of nursing home abuse should be dealt with through aggressive legal action. If your loved one has been harmed due to the negligence of a nursing home or caregiver, contact Hotze Runkle in Texas by dialing (877) 919-0830 today.

1 in 5 Medicare patients injured by medical personnel mistakes

A recent study has found that one in five Medicare patients has sustained injuries from treatment unrelated to their existing medical condition.

Patients are sometimes given the wrong medication, have allergic reactions to certain medications, or receive treatments that exasperate  their existing medical conditions.

Lead researcher and gerontology program director at Towson University in Maryland, Mary Carter, said the study consisted of data from over 12,500 Medicare beneficiaries between 1998 and 2005, with 19% of them having suffered from at least one adverse medical event.

Yale University Prevention Research Center director and American College of Lifestyle Medicine president Dr. David Katz mentioned that “medical care, while pledged to avoid harm above all, actually imposes quite a bit of it. Medical injury is all too common, and adverse effects of treatment are common, even in the absence of error.”

Nursing home residents should be able to spend the rest of their years relaxing, not worrying about whether they will be harmed by negligent medical personnel. As such, if your loved one is in a nursing home and has been the victim of abuse, legal action can be taken against the negligent party. Contact our Austin attorneys at Hotze Runkle PLLC by dialing (877)919-0830 .

Less restrictive oversight could lead to increase in injuries

Earlier this year, the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it would be cutting approximately $1 billion in revenues for audits and investigations.

Although some view this cutback as an appropriate and well-timed reduction of “excessive actions” by “watchdogs” like the OIG and others, others fear that such a cutback and reduction in oversight could lead to an increase in instances of neglect and / or abuse for long-term care facility patients.

At Hotze Runkle, our attorneys are dedicated to helping victims of nursing home abuse and neglect fight back against such inexcusable mistreatment. If a lack of appropriate oversight has resulted in you or a loved one suffering abuses in an assisted living facility, call our experienced team today at (877) 919-0830 for the compassionate help that you need.

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