Texas needs to prioritize nursing homes – editorial

Texas Governor Greg Abbott appointed veteran state health and human services executive, Chris Traylor, as the executive commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. The governor has appointed another successful leader, Charles Smith, to the deputy executive commissioner position in the same agency. With these positions, the governor hopes to reform this 58,000 person agency into a more professional and effective entity.

An editorial from TribTalk.org, a publication from the Texas Tribune, stresses that Texas should focus its priorities on improving the state of nursing care and health care for the state’s aging inhabitants. The author hopes for action on are protecting taxpayers’ investment and quality care through better management of contracts and agreements with health maintenance organizations that are the primary source of long-term care services for home, community, and institutional nursing settings.

Our attorneys at Hotze Runkle, PLLC in Texas are fully committed to the issues and complaints brought out by our nursing home resident clients, who have suffered negligence and abuse from the very people who are supposed to be protecting them. Call our offices today at (877) 919-0830.


Studies reveal that nursing homes regularly administer common blood thinner incorrectly

Recent cases have revealed that the popular blood thinner Coumadin can be very harmful to patients if not administered correctly. A string of injuries, mostly caused by improper administration of the drug in nursing homes across the country, has brought to light the dangers of this particular drug.  In fact, a study in the American Journal of Medicine revealed that as many as 34,000 nursing home residents suffer serious health concerns because of this drug every year.

Despite the drug’s many benefits, Coumadin can cause blood clots if a patient is given too little, or it can lead to uncontrolled bleeding if a patient is given too much. It can also react poorly when combined with certain other medications that a patient may be taking. In many cases, this tragic neglect has led to the untimely death of elderly patients.

The problem, reports indicate, is vigilance.  Despite the drug’s apparent risks, many patients need to be on it and benefit greatly from its desired effects. The medication itself is not the problem.  The problem appears to be that nursing home practitioners lack the proper understanding of the dangers of the drug or the correct way to prescribe and administer it.

If you or a loved one has suffered from improper care in a nursing home, the dedicated Texas nursing home abuse lawyers at Hotze Runkle are here to help. Call us today at (877) 919-0830 to speak to a compassionate attorney and learn more about what we can do for you.


Texas governor signs ‘three strikes’ for nursing homes into law

Senate Bill 304 was signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott on June 19, intending to hold nursing homes accountable for violations of regulations, according to Concho Valley Homepage on June 23.

The president of AARP Bob Jackson said that, although the legislature could have gone further to protect the state’s elderly population, SB 304 is a step in the right direction. SB 304 was authored by Sen. Charles Schwertner (Republican of Georgetown) and institutes a three-strike rule for nursing home regulation violators. Under the provisions of SB 304, a nursing home licensed by the state shall have its license revoked once it violates nursing home regulations three times within a two-year timeframe.

Our attorneys at Hotze Runkle in Texas are committed to fighting on behalf of nursing home residents who have become victims of neglect or abuse by their respective nursing homes–the very facilities built to care for them. Call our offices today at (877) 919-0830 to begin taking action against those responsible.


States debate installation of monitoring cameras in nursing home rooms

The Senate medical affairs subcommittee of the South Carolina legislature voted on March 25 to adjourn debates on Senate Bill 257, The State reported.

The bill was introduced by Senator Paul Reynolds Thurmond (Republican of Charleston) and seeks to install video monitoring cameras inside nursing home rooms to prevent or prove incidents of abuse and neglect towards senior citizen residents.

AARP (formerly American Association of Retired Persons) Associate State Director for Advocacy Coretta Bedsole believes that installing video cameras in nursing home rooms could allow family caregivers to make sure their loved ones are safe.

However, nursing home industry representatives are opposing the bill. Five Star Quality Care Regional Director of Operations Derrick DeFino said that their senior residents have a right to their private lives, as some still have romantic relationships and others may not want their family members witnessing all of the help they are given.

Our attorneys at Hotze Runkle are dedicated to addressing claims of nursing home abuse or neglect in Texas, and we may be able to work on behalf of you and your loved ones. Call our offices at (877) 919-0830 today to discuss your case and begin taking action.


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.


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.


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.


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