Can the Consumer Ever Win? Arbitration Clauses in Nursing Homes

Somewhere in your cell phone or credit card contract, buried in the fine print is a mandatory arbitration clause which waives your right to a jury trial and instead binds you to arbitration if there is ever a dispute.  You may not have known that you have waived your right to hold a corporation accountable…

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Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals – Family Not Bound by Arbitration Clause

The Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that a deceased Kentucky nursing home resident’s purported agreement to arbitrate against the facility does not block wrongful death claims brought on behalf of his estate. The Court rejected arguments by Richmond Health Facilities – Kenwood and Preferred Partners, Inc. that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) gave…

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Lack of Leadership in Nursing Homes Effects Quality of Care

A team of researchers from the University of Maryland and University Red Cross College of Nursing found that high turnover in leadership positions in nursing homes were more than twice as likely to be found to have survey deficiencies. Forty percent of nursing home administrators quit due to burnout. A lack of leadership in nursing…

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What is a Skilled Nursing Facility and Who Regulates Them?

Skilled nursing facilities are suitable for residents that require 24 hour a day care and often are moderately or fully unable to care for themselves, either due to an acute condition (e.g., recovering from hip surgery) or a chronic condition (e.g., stroke victim). Skilled nursing facilities are licensed by California Department of Public Health. They…

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What is Hospice and Should My Loved One Be Placed On Hospice?

Hospice care is not considered a type of treatment for sick patients, but rather a plan of care for terminally ill or dying patients who are assessed as having six months or less to live. However, hospice is not a death sentence and a patient’s health condition can improve such that they go off of…

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Are Sub-Acute Facilities Really that Different?

Sub-acute facilities are a relatively recent trend and are beginning to appear more and more. Why? It is simple: money. Recent reimbursement rates changes from Medicare make it such that a nursing home can get higher reimbursement rates for a resident that needs more specialized care (such as tracheotomy care, intravenous tube feeding and complex…

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What is an ALF/RCFE and Is It The Right Fit For Your Loved Ones?

Assisted living facilities are another form of RCFE (Residential Care Facility for the Elderly). Typically the primary difference between an assisted living facility and a board and care home is the size of the facility. While board and care homes tend to be smaller (less than 10 beds), assisted living facilities are generally larger communities…

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What Is a Board and Care Home and Is It Right For Your Loved One?

Board and care homes are one type of RCFE (Residential Care Facility for Elderly). They are licensed by the Department of Social Services and must meet all applicable state regulations. Board and care homes typically care for no more than 10 patients at any given time. Typically board and care facilities are suitable for persons…

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Patients and Patient Representatives are Entitled to Medical Records

A common question that we are asked is, “Can I have access to my elderly mother’s medical records?”  The short answer is yes if you hold the Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA). Cal Health & Safety Code § 123110(b) states: Additionally, any patient or patient’s representative shall be entitled to copies of all or any…

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How Can I Get a Family Member’s Medical Records After They Die?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is made up of stringent regulations regarding disclosure of patient medical records. It applies to all health care providers (i.e. doctor offices; hospitals, etc.) and is based on the general foundation that a patient must expressly permit disclosure of his or her private health information. This obligation…

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