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Nursing Home Neglect Cases

The nursing home industry is big business and they’re putting profit over people. We’re seeing it in several forms. One is understaffing. They don’t have sufficient staff to give care to our loved ones. Or their staff don’t have the proper training or education to understand their medical conditions. But most importantly, the most disturbing…

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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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Insurance Companies May Have Financial Reasons to Dump Patients on Hospice

There is a recent trend developing in hospice care for those covered under the Medicare Advantage Plans. For those unfamiliar with Medicare Advantage plans, they are plans where Medicare-eligible persons receive coverage from a private health insurer through Medicare. They generally have lower premiums than Medicare Supplement plans (also known as Medicare “Part B” Plans),…

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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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Nursing Homes’ Misuse of Medications May Increase Risk of Dementia

Another study concludes that benzodiazepine use is associated with an increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease. This recent study states that unwarranted, long term use of benzodiazepine drugs should be considered as a public health concern. Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs mainly used to treat anxiety or insomnia. Unfortunately, nursing homes and assisted living facilities…

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