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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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Nursing Home Blocks Sexual Assault Investigation

A Volusia County nursing home located in Tallahassee, Florida is now blocking local law enforcement officials from investigating an alleged rape of one of its elderly female residents.  Last week, Daytona Beach Health & Rehabilitation Center and its parent company NHS Management impeded a criminal investigation after a 75 year old resident’s daughter reported that…

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Fines for Nursing Homes

Inadequate Care leading to Two Elderly Residents Dying In a Los Angeles Time article on June 11, 2009, it was reported that State officials recently fined two nursing homes in Orange County for providing inadequate care that led to the deaths of two residents. In late November 2008, an 82 year old woman was admitted…

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New Cause of Action Against Nursing Homes

Civil Rights Violations in Nursing Homes are Now Recognized Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 According to a recent article posted on Law.com, the estate of Melvinteen Daniels brought a suit against the nursing home, The Kane Center in Allegheny County, Pa., for Mrs. Daniels fatal case of sepsis caused by neglect, malnourishment and bed sores. …

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