Archive for August, 2011

Ohio: Medicaid Won’t be Used to Pay Guardians for Developmentally Disabled!

August 31, 2011

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities stopped seeking Medicaid funding to pay for protective services for thousands of adults after state auditors questioned the agency’s accounting for more than $1.3 million in program costs.

To avoid any interruption in services for the mentally retarded and disabled, Director John Martin said he is using non-Medicaid tax dollars to cover the expense.

“These are vital services,” he said.

An audit released by the Department of Job and Family Services questions the 2009 and 2010 expenditures but does not seek repayment of the funds paid to Advocacy & Protective Services Inc.

“DODD did not provide adequate documentation to demonstrate the expenditures, used as a basis for claiming Medicaid reimbursement, were for actual and allowable services provided by APSI,” auditors wrote.

The Department of Job and Family Services oversees Medicaid, the health-care program for the poor and disabled funded through state and federal tax dollars. Department spokesman Benjamin Johnson said DODD will have an opportunity to submit a more-detailed accounting before any decision about repayment is made.

Advocacy & Protective Services (APSI) is a private, nonprofit organization based in Columbus that is under contract with the developmental-disabilities agency to serve as a court-appointed legal guardian and trustee for about 4,800 Ohioans with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities.

Auditors are concerned about Medicaid funds paid to the department after it sought reimbursement of APSI administrative expenses. Specifically, auditors noted that invoices showed only total costs paid APSI and did not include a breakdown for specific services.

Medicaid, auditors previously noted, will reimburse for administrative costs, within limits, if a detailed accounting is provided to show the expenditures were permissible. Such documentation must include a description of the services performed, hours and date worked, and a signature of an authorizing agent. In addition, 90 percent of the expenditures must go to direct services.

Martin said APSI is paid a set fee to cover administrative expenses and there are no itemized invoices.

“DODD provided documentation of payroll and operation expenses that we believe demonstrate the costs were necessary and reasonable to provide required protective services to individuals with developmental disabilities,” the developmental-disabilities agency wrote in a response included in the audit.

The department also noted that APSI guardians are paid an average of $17.19 an hour, and the cost per individual served is about $1,079 a year.

“We feel confident that DODD is getting a good value for this critical service.”

Source:

Medicaid Won’t be Used to Pay Guardians for Developmentally Disabled

See Also:

Medicaid Dispute: Ohio State Audit Faults APSI (Advocacy & Protective Services, Inc.) With Spending of $1.3 mil

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Lawyer Acting as Guardian Disbarred for Helping Ward Will $5M Estate to His Wife

August 31, 2011

Despite a hitherto unblemished disciplinary record over a 30-year legal career, a New York attorney appointed as a guardian to an incapacitated person has been disbarred for helping her prepare a will in favor of his wife.

John M. Aversa was appointed in July 2009, and the next month his ward got a settlement of over $5 million in a personal injury suit, recounts the Fourth Judicial Department of the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division in an opinion earlier this month.

A court told Aversa to retain independent counsel to help the woman prepare a will. Instead he prepared the will himself without bringing in independent counsel or evaluating the woman’s testimentary capacity. It named Aversa as the executor and his wife, under her maiden name, as the beneficiary. Two members of his immediate family were witnesses.

Besides committing what the court described as serious misconduct for personal gain, Aversa also “demonstrated a shocking lack of candor in this proceeding,” the court wrote, “by belatedly presenting to the Grievance Committee a document designed to conceal his misconduct and by providing explanations for his conduct that lack credibility.”

Aversa had claimed that the will was drafted in an effort to distribute his ward’s assets to charity, as she wished, via his wife. He presented an unsigned, undated will addendum giving instructions to that effect after he was asked to resign as guardian, the opinion says.

Source:

Lawyer Acting as Guardian Disbarred for Helping Ward Will $5M Estate to His Wife

Read the Supreme Court Opinion

TX Lawyer Charged for Paying Judge for Ruling

August 31, 2011

An Austin attorney has been federally indicted concerning his alleged role in a Texas court corruption scheme in which a former state district judge and two other lawyers have already taken pleas.

Marc Garrett Rosenthal, 49, is accused in a 13-count indictment unsealed yesterday of paying ex-Judge Abel Corral Limas for favorable rulings, as well as bribing witnesses, conspiring to file state and federal personal injury cases relying on false testimony and directing others to pay nonlawyers for referrals of cases to his firm, according to the Associated Press.

Rosenthal faces charges of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute, witness-tampering and fraud charges, among others, reports the Brownsville Herald. (The American-Statesman provides a full rundown.)

The Herald says Rosenthal is also accused of arranging for others to manipulate the Cameron County District Court case assignment system, so that cases went to the courts they preferred.

Full Article and Source:

Another Attorney Charged in Racketeering Case Allegedly Paid Texas Judge for Ruling

Please Help Me Find My Mother!

August 30, 2011

My Mother has been victimized by relatives and then a court appointed guardian.

I spoke to my Mother last on July 13, 2011.

No one will help me locate my Mother. The Sheriff’s department cannot since she is under guardianship. The guardian has my numbers blocked.

I have no idea what to do, or whether my Mother is alive or dead. Please help me find my Mother.

Source:

NASGA: Jacqueline K. Scott Profile

4th Nurse Admits Patient Abuse

August 30, 2011

Another nurse admitted to charges that she did not provide proper care for an incapacitated patient at the Northwoods Rehabilitation Center in Schaghticoke two years ago.

Licensed practical nurse Lisa Sousie of Troy appeared before Rensselaer County Judge Andrew Ceresia and pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted first-degree falsification of business records, a misdemeanor.

Sousie will be sentenced Oct. 12 to three years of probation, suspension of her nursing license, and she must cooperate and provide testimony in any potential upcoming trial in the case, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.

Sousie was one of nine nurses and aides at the facility named in a 175-count indictment charging them with neglecting a 53-year-old patient identified as “SB” during six weeks in March and April 2009.

Investigators set up a hidden camera in the patient’s room. What they saw led to the March 31, 2010, charges of not properly caring for the patient and faking records to make it appear they did.

Full Article and Source:

Fourth Nurse Admits Patient Abuse

3rd Nurse Pleads Guilty

August 30, 2011

A third health care worker has admitted she did not properly care for an incapacitated patient at the Northwoods Rehabilitation Center in Schaghticoke in 2009.

Licensed practical nurse Leslie Mayo, 54, of Watervliet pleaded guilty before Judge Andrew Ceresia to one felony count of first-degree falsifying business records in March 2009. “I was working the overnight shift and did not check on the patient but signed a record that I did, and I did not put ointment on the patient,” Mayo admitted.

“The ointment had not been applied, even though the records show that it was?” Ceresia asked.

“Yes,” Mayo said.

Mayo will be sentenced Oct. 12 to five years’ probation and must surrender her nursing license.

Mayo was one of nine nurses and aides at the facility named in a 175-count state attorney general’s indictment charging them with neglecting a 53-year-old patient identified as “SB” during six weeks in March and April 2009.

Full Article and Source:

LPN Makes Guilty Plea

Dolores C. Bedin: October 24, 1924 – August 23, 2011

August 29, 2011

A sad update to a story we first brought you in December regarding an elderly Rockford woman who fought for her right to remain in the hospital.

We’ve learned 86-year-old Dolores Bedin passed away this morning. She had been fighting pancreatic cancer. We first introduced you to Dolores when Northwestern Memorial Hospital tried to get her daughter Janet’s Power of Attorney revoked so it could kick Dolores out of the hospital.

She had been there two months and felt too sick to leave. Janet blames Northwestern for sharing her mom’s cat scan results five months late and feels more could have been done to slow down the cancer. Dolores grew increasingly ill over the last eight months. But her daughter says her mind remained sharp and will always be remembered as the “Italian Crocodile.”

Source and Video:

Rockford Woman Who Fought Hospital Loses Battle to Cancer

See Also:

A Growing Trend of Medicine

North Shore ‘Live’ – Cooper’s Corner: Elder Abuse in the Hospital, Part 2

August 29, 2011

Janet Bedin returns for part 2 in her struggle with Northwestern Hospital and their careless disregard for her mother.

Source:

North Shore ‘Live’ – Cooper’s Corner: Elder Abuse in the Hospital, Part 2

Note: Northshore “Live” Cooper’s Corner Host Bev Cooper has dedicated these programs to those who are victims of Cook County Probate Court. Live broadcasts are aired in Highland Park on channel 19 Wednesday at 7:30 PM.

See Also:

North Shore “Live” – Cooper’s Corner: Elder Abuse in the Hospital, Part 1

He Served 10 Presidents but Died Alone in Squalor

August 28, 2011

Theodoric C. James Jr. was clearly in trouble. He wasn’t showering anymore. He wore the same ragged clothing day after day. Rats rummaged through the weeds and mounds of trash in his yard. He started going to the bathroom in buckets on his front porch.

His neighbor Alex Dobbins was afraid that something terrible was going to happen. They had been friends since their days at Howard University and had lived in adjoining rowhouses in the 16th Street Heights section of Northwest Washington for 37 years.

But this was not the man he had known. The man who had served in the White House for almost 50 years, under every president from Kennedy to Obama. The man who read and catalogued many of the documents that flow through the Oval Office: memos to the president, letters, pieces of legislation, nomination packets, even classified material that required him to have a security clearance.

This man was inexplicably living in squalor, seemingly without electricity or running water, and hiding under a hooded overcoat and multiple layers of clothing no matter how hot it got. He wasn’t just a public nuisance but, Dobbins feared, a danger to himself.

For more than two years, Dobbins and James’s family members in Mississippi repeatedly called every city office they could think of — the Department of Mental Health, Adult Protective Services, his council member, the mayor — hoping to get James help and prevent the worst.

Then, on Aug. 1, after the punishing heat wave that pushed the heat index to 112, Dobbins woke up worried because he hadn’t seen his friend in two days. He knocked on the door loudly with a baseball bat. There was no answer.

Full Article and Source:

He Served 10 Presidents, But Died Alone in Squalor: What Happened to Theodoric C. James?

Plea Deal in $30K Theft

August 28, 2011

Deborah Thompson, wife of Saratoga County Supervisor Frank Thompson, R-Milton, pleaded guilty Wednesday in County Court to attempted grand larceny and agreed to repay her 84-year-old victim nearly $30,000.

Thompson, 62, was charged with grand larceny, but accepted a plea bargain that includes a recommended sentence of five years on probation. Her lawyer, F. Stanton Ackerman, said Thompson will sell her house to pay the restitution. He called the agreement a “fair outcome.”

Acting Saratoga County Judge Karen Drago set sentencing for Deborah Thompson for 2 p.m. Nov. 16.

Full Article and Source:

Plea Deal in $30G Theft