Archive for the ‘abuse’ Category

Prescriber Checkup: Lifting the veil on dangerous prescribing

September 22, 2013

Federal officials were skeptical two years ago when ProPublica asked them to release a database of prescriptions written in Medicare’s landmark drug plan, known as Part D.

The data details the prescribing habits of more than 1 million doctors and other health professionals who treat Medicare patients. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had never allowed any outsider, let alone journalists, to have access to such records, which include identity codes for individual providers.

In the months that followed, ProPublica reporters argued that freeing this data could help patients assess the prescribing patterns of their health providers. The reporters pointed out that the stringent laws on the confidentiality of medical records were written to protect the privacy of patients, not doctors.

After months of high-level deliberation, CMS, to its credit, agreed to release the records — and to unveil one of medicine’s biggest secrets.

In examining the data, our reporters found powerful indications that Medicare has not done all it could to oversee its drug plan.

Some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens rely on this program — the elderly and disabled. We found that some doctors were prescribing antipsychotic drugs to large numbers of seniors — an age group for which such medicines are particularly hazardous. Others were writing unusually high numbers of prescriptions for painkillers and other dangerous drugs. Reporters systematically examined these cases, interviewing the doctors about their prescribing decisions. In some cases, they could explain their conduct. In others, they could not.

They all had one thing in common: None of the doctors whose prescribing habits stood out in our analysis had ever been questioned by Medicare officials. Government overseers, our reporters found, didn’t consider it their job to examine these patterns or act upon them.

Full Article and Source:
Prescriber Checkup: Lifting the veil on dangerous prescribing

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Hampton facility one step closer to losing license

September 17, 2013

Hearing officer is ‘haunted by the tragic images of residents … This is a sad place to live … its doors must close.’

 

Ashwood Assisted Living in Hampton has moved one step closer to losing its license to operate. Eighty one residents with various physical and psychological impairments, all dependent on state auxiliary grants, live in conditions that the state has reported as putting them “at risk for their health, safety and welfare” for more than two years.

Three months after a May 30 hearing, closed at the request of owner Scott Schuett, hearing officer Sarah Smith Freeman sent her recommendation supporting revocation to the commissioner of the Department of Social Services for a final ruling. The 10-day period allowing for objections from both sides — the DSS and Schuett — ended Friday with no input from either, according to Freeman.

“This Hearing Officer is haunted by the tragic images of the residents who were questioned or observed during the inspections — the terminally ill resident, locked in a Geri chair and left to die over his eating tray, the female resident whose fingernails were worn and dirty with her own waste and the man who did not know he deserved to wear shoes even if his feet were quite wide. … This is a sad place to live. … The facility has come to its logical end and its doors must close,” Freeman wrote in her 46-page recommendation.

Commissioner Margaret Ross Schultze, who answered questions via email, but was unavailable for comment in person, has 30 days to respond. According to Joron Moore, agency spokesperson, there’s a possible extension of another 30 days. However, Freeman assured, “This one is going to generate a timely response.”

The Department of Social Services, which oversees assisted living facilities in the state, first issued a notice of its intent to revoke Ashwood’s license in June 2012. The home’s temporary license expired more than a year ago, in August 2012. During the extended appeals process, it has remained open as inspection reports by the DSS have continued to enumerate violations that range from medication mismanagement to bed bug infestations to unsafe conditions.

Until recently, Schuett, who was stripped of his administrator’s license in December 2012, operated six assisted living facilities in the region. All but Ashwood and Chesapeake Home in Chesapeake have now closed.

Full Article and Source:
Hampton facility one step closer to losing license

Etowah Co. man indicted for allegedly abusing nursing home resident

July 28, 2013

MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) – Attorney General Luther Strange’s office says that a former Etowah County nursing home employee has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a resident.

James Dean Justice, 44, of Altoona, was arrested July 24 and has been released on bond. Justice has been indicted for abusing a protected person, which is a class C felony. The alleged abuse took place Dec. 26, 2012.

The investigation into the case began after Altoona Health and Rehabilitation, Inc. reported the incident to the AG’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Justice had been employed there as a certified nursing assistant.

Full Article and Source:
Etowah Co. man indicted for allegedly abusing nursing home resident

Warnings of Elder Abuse

June 15, 2013

There is a growing concern of elder abuse. Aging individuals that suffer from mental diseases like dementia are particularly vulnerable to abuse. Below are warning signs that can be helpful to raise a suspicion of elder abuse. Taken individually these warnings are not inherently meaningful. However, any combination of these signs could indicate a problem with abuse.

  1. The caregiver is secretive about the elder’s finances.
  2. The elder is financially supporting the caregiver.
  3. The caregiver isolates the elder from others.
  4. The caregiver insists on being in the room when anyone else is present.
  5. The caregiver has a history of substance abuse.
  6. There are changes in the estate planning paperwork.
  7. The caregiver moves the elder to his home without warning.

Source:
Warnings of Elder Abuse

Steubenville Lawyer Will Appeal, Says Client’s ‘Brain Isn’t Fully Developed’

March 22, 2013

One day after his client, 16-year-old Ma’lik Richmond, was convicted by an Ohio judge of raping an incapacitated girl, attorney Walter Madison said on CNN’s Piers Morgan Live that he plans to appeal the verdict and that Richmond should not have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

“I don’t believe he should have to register as a sex offender until he dies. … I don’t believe that a person, at 75 years old, should have to explain for something they did at 16 when scientific evidence would support your brain isn’t fully developed,” said Madison, “when the evidence in the case would suggest you were under the influence.”

Since briefly making his case last night, many people have been quick to mock Madison. Piers Morgan himself told the lawyer, “I’ve got 3 teenage sons and when you get to 16, 17, your brain’s developed enough to know you shouldn’t be raping girls.”

Morgan’s sons aside, Madison’s brain-development complaints are not so outlandish when one considers that the Supreme Court abolished the death penalty for juvenile offenders in 2005 for a similar reason. After hearing from numerous medical practitioners who stated that young criminals’ mental capacities are not yet matured, the court struck down juvenile executions, stating in its opinion “it would be misguided to equate the failings of a minor with those of an adult, for a greater possibility exists that a minor’s character deficiencies will be reformed.”

Full Article & Source:
Steubenville Lawyer Will Appeal, Says Client’s ‘Brain Isn’t Fully Developed’

Former Murrieta hospital employee to stand trial

March 8, 2013
 
A judge Thursday ordered a former nurse for a Murrieta hospital to stand trial on allegations that he performed sex acts with incapacitated female patients.
 
Judge Mark Mandio determined a prosecutor presented enough evidence in the preliminary hearing in the case against Paul Robert Simon, 53, of Murrieta, to indicate he is potentially guilty of charges that he took sexual advantage of three patients while he worked at Rancho Springs Medical Center in 2009 and 2010.
 
Authorities arrested Simon in early February and the Riverside County district attorney’s office charged him with three counts of sexual battery on a medically incapacitated person and two counts of lewd or lascivious acts.
 
Full Article & Source:

Lawless America Movie Trailer

September 30, 2012

Published on Sep 26, 2012 by

 

Lawless America Movie Trailer by Naomi Chambers

Lawless America…The Movie is all about exposing the fact that we now live in Lawless America.

We no longer have laws that are enforced because judges do whatever they want to do. America has also become lawless because government officials are dishonest and/or corrupt.

The movie will expose corruption in every state. The Movie will focus on victims. Corrupt judges and corrupt government officials will be exposed, and we will confront a number of the crooks.

If anyone has ever questioned the story of a person who has expressed the view that they were a victim of the government or of judges, this movie will prove that the odds are that the corruption report was true. In fact, there are probably tens of millions of victims in the United States who never realized what happened to them.

One feature length documentary movie is being produced. It will be shown in theaters, on Netflix, Blockbuster, and other such video places, and the movie will be presented at the Sundance Film Festival and other film festivals.

In addition, videos will be produced for each state and for each type of corruption. Everyone who is interviewed for the film will record a three-minute segment that will be done as testimony before Congress as well as a 30-60 minute on-camera interview with Bill Windsor, founder of LawlessAmerica.com and GRIP, and candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislators in each state will receive the testimony from those in their state, and the members of the U.S. House and Senate will receive all of the testimony nationwide.

Over 750 people are already scheduled to be interviewed for the movie.

For more information, see http://www.LawlessAmerica.com and http://www.Facebook.com/lawlessamerica

Florida Orders Brain-Injury Center to Move Some Patients

August 29, 2012

A Florida brain-injury center facing allegations of abuse has been ordered to move dozens of its patients to other facilities, according to a state report released today.

The Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation, one of the largest facilities of its kind in the country, is treating patients without brain injuries — a breach of its license, say Florida regulators.

During a surprise inspection earlier this month, state officials say they found that 50 of 98 patients whose records were reviewed did not meet the licensing criteria for treatment at the center’s main facility near Wauchula, about 50 miles Southeast of Tampa.

The state said the institute, commonly called FINR, must submit a plan to relocate those patients to a facility “that is appropriate to meet their needs.”

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration also found that FINR was keeping patients too long, another violation of its “transitional living facility” license. It ordered the center to develop a new protocol for discharging patients.

Wayne J. Miller, an attorney representing FINR, didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment.

Surprise Inspection

Investigators from three state agencies conducted a surprise inspection on Aug. 2 and 3 following a Bloomberg News report of dozens of cases of alleged abuse and neglect at the facility. FINR, a for-profit company, treats patients from across the country.

Related: Abuse Of Brain Injured Americans Scandalizes U.S.

Patients’ families or state agencies have alleged abuse or care lapses in at least five residents’ deaths since 1998, two of them in the last two years. Three former employees face criminal charges of abusing FINR patients — one of whom was allegedly hit repeatedly for two hours in a TV room last September.

Florida’s Department of Children and Families has received 514 allegations of abuse or neglect at FINR since 2005, including 37 that were “verified” by its investigations, according to records released by the agency. Investigators are still reviewing 23 of the claims.

Amid the heightened regulatory scrutiny, 10 lobbyists from four different firms registered with Florida officials this month with the state to represent FINR, according to state records.

Full Article & Source:
Florida Orders Brain-Injury Center to Move Some Patients

See Also:
Abuse of Brain Injured Americans Scandalizes U.S.

Florida Ended Death Probe at Private Brain Rehab Center

Florida’s Most Vulnerable in Danger of Abuse

Florida Brain-Injury Center Gets Surprise Inspection

Connecticut Pulls Disabled From Site of Alleged Beatings

Police Probe Death of State Psychiatric Patient in Florida

Congressional Testimony: Sharyn Eklund — presented to William M. Windsor for Lawless America

August 28, 2012

Judicial Discipline: Commission right to expose judge’s sordid secret

August 27, 2012

Thanks to the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, the reason for Onondaga County Family Court Judge Bryan R. Hedges’ abrupt retirement April 5 is no longer a mystery.

Hedges walked off the job when confronted with allegations that he had a sexual encounter with his niece 40 years ago, when she was just 5.

By quitting, Hedges may have thought he could keep his sordid secret forever, escape public humiliation and remain an upstanding member of the judicial fraternity. The commission, to its credit, decided it had an obligation to the public to remove Hedges from office so that he could never serve again.

There is little disagreement about the facts of the case. Hedges admits that in 1972, when he was 25 years old and staying at his mother-in-law’s house in Albany, his 5-year-old niece — who is deaf and, at the time, could not communicate — walked into the bedroom while he was masturbating. The commission says he motioned her into the room and put her hand on his penis as he masturbated. Hedges disputes some of the details, but admits the encounter happened.

Hedges appears to have brushed off the incident.

He went on to become a lawyer and an assistant district attorney in Onondaga County and then, in 1985, a Family Court judge. Among his responsibilities was overseeing cases involving the sexual abuse of children. The public rightly wonders whether his own history colored his decision-making on the bench.

The victim, Ellen Cantwell Warner, has had a harder road.

As a hearing-impaired child who hadn’t yet learned American Sign Language, she could not tell her parents what had happened. When she finally told, as a teenager beginning to understand sexuality, nothing happened to Hedges. Painful memories resurfaced when the Penn State and Syracuse University sexual abuse cases blew up earlier this year. Warner courageously decided to go public to empower other victims of sexual abuse, especially deaf victims, to come forward.

Hedges continues to be in denial about the seriousness of his actions. He issued a statement saying the allegation against him was untrue and that he was not given a fair hearing. Neither claim is supported by the exhaustive record of the case. What the record does show is Hedges basely attacking the victim and her motives.

The former judge had two allies on the commission. Joel Cohen, in a dissent (pdf) joined by Paul Harding, said it was enough that Hedges resigned. (Shades of the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal, where reassigning priests was thought to be punishment enough.) Cohen further complained the commission’s catalog of Hedges’ misconduct will “publicly and permanently stigmatize him.”

What about the victim, who has been permanently harmed and stigmatized by Hedges’ actions?

Full Article and Source:
Judicial Discipline: Commission right to expose judge’s sordid secret