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Oct 1, 2023 by |

Alameda County Elder Abuse Attorney: Holding Providers Responsible For Hospice Patient Neglect And Abuse


Risk of Neglect And Abuse During Hospice Care

Hospice Patient Neglect: Case Example

Remedies For Neglect And Abuse

Hospice patients, like skilled nursing facility and assisted living facility patients, may be at risk of neglect and abuse during the duration of their hospice care.  The neglect could be due to understaffing, unqualified providers, or an overall lack of oversight.  More and more hospice programs are for-profit businesses these days, often part of corporate conglomerates owned by private equity groups and governed by profit motives as opposed to the care of end-of-life patients.  According to Centers for Medicare Services reports, Medicare reimbursement pays for 84 percent of patients in hospice care, at a per-diem rate, meaning every patient receives the same amount of reimbursement per day despite their diagnosis or individual care needs. This reimbursement system may be creating incentives for hospice agencies to select patients with fewer care needs and longer hospice stays. The profit incentive also creates little concern for accountability; it’s paid for days that make profits since the level of care provided (and the more care the greater the cost) does not mean the agency receives any greater reimbursement from Medicare. The bottom line is that patients needing care can suffer.  Our litigators have experience with cases of hospice patients neglected or abandoned with untreated pressure wounds/bed sores and infections that turn fatal.  The parties responsible for the condition and fatality should be held accountable. Evans Law Firm, Inc. represents injured seniors and their families here in Alameda County and throughout California.  We can be reached at (415)441-8669 or TOLL FREE 1-888-80EVANS (888-503-8267)

Case Example:  Fatal Neglect of Hospice Patient

As an example of neglect of hospice cases, the State of California earlier this year filed charges against a nurse at an assisted care facility where a 69-year-old patient died allegedly as a result of an untreated pressure wound on the patient’s ankle according to reports.[1]  Court documents in the reported case reveal that the supervising RN charged with neglect was the hospice resident’s case manager and allegedly failed to record the discovery of open ulcers in the patient’s medical records. She also allegedly failed to notify a medical doctor and the resident’s family of the hospice patient’s deteriorating condition.  Due to the purported lack of care, investigators determined that her condition worsened and eventually led to her death. The California Board of Registered Nursing (the Board) opened an administrative investigation into the supervising RN’s actions and concluded as the resident’s case manager, she failed to appropriately assess an ulcer she discovered on the patient’s right heel, a plan of care was never developed, and the ulcer worsened into a wound that required emergency surgery to the victim’s right foot, which had become septic and gangrenous. Following the surgery, the resident suffered a continued decline in health and eventually passed away. In response to the Board’s findings the California Department of Justice also investigated the case through its Division of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse.  The RN was charged with one count of felony elder abuse.

Remedies For Injured Patients And Their Families

If you have a loved one who has suffered any kind of abuse or neglect in a hospice program, call us.  Do not let warning signs like bruises, or personality changes, or silence pass by unnoticed.  Always act on your instincts and call us if you suspect any problem.  We know how to investigate cases of physical (and financial) elder abuse and how to pursue all remedies available under California law which include holding supervisors and owners responsible for neglect and abuse of institutionalized patients. Sometimes the ownership of for-profit hospice programs or facilities can be complicated.  We have experience in piercing through any elaborate corporate structures to hold those accountable who profit from substandard care.  Awards may include attorneys’ fees and expenses you’ve incurred in bringing your case.  We will hold all parties responsible for the abuse to count, including owners of home health care agencies and owners, administrators and supervisors in nursing homes and other care facilities.

Contact Us

You can reach Ingrid M. Evans at (415) 441-8669, or by email at or TOLL FREE 1-888-80EVANS (888-503-8267)

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc.was not involved in the reported case in any way.

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