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Aug 3, 2021 by |

San Francisco and California Elder Abuse Attorney: Family Recourse For Neglect Of Hospice Patients

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Neglect And Reckless Care Of Hospice Patient

Infections And Untreated Injuries Lead To Death

Patient Succumbs To Sepsis and Gangrene

Elder abuse is not confined to assisted living facilities and nursing homes or abuse and neglect by in-home caregivers. Hospice programs throughout California and the U.S. have also been accused of severe neglect and abuse due to understaffing, unqualified provides, and an overall lack of oversight and corporate accountability on the part of the businesses operating – and reaping profits from – hospice services.  Some hospice programs in the U.S. are non-profits but more and more hospice programs are for-profit agencies, often part of corporate conglomerates governed by profit motives as opposed to the care of end-of-life patients.  According to studies, 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 San Francisco and throughout California.  We can be reached at (415)441-8669 or TOLL FREE 1-888-80EVANS (888-503-8267)

Fatal Neglect of Hospice Patient

“Elder abuse does not always come in the form of a physical attack,” stated former California Attorney Xavier Becerra when announcing charges against a nurse at an assisted care facility where a 69-year-old patient died as a result of an untreated pressure wound on the patient’s ankle according to reports.[1]  Former AG Becerra further stated, “It can result from utter neglect and lack of proper care, as we allege [here]. Assisted living residents are a vulnerable population all too often victimized by acts of neglect and improper care.” 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.

Recourse For Injured Seniors

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 info@evanslaw.com 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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