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⭒ News & Notes Archive

November 2017

In this Issue

CANHR Happenings

Sarah Millar (left) and Linda Millar (right) admire the long list of sponsors for the Timothy Millar Legal Services Scholarship Fund at CANHR’s 21st annual Elder Law Conference. See more pictures from the conference here.

CANHR’s Julie Pollock visits consumer advocate Reverend Seibert at Oakland’s Union Baptist Church.
Senior Staff Attorney Prescott Cole speaks at the 2017 CDAA Elder Abuse Symposium. 

Did You Know? Nursing Home Residents Can Go Home for the Holidays

As the holidays approach, nursing facility residents and their family members often worry about losing their rooms, or their Medicare or Medi-Cal status, if they leave a nursing facility for brief periods of time. While the rules for Medicare and Medi-Cal differ, both programs will permit, and reimburse the facility for, short leaves – depending on how long the leave is.
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FTC Alerts Consumers: If Scammers Had You Pay Them Via Western Union, You Can File a Claim to Get Your Money Back 

The Federal Trade Commission is alerting consumers who lost money to scammers who told them to pay via Western Union’s money transfer system between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, that they can now file a claim to get their money back by going to before February 12, 2018.

CMS Delays Enforcement of New Federal Nursing Home Requirements 

On November 24, 2017 – just four days before certain new federal nursing home requirements took effect – the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) imposed an 18-month moratorium on enforcing almost all of the new requirements. This capitulation to nursing home industry demands will prevent state inspection agencies from issuing civil money penalties and most other sanctions to nursing homes that violate the new requirements. This troubling development took place while California and other states began implementing CMS’s modified nursing home inspection system; advocates fought additional rollbacks CMS is considering; and CMS froze the health inspection star ratings on its Nursing Home Compare website. To learn more on these developments, read the Consumer Voice’s November 28, 2017 article, Major Changes in Nursing Home Regulatory Arena Go Into Effect Today.

Scandal-Ridden Brius to Pay up to $6.9 Million for Illegal Kickback Scheme

On November 16, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that four Brius-owned nursing homes in the San Diego area will pay up to $6.9 million dollars to resolve a whistleblower lawsuit involving illegal kickbacks for patient referrals and false claims to government health care programs. Brius is a nursing home chain owned by Shlomo Rechnitz. 
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NPR Story on Horrific Nursing Home Eviction

On November 13, NPR’s Ina Jaffe told the story of nursing home resident Gloria Single, who was illegally dumped into a hospital and separated from her husband earlier this year.  The nursing home, Pioneer House, has ignored a State order for readmission, forcing Mrs. Single to file a lawsuit to enforce her rights.  Mrs. Single is represented by Braunhagey Borden and the AARP Foundation Litigation.  Read and listen to the NPR story by clicking here.

Unintended Consequences — How Government Policies Led to the “Little Red Pill”

Last month’s story from CNN about mismarketing and inappropriate administration of Nuedexta (“the little red pill”) to nursing home residents is certainly not surprising to anyone who follows the systemic drugging of people with dementia. When CMS launched its campaign to reduce inappropriate use of antipsychotics in nursing homes in 2012, you did not need to be an oracle to figure that many nursing homes would simply shift their chemical restraint of choice from antipsychotics to some other sedating drug.
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An 87-Year-Old Nun Says She was Raped in Her Nursing Home. Here’s Why She Couldn’t Sue 

Time Magazine has published a story about an Alabama nursing home resident who was prohibited from suing after she was allegedly raped one night in the facility. A pre-dispute arbitration agreement signed by the resident forced her into arbitration, where nursing home residents typically fare poorly, and the arbitrator ruled against her. Under a proposal from the Trump administration, nursing homes will be able to force all residents into arbitration for resolving disputes, decreasing the chances of residents obtaining justice when victimized.
Read More… 

Upcoming Events

Free Webinar: Protecting Your Home Equity: December 7, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. 

Protecting Your Client’s Home Equity: Reverse Mortgage Alternatives
CANHR Senior Staff Attorney Prescott Cole will discuss recent and emerging trends in reverse mortgage lending, offering alternate strategies, such as Family Equity Lending, that allow seniors to access their equity without assuming the risks and excessive costs associated with reverse mortgage loans. A recording of the webinar will be provided to all registrants.