Archive for August, 2010

Skilled Healthcare faces $600 million for health code violations

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Jury imposes maximum damages on Skilled Healthcare; nursing home chain faces upwards of $600 million for health code violations

Eureka Healthcare

Eureka Healthcare

The jury in the class-action lawsuit against Skilled Healthcare returned to Humboldt County Superior Court and rendered a verdict on Tuesday, opting to impose the maximum amount of damages totaling nearly $619 million for health code violations.

The verdict comes more than seven months after the start of the case, which is believed to be the longest civil suit in Humboldt County history.

”This is a really strong statement to Skilled Healthcare that they have to follow the law,” said plaintiff’s Attorney Michael Thamer, who delivered the closing arguments in the case and specializes in fighting corporate abuse. “They need to know that they are going to be held responsible.”

The issue at the heart of the case is a California statute that mandates 3.2 nursing hours per patient per day. The lawsuit covers the years 2003 to 2009, and represents a class of some 32,000 patients.

Along with the statutory damages, the jury awarded an additional $58 million for a violation of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, bringing the total damages to nearly $677 million.

Skilled Healthcare is one of the largest nursing home chains in the country, employing approximately 14,000 people. The company is based in Southern California, and operates 78 nursing facilities in seven states.

Eureka, Granada, Pacific, Seaview and St. Luke Healthcare and Rehabilitation are the five Skilled Healthcare facilities here in Humboldt County. The
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total amount of damages imposed on the five Humboldt County facilities is nearly $135 million.

Because of multiple changes to the computer system the courthouse uses to track cases, there is no way of determining how the length of the Skilled Healthcare lawsuit compares to previous Humboldt County civil suits. But many people in the courthouse say the trial, which began November 30 of 2009, is the longest civil suit in county history. And it isn’t over yet.

Next week the jury will decide the extent of additional punitive damages. Judge Bruce Watson will then decide if the court will issue an injunction against Skilled Healthcare that would mandate the company to keep staffing levels compliant with the law in the future.

Defense Attorney Kippy Wroten was not in court for the verdict and declined to comment, instead issuing a statement via e-mail.

”With respect to the court and to these judicial proceedings as a whole, we strongly disagree with the outcome of this legal matter. We remain confident that our facilities are well staffed and are extremely disappointed with this result. Unfortunately we cannot comment further as the matter is ongoing.”

The second phase of the jury trial, which will establish the net worth of the company in order for the jury in order to decide the extent of any punitive damages, is set to begin next week.

Cindy Cool testified earlier in the case on behalf of her father, a former patient at Eureka Healthcare and Rehabilitation before he died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Cool was in court again Tuesday, and had to fight back tears after she heard the verdict.

”I’m so thankful for this,” said Cool, who added that while it may be too late for her father to receive justice, she hopes the lawsuit makes things better for future patients. “We just want our loved ones to be taken care of.”

BY THE NUMBERS:

The following is a breakdown of the penalties imposed on Skilled Heathcare’s five Humboldt County facilities by the jury. These numbers include statutory damages and penalties for violating the Consumer Legal Remedies Act:

* Eureka Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, LLC — $25,573,913

* Granada Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, LLC — $30,880,270

* Pacific Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, LLC — $13,620,239

* Seaview Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, LLC — $26,732,565

* St. Luke Heathcare and Rehabilitation, LLC — $37,893,698

TOTAL — $134,700,685

SOURCE: mercurynews.com Matt Drange/The Times-Standard
Posted: 07/07/2010 01:30:15 AM PDT

Click here to read the article

CALIFORNIA STATE PLAN ON AGING 2009 – 2013

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

CALIFORNIA STATE PLAN ON AGING 2009 – 2013
The California Department of Aging has prepared the California State Plan on
Aging – 2009-2013 to promote the independence and well-being of older
adults, adults with disabilities, and their families. These individuals may have
a variety of needs related to their physical, mental and emotional well-being.
At the same time, these individuals are resilient and have much to contribute
to their communities.
By 2020, persons age 60 and older will comprise nearly 20 percent of
California’s total population. Increasingly diverse groups of older adults and
adults with disabilities – adults who are determined to age in place and
fiercely guard their independence – will require us to examine how we deliver
services.

California’s population of persons 60 and older has grown rapidly throughout
this century. Between 1950 and 2000, the number of older adults in this State
grew from 1.6 million to 4.7 million, an increase of 194 percent. This trend will
continue as the number of people age 60 and over grows to 14.6 million by
2050, an increase of 128 percent from 2010. By 2050, it is estimated that
nearly 25 percent of Californians will be 60 or older.
While approximately 628,000 Californians are 85 or older today, by 2050 an
estimated 2.9 million individuals will be in this age group, a dramatic 364
percent increase. This rapid growth has many implications for individuals,
families, communities, and government.

SOURCE: www.aging.ca.gov

CLICK HERE TO READ THE PLAN ON AGING

Need LVN Full Time in Atascadero, CA

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

If you are an LVN and looking for a rewarding job working with seniors in a small private Assisted Living RCFE (Residential Care Facility for the Elderly) in Atascadero California.
Call us! 805-452-3225 – Or fax your resume to 805-473-7405

Great Job for the right person who like working with the Elderly!

Upscale small Assisted Living RCFE -Residential Care Facility for the Elderly
Quiet home like environment
Residents and staff are treated like family with respect and dignity

Immediate full time opening for an LVN in Atascadero, California

In upscale small Assisted Living RCFE -Residential Care Facility for the Elderly
Quiet home like environment
Job Description:
Supervise CNA’s
Medication (MAR) Management, and Medication Administration to Elderly Residents
Create Needs and Service plans for residents

Work hours could be made very flexible
Compensation: Depending on experience
Participatory health care insurance provided after 90 days

JOB REQUIREMENTS:
California LVN license must be current
If you have ever been arrested for any reason or take narcotic medications please do not respond.
Extensive background check and drug screening is required for this position.
DOJ Fingerprints required
TB Test and Physical Required

E-mail resume

Podcast about Quality Aging in Place

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Podcast of the KVEC Radio Show The Best is Yet To Be
Kitty Wilde RN was interviewed by Deborah Bayles about quality aging in place.
[podcast]http://www.patient-advocate.com/Kitty-KVEC.mp3[/podcast]