Federal Investigators Fault Massachusetts Nursing Home Over Patient’s Suicide
Regulators say the facility's staff knew of the man's suicidal tendencies and failed to act to prevent them. In other news, a wealthy nursing home operator is being held in jail over allegations that he orchestrated an unprecedented $1 billion Medicaid and Medicare kickback scheme. And KHN looks at a controversial therapy technique for Alzheimer's patients.
Suicide Threats Not Heeded In Nursing Home Death, State Finds
An 81-year-old resident who killed himself in a Salem nursing home had repeatedly mused about suicide in the days leading to his death, but health workers failed to act on a note about his suicidal thoughts tucked into medical records, state investigators found. Federal regulators are sanctioning the Grosvenor Park Health Center, part of a troubled out-of-state chain, for not taking measures that might have prevented the suicide — a failure of action that resulted in “actual harm” to the resident. The regulators, however, have not disclosed what penalties the nursing home might face. (Lazar, 10/3)
The Chicago Tribune:
Nursing Home Operator From Chicago Jailed As Feds Allege $1 Billion Scheme
For years, wealthy nursing home operator Philip Esformes seemed to live in perpetual motion, using private jets to travel between his Water Tower Place condominium and his mansions in Miami and Los Angeles. Now federal authorities are applying extraordinary court pressure to keep Esformes locked in a Florida detention cell where he awaits trial for allegedly orchestrating an unprecedented $1 billion Medicaid and Medicare bribery and kickback scheme. (Jackson and Marx, 10/4)
Kaiser Health News:
When Pretend Play Is Real For Alzheimer’s Patients
Nursing homes and other senior facilities nationwide are using a controversial technique called doll therapy to ease anxiety among their residents with dementia. Senior care providers and experts say the dolls are an alternative to medication and help draw in elderly people who are no longer able to participate in many activities. ... Caregivers aren’t trying to make their charges believe the dolls are real infants, and they don’t want to infantilize the seniors, Drew said. They are just “trying to meet them where they are and communicate with them in a way that makes sense to them. (Gorman,10/4)
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