State Highlights: New York’s Effort To Track Safety Of Mentally Ill Residents Is Faulty, Report Says; Jury Finds Former Head Of Chicago Group Homes Guilty Of Health Care Fraud
Media outlets report on news from New York, Illinois, New Hampshire, Missouri, Connecticut, Texas and California.
Mentally Ill New Yorkers Seeking Independence Find Safety Net Has Holes, Report Finds
New York state officials are behind in investigating incidents where mentally ill New Yorkers may have come to harm, according to an independent report filed in Brooklyn federal court this month. At issue is the welfare of hundreds of vulnerable people who have moved out of troubled adult group homes and into their own apartments under a federal court order issued by U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis. (Sapien, 4/16)
Illinois Shut Down His Group Home Network Over Risk To Residents. Now He's Been Convicted Of Health Care Fraud For Unneeded Medical Tests.
The head of a shuttered Chicago-area network of group homes for adults with disabilities has been convicted of accepting kickbacks in a scheme to steer biological samples to a St. Louis laboratory for publicly funded testing. A federal jury found Reuben F. Goodwin Sr., 53, guilty of 11 counts of health care fraud and a conspiracy-related charge earlier this month in Missouri. A sentencing hearing is set for July 12. (Gutowski 4/16)
New Hampshire Union Leader:
For Serious Mental Illness, Early Intervention Is Key
After several breakdowns and hospitalizations, [Shawn Speidel] ended up at the Greater Nashua Mental Health Center for help. The center has been at the forefront of responding to what mental health experts call First Episode Psychosis. The idea is that providing early intervention and wraparound services after an early episode of serious mental illness can make a huge difference in how someone learns to adjust and thrive. (Wickham, 4/15)
Court Tosses Lawsuit Against Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway Over Her Audit Of A Hospital
A state court judge has thrown out a lawsuit seeking damages against the board of trustees of tiny Putnam County Memorial Hospital in Unionville, Missouri, and Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway. The lawsuit was filed by the owner of the hospital, Hospital Partners Inc., in Putnam County in April 2018, but the company had taken no action since then. The case was later moved to Cole County, where it continued to languish and was dismissed on Monday. (Margolies, 4/15)
The CT Mirror:
Nursing Home Workers Set May 1 Strike Deadline
Members of the state’s largest health care employees’ union said Monday they would strike at the beginning of next month if tens of millions of dollars aren’t added to the state budget to support the increases. About 2,500 workers across 20 Connecticut nursing homes, based largely in cities, voted in favor of the strike. (Carlesso and Phaneuf, 4/15)
New Hampshire Public Radio:
CDC Will Discuss Health Risks Of Past Water Contamination At Pease
Scientists with the Centers for Disease Control will be in Portsmouth Tuesday to talk about their latest report on health risks from past water contamination at Pease International Tradeport. That report agrees with existing research that says it's very possible that toxic PFAS chemicals from military activities created health risks for children and adults at the Tradeport. (Ropeik, 4/15)
Texas Lawmakers Eyeing Nursing Home Reform
Texas lawmakers are considering reforms aimed at improving the state's worst-in-the-nation nursing home quality, seeking to build on laws passed in recent years that have yet to demonstrate an effect. The proposals — to limit antipsychotics and improve hiring practices — come against a backdrop of decreased federal oversight and few new initiatives to lift quality in other states. (Rayasam, 4/15)
How Dangerous Are Pellet Guns? Was A Sac State Death Unusual?
Deaths caused by pellet gun injuries are rare, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The agency reports about four deaths per year caused by BB guns or pellet guns, saying airguns that fire pellets at muzzle velocities higher that 350 feet per second can be lethal. (Sullivan, McGough and Finch II, 4/15)
California Cops, Firefighters With PTSD Seek Workers’ Comp Coverage For Mental Health Trauma
After consecutive record-breaking fire seasons and a deluge of mass shootings, California firefighters and police organizations are pushing for a new law that would help first responders by giving them opportunities to receive compensation for psychological injuries they sustain over their careers. They’re backing Senate Bill 542, sponsored by the California Professional Firefighters and the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, which would compel government agencies to grant police and firefighter workers’ compensation claims post-traumatic stress. (Wiley, 4/15)