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Hospital Refuses to Report Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Posted Mar 10 2013 12:00am

Brookhaven

By Jack Halpern, CEO, My Elder Advocate

A patient advocate employed by Brookhaven Hospital in Brookhaven, New York flatly refused on two seperate occasions to report to the Department of Health , that a newly arrived resident of a local nursing home at been neglected and abused, as the law requires.

I would like to make it clear that my client, Joe B. has been receiving excellent care at Brookhaven Hospital. Unlike at the nursing home, Lakeview Nursing Home , Brookhaven has healed his urinary tract infection , which was due to the fact that the nursing home never cleaned his Foley Catheter . They have also dealt with the various other medical conditions that he arrived with because of the neglect and abuse he suffered at the hands of the very incompetent staff at Lakeview.

On two separate occasions, I requested that Mr. Christopher Banks , a patient advocate employed by Brookhaven Hospital that he investigate the medical records that reported the conditions that Joe had developed as a result of the neglect and abuse that he suffered at the hands of the staff at Lakeview Nursing Home. He categorically refused, telling me “it was not his job to report anything that did not occur at the hospital.” I began to remind him that the law said different, but he slammed the phone down on me.

From abandonment, to broken bones, financial exploitation or neglect, elder abuse takes a horrific toll on one of America's most vulnerable populations. In recent years, nursing homes and residential care facilities have undergone tougher scrutiny from the news media and regulators looking to answer the challenge. State legislatures have responded to public outcry by making it mandatory for professionals like counselors, doctors and social workers to report abuse or neglect, and holding them accountable when they fail to do so.

Reporting requirements generally divided along mandatory and non-mandatory lines in many states. Illinois law, for example, creates a class of mandatory reporters, such as clergy, doctors, nurses, nursing-home aides, health care providers, psychologists and social workers. Professionals in this category who fail to report elder abuse risk losing their licenses and may even face fines or criminal charges. The law also encourages non-mandatory, or voluntary, reporting of abuse from the victim's friends, relatives and neighbors.

I also requested that Dr. M Hani Salam, who did not report the abusive treatment of Joe B. at the Nursing Home over a long period of time (according to Joe’s family), although he was his physician and  often ordered that Joe be sent to the hospital with Urinary Tract Infections due to clogged and filthy Catheters, report his condition at the hospital. Yes, Dr. Salam was both his physician at the Nursing Home and at the Hospital. Dr. Salam has an office at 76 Southaven Ave #5, Medford, NY 11763.

For obvious reasons, Dr. Salam refused to report the abuse and neglect. One of the reasons that so much elder abuse in Nursing Home goes unreported is because hospital and nursing homes have a very lucrative association, including sharing physicians, who cover up abuse going both ways.

By maintaining this incestuous relationship, both can milk the reimbursement system. Hospitals are able to send elderly patients to nursing home very quickly, although they may not be ready, thus emptying their beds. It does not matter what diagnosis a patient in the hospital has, they will send them to the nursing home for rehabilitation. I would estimate based on my experience, 30 to 40% of hospital patients don’t need rehabilitation services as described by Medicare. Hospitals are glad to get rid of them, and nursing homes are thrilled to get them (they get $650.00 per day as opposed to $300.00 per day from Medicaid.

On the other hand, Nursing Homes send their residents, more often than necessary, out to the hospital with ailments that nursing homes are equipped professionally to handle.

If hospitals and nursing homes reported abuse and neglect on each other, this wonderful financial arrangement would topple. It’s all about $MONEY$. It’s not a problem since no one is enforcing the law.

My Elder Advocate responds nearly instantly to any elder or eldercare crisis… in order to provide nursing home intervention, arrange for immediate placements, prevent evictions from nursing homes, handle a hospital crisis, and respond to other eldercare challenges.

But we can’t solve an ugly and dangerous situation unless you contact us immediately. Often waiting a day is as harmful to a family member as taking no action at all.

If you and your family have an elder family member that is facing one of these challenges, don’t wait. We can resolve it quickly. Contact us TODAY by calling us directly at (212) 945-7550.

 

 

 

 

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