When should you contact an employment lawyer?

When your employed!

If you have concerns about the conditions of your employment or your manager or supervisor, it is best to contact an employment lawyer while you are employed. While you should still contact a lawyer after you have been terminated, an employment lawyer can guide you in how best to proceed or direct you to appropriate resources or assist you in reviewing your employment documents. Often, employees are given an extremely limited amount of time to file a lawsuit against an employer and usually do not even know that these limitations exist. Our attorneys offer free consultations regarding your potential employment claims and are available for consultation at 231-486-6556.

Adult Foster Care Homes Are Required to Inform You About A Family Member's Accident

If you have concerns about how a family member or loved one is being treated at a Michigan adult foster care facility, ask the facility to see their "Incident / Accident Report." The law in Michigan requires small and large group homes to keep records of incidents, accidents, illnesses, absences, and deaths at the facility. You should also have concerns if an adult foster care facility did not contact you as they are required to make reasonable efforts to reach you.

Specifically,  a "licensee shall make a reasonable attempt to contact the resident’s designated representative and responsible agency by telephone and shall follow the attempt with a written report to the resident’s designated representative, responsible agency, and the adult foster care licensing division within 48 hours of any of the following:

(a) The death of a resident.

(b) Any accident of illness that requires hospitalization.

(c) Incidents that involve any of the following: (i) Displays of serious hostility. (ii) Hospitalization. (iii) Attempts at self-inflicted harm or harm to others. (iv) Instances of destruction to property.

(d) Incidents that involve the arrest or conviction of a resident..."

If you have additional questions or believe your loved one has been mistreated at  a nursing home, assisted living facility, or adult foster care home, please call us for a free consultation at 231-486-6556. 

 

Are they really specialized in Alzheimer's or dementia care?

Alzheimer's and dementia are often reasons for a loved one to require additional care and admission to a skilled nursing facility, assisted living facility, or adult foster care home. Many of these facilities often advertise as being "specialized" in Alzheimer's or dementia care. It is important to ask what specialization these facilities and their nurses or direct-care workers actually have.

The National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners has several training programs and certifications for dementia care. The Alzheimer's association also has training programs under the trade name "essentiaALZ." Many colleges and universities also offer professional development for Alzheimer's and dementia care. It is important to ask these facilities whether their workers actually have these certifications or have undergone other training.

If you have additional questions or believe your loved one has been mistreated at  a nursing home, assisted living facility, or adult foster care home, please call us for a FREE consultation. 

 

Adult Foster Care Facilities Can Be Liable For a Resident's Wandering

Nursing home or assisted living residents may be injured or killed as a result of wandering around a nursing home, falling in the adult foster care facility, or wandering away from the assisted living facility itself. Residents often wander outside the facility, become confused and disoriented, and are exposed to the harsh Northern Michigan elements or struck by a vehicle. Wandering is often a result of cognitively impaired or disoriented residents, who may have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

When a resident is injured as a result of wandering, an adult foster care or nursing home is often held liable for these injuries. If a nursing home employee knew that a resident was a wanderer and failed to take precautions, the facility can be held liable for the resident’s injuries and pay damages.

At a minimum, a nursing home must identify wanderers, develop prevention programs, and have a care plan in place that addresses a resident’s wandering. In Michigan, a federal district court found that a nursing home could be liable for a wanderer who escaped and suffered a head injury when it failed to monitor him even though employees were aware that he was likely to attempt an escape and were instructed to monitor him more closely.

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or adult foster care facility, ensure that his or her care plan addresses any issues of wandering, includes any prior incidents of wandering, and employs seat alarms, bed alarms or entry and exit alarms.

If a parent or loved one has been injured at a nursing home or assisted living facility, please call us for a FREE consultation so that we may learn about your case.

HIPAA ENFORCEMENT EXPECTED TO INCREASE IN 2015

As some of the last HIPAA Megarule deadlines pass, the Office of Civil Rights has begun discussing enforcement in 2015. Joceyln Samuels, director of the OCR, said during a conference call that the OCR will focus on the failure to conduct risk evaluations of data breaches, ignoring security threats, and poor training of staff. Covered entities should renew efforts to follow their individual HIPAA compliance plans:

  • Adopt HIPAA-compliant privacy and security measures for all protected health information (PHI).
  • Conduct security risk assessments to identify vulnerabilities.
  •  Review business associate agreements and ensure that EHRs used by the doctor or practice can verify all assertions about the privacy and security of the medical records.
  •   Develop formal policies and training procedures for staff members that are tailored to the workflow of the organization.
  • Conduct regular training to change the behavior of employees who don't comply with privacy and security measures or aren't aware of them.
  • Conduct self-audits to test procedures for ensuring confidentiality and security of PHI.
  • Bring-your-own-device policies and perform a mock audit to determine exposures.

The OCR is also contemplating a proposed rule giving those persons harmed by breaches of their protected health information a percentage of any civil penalty paid by the offending covered entity. The OCR will provide additional guidance of cloud computing and protected health information.

Nursing Home Laws Changing

Gov. Rick Snyder signed Senate Bill 886 into law on Dec. 30, 2014 which seeks to modernize, increase protections and add transparency to the regulation of continuing care retirement communities which include nursing homes and adult foster care facilities.

The law is called the "Continuing Care Community Disclosure Act" and provides for the regulation of continuing care communities including retirement communities, nursing homes, home care agencies and hospices.

This law recognizes that people need various levels of care throughout the aging process and attempts to regulate the process of providing this care.