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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Disgusting Act of Abuse by Caregiver Recorded on Cellphone

Last month a disturbing cellphone video surfaced showing a group home caregiver physically abusing a mentally disabled resident in Connecticut. According to CNN, the video, which was sent anonymously to the operators of the group home, shows the care taker kicking the woman in the gut, whipping her with a belt, and dragging her across the floor by the hair.  Angelica Rivera, 33, admitted to police she was the caregiver depicted in the video abusing the resident, who functions at the level of a fourth grader. 

Rivera was arrested on July 11th and charged with cruelty to persons, first-degree unlawful restraint, second-degree intimidation based on bigotry or bias, third-degree assault, disorderly contact and third-degree abuse. Previously, Rivera had been disciplined twice for failing to report neglect or abuse. 

This is yet another reminder of the how vulnerable the elderly and disabled population are. Although this was rare instance where the incident was caught on tape, residents of nursing homes and patients that receive in-home care are commonly victims of physical abuse at the hands of those caregivers that are suppose to protect them.

Keating Law Offices fights to protect the rights of nursing home residents who have been victimized by their caregivers. If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect, please contact Illinois Nursing Home Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or MKeating@KeatingLegal.com. All initial consultations are confidential and free.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Goodwill Home Healthcare Indicted for Allegedly Accepting Kickbacks

According to news outlets, operators of a home health care service in Lincolnwood, Illinois have been indicted on charges for allegedly seeking patient referrals in exchange for kickbacks. The operators of Goodwill Home Healthcare, Inc, Marilyn Maravilla and Junjee L. Arroyo, allegedly conspired to set up a system of kickbacks and Medicare patient referrals with nurses, marketers, and themselves that allowed them to bill Medicare in an amount of roughly $5 million. Included in the indictment charges for their participation in the kickback conspiracy are licensed nurse, Ferdinand Echavia, and marketers, Jean Holloway and Rakeshkumar Shah.

A system of tiered kickback payments disguised as bonuses was allegedly the method by which Maravilla and Arroyo were able to not only condone this illegal activity but actively reward it. For example, according to a circulated memo within Goodwill, a $100 bonus would be awarded to the nurse who re-certified a patient for a third cycle of home health care, regardless of whether it was necessary for the patient. Such gross abuse of the health care system was reportedly condemned by the U.S. Attorney's office: "These services should be based on medical necessity, and on what’s in the patients’ best interests, and not based on whether or not someone in the medical industry is receiving a kickback."

The investigation and the resulting indictment of Goodwill Home Healthcare, Inc is the result of a year long federal strike force operation in Chicago whose responsibility it was to seek out health care defrauders. The Illinois Nursing Home Attorneys at Keating Law Offices wholeheartedly support such law enforcement operations that investigate alleged gross abuse of the health care system at the expense of those who rely upon the implicit trust in the quality of services they will be provided. All the defendants indicted in this kickback conspiracy scheme are scheduled to arraigned on August 22, 2012. We will be sure to update this blog with news as it is released.

If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect, please contact Illinois Nursing Home Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or MKeating@KeatingLegal.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All emails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are always confidential and free.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

New Illinois Laws Aim to Protect Seniors

Illinois has once again demonstrated a commitment to protecting senior citizens. On July 28, 2012 Governor Quinn signed into law several new measures in an effort to promote safety, increase oversight and accountability for caregivers and help authorities identify and respond to reports to reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. As the elderly population continues to grow and awareness of elder abuse increases, lawmakers continue to strive to protect vulnerable seniors from being taken advantage of by their purported "caretakers."

“Our seniors deserve our respect and protection against those who would take advantage of them,” Governor Quinn said. “Safeguarding seniors from exploitation and abuse will make our state stronger.” You can learn more about the new Illinois nursing home laws by clicking here.

Sadly, nursing home residents continue to be frequent victims of abuse and neglect. Keating Law Offices is committed to protecting the rights and pursing justice for nursing home abuse and neglect victims. 

If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect, please contact Illinois Nursing Home Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or MKeating@KeatingLegal.com. All initial consultations are confidential and free.