Articles Posted in financial exploitation in nursing homes

Published on:

Our Pennsylvania nursing home negligence lawyers were disturbed to see a recent report suggesting some nursing homes have intentionally over-medicated their patients. The New York Times reported Jan. 15 that federal regulators have sued Johnson & Johnson for paying illegal kickbacks to a nursing home pharmaceutical distributor named Omnicare. The complaint in Boston federal court said Johnson & Johnson paid Omnicare to buy its products. Those products included prescription drugs like the powerful antipsychotic Risperdal, which is frequently used off-label to control behavior in patients with dementia. The Justice Department accused Johnson & Johnson of committing Medicaid fraud by inflating the number of prescriptions it paid.

Omnicare is a “middleman” that manages insurance issues, processes payments and distributes medications. The government alleges that it took illegal payments from Johnson & Johnson from 1999 to 2004. Among other things, the lawsuit says the drug maker paid for information previously distributed for free, and paid rebates every quarter based on Omnicare’s success at switching patients to its drugs from competitors’ drugs. These rebates are legal, but only if Medicaid gets the same discount as other large purchasers. The lawsuit says Johnson & Johnson tried to disguise its rebates to Omnicare in quarterly reports to the government.

As Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorneys, we wonder how many other companies may be guilty of similar behavior. Kickbacks are particularly dangerous in nursing homes because they encourage nursing homes to over-prescribe medicines. Some of these medicines may be appropriate, but they can also carry serious side effects. In fact, we wrote here last week about problems with the atypical antipsychotic Risperdal, which carries an FDA warning that it may increase the risk of death in elderly patients with dementia.
Continue reading →

Published on:

Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the world — and unfortunately, nursing home residents are among the most vulnerable Americans. Identity theft means theft of the victim’s credit card numbers, Social Security information and other identifying information in order to obtain credit under that person’s name. After the thief racks up debts in the victim’s name, he or she simply fails to pay and sticks the victim with the bills. Thanks to the Internet, this is easier than it was even 20 years ago.

The Federal Trade Commission reports that seniors are the most common victims of identity theft. As Pennsylvania nursing home abuse lawyers, we believe nursing home residents are especially attractive targets. For one thing, people in nursing homes are often not managing their own financial affairs anymore, and the relatives in charge may not give the senior’s finances full attention. Furthermore, unscrupulous caregivers have an opportunity to take credit cards and other information from the patient, and suggest that the victim is just old and forgetful if he or she complains. And seniors tend to have a lifetime of good credit and savings that make them tempting targets.

All of this means that it may be weeks or months before anyone notices that a nursing home patient is a victim of identity theft. That’s unfortunate, because victims and their families must move quickly to reverse or minimize the damage to the patients’ finances. These families should also closely scrutinize the nursing home where identity theft occurred. If the supervision at the home was poor enough to allow identity theft, what else could be going on there?

Even if the thief is arrested and convicted, patients may need to take separate legal action to recover the stolen money.
Continue reading →

Contact Information