Last month, a former Illinois Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) was sentenced to two years of probation in connection with filing fraudulent prescription claims with Medicaid. The 34-year-old woman allegedly kept hydrocodone pills for herself that were intended for residents at the Caseyville nursing home where she was employed. Additionally, the former LPN reportedly made false prescription requests for the drug between 2010 and January 2012. By stealing drugs from numerous residents, the woman allegedly caused at least 11 fraudulent claims to be submitted to the Illinois Medicaid Program.
The former nurse’s alleged criminal activity was investigated by the Caseyville Police Department, Illinois State Police Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau, and agents from the nation’s Department of Health and Human Services. In June, the woman pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud. Although she received probation, the former LPN reportedly faced a maximum possible sentence of 10 years in prison in connection with the crime.
As this case demonstrates, the over-medication of elderly and disabled patients is not the only way prescription medication issues can lead to neglect or abuse in Illinois nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Sadly, some misguided nursing home employees may choose to steal the necessary medications that were prescribed to your elderly or disabled loved ones. Because prescription drug abuse has exploded throughout the nation in recent years, senior citizens are increasingly being left without the pain medication they need. Such abuse is wholly unacceptable.
When aging loved ones are no longer able to care for themselves, many Illinois families turn to nursing home facilities for assistance. Sadly, nursing home negligence can cause numerous injuries to long-term care facility patients. Neglected elderly and disabled nursing home residents may exhibit broken bones, bedsores, cuts and bruises, or even premature death. In addition, nursing home patients may be subjected to verbal abuse or denied access to necessities such as water, food, and prescription medications. No matter the type of mistreatment, all suspected cases of nursing home abuse or neglect in Illinois and nationwide should be taken seriously and reported.
The Illinois Elder Abuse and Neglect Act was enacted in an effort to respond to senior citizen abuse throughout the state. The Illinois Department of Public Health is tasked with investigating and responding to all reports regarding elder neglect or abuse in a nursing home or other long-term care setting. Law enforcement, healthcare, and social service professionals are also required to notify the Illinois Department of Health whenever they suspect a senior citizen who is unable to self report has been victimized by a caregiver.
If you are concerned that your loved one was denied medication or otherwise mistreated by a caregiver in a nursing home or other care facility, call the lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. today at (312) 475-9596. Our experienced Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you protect the rights of your elderly and disabled friends and loved ones. To schedule a free consultation with a capable Illinois lawyer, do not hesitate to contact us through the law firm’s website.
Chicago Doctor Sued Over Anti-Psychotic Drug Use in Nursing Home Residents, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, November 21, 2012
Senate Bill Seeks to Protect Elderly Dementia Patients in Illinois, Throughout Nation, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, November 16, 2012
O’Fallon Nurse Pleads Guilty To Health Care Fraud, United States Department of Justice Press Release dated June 20, 2012