Nursing homes use lawsuits to demand friends and family pay off medical debts : Shots

Lucille Brooks, a retiree who lives in Pittsford, New York, was sued in 2020 for nearly $8,000 by a nursing home that had taken care of her brother. The nursing home dropped the case after she showed she had no control over his money or authority to make decisions for him.

Heather Ainsworth for KHN


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Heather Ainsworth for KHN


Lucille Brooks, a retiree who lives in Pittsford, New York, was sued in 2020 for nearly $8,000 by a nursing home that had taken care of her brother. The nursing home dropped the case after she showed she had no control over his money or authority to make decisions for him.

Heather Ainsworth for KHN

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Lucille Brooks was stunned when she picked up the phone before Christmas two years ago and learned a nursing home was suing her.

“I thought this was crazy,” recalled Brooks, 74, a retiree who lives with her husband in a modest home in the Rochester suburbs. Brooks’ brother had been a resident of the nursing home. But she had no control over his money or authority to make decisions for him. She wondered how she could be on the hook for his nearly $8,000 bill.

Brooks would learn she wasn’t alone. Pursuing unpaid bills, nursing homes across this industrial city have been routinely suing not only residents but their friends and family, a KHN review of court records reveals. The practice has ensnared scores of children, grandchildren, neighbors, and others, many with nearly no financial ties to residents or legal responsibility for their debts.

The lawsuits illuminate a dark corner of America’s larger medical debt crisis, which a KHN-NPR investigation found has touched more than half of all U.S. adults in the past five years.

Litigation is a frequent byproduct. About 1 in 7 adults who have had health care debt say they’ve been threatened with a lawsuit or arrest, according to a nationwide KFF poll conducted for this project. Five percent say they’ve been sued.

The nursing home industry has quietly developed what consumer attorneys and patient advocates say is a pernicious strategy of pursuing family and friends of patients despite federal law that was enacted to protect them from debt collection. “The level of aggression that nursing homes are using to collect unpaid debt is severely increasing,” said Lisa Neeley, a Massachusetts elder law attorney.

In Monroe

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College of Michigan Healthcare Faculty Pupils Stroll Out of White Coat Ceremony About Anti-Abortion Speaker

Dozens of incoming College of Michigan health care learners walked out of a White Coat Ceremony in protest more than their keynote speaker’s anti-abortion sights as the upcoming of abortion in the Wolverine State hinges on a Wonderful Depression-period legislation banning it.

In a viral video posted by Twitter person PEScorpiio from the ceremony to formally welcome the new healthcare school course, a slew of white coat-sporting students are noticed leaping out of their seats and exiting Michigan’s Hill Auditorium as Dr. Kristin Collier starts her handle. The protest in opposition to the assistant professor of drugs came just after a petition with around 340 signatures circulated contacting for a further speaker.

According to the petition, Collier has shared many anti-abortion posts on social media, together with 1 tweet in which she claimed her manufacturer of feminism concerned fighting for her “prenatal sisters.” The director of the University of Michigan Healthcare Faculty System on Wellness Spirituality and Religion, Collier also spoke at an April 2019 “pro-daily life feminism panel” hosted by the Notre Dame Office of Existence & Human Dignity.

“Keeping on to a perspective of feminism where just one fights for the rights of all ladies and ladies, specifically all those who are most vulnerable. I just can’t not lament the violence directed at my prenatal sisters in the act of abortion, completed in the identify of autonomy,” Collier wrote in a May well tweet, right before comparing abortion to “oppression.”

As of Monday morning, the movie of the protest before Collier’s speech—which did not revolve all around abortion—had 9.4 million views and was retweeted extra than 58,000 situations.

In a statement to The Each day Beast, a spokesperson for the school’s medical plan claimed Collier “was preferred as the keynote speaker for the 2022 White Coat Ceremony centered on nominations and voting by associates of the U-M Professional medical University Gold Humanism Honor Modern society,” which contains health care learners, dwelling officers, and college.”

“The White Coat Ceremony is not a system for dialogue of controversial challenges,” the school’s spokesperson extra. “Its target will often be on welcoming college students into the profession of drugs. Dr. Collier under no circumstances planned to address a divisive matter as element of her remarks. Having said that, the University of Michigan does not revoke an invitation to a speaker primarily based on their private beliefs.”

Collier did not right

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Healthier way of living may possibly offset genetic threat of prostate most cancers

Even though guys might not be ready to physical exercise their risk of prostate most cancers away, life style could make any difference in the aggressiveness of the cancer, scientists reported. Picture by qimono/Pixabay

Genes can set some males at heightened hazard of prostate cancer, but a new research implies they can undo a great deal of that probable damage with a nutritious life-style.

Researchers located that among the gentlemen at elevated genetic threat of prostate most cancers, individuals who taken care of a wholesome way of life had been a lot less possible to die of the disorder about nearly 3 many years.

“Healthful” intended they exercised on a regular basis, refrained from smoking cigarettes, retained their bodyweight down and favored fish around processed meat.

Gentlemen who fulfilled those objectives had a 1.6% life span threat of dying from prostate most cancers. That as opposed with a 5.3% opportunity amongst their counterparts with unhealthy behavior, the investigators discovered.

However, nutritious patterns did not surface to guard men from acquiring prostate most cancers in the to start with put, mentioned lead researcher Dr. Adam Kibel.

It can be probable they as a substitute lessen the chance of intense prostate most cancers, according to Kibel, chief of urology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston.

Prostate most cancers is pretty prevalent: About one particular in eight males will be identified with the illness in their lifetime, in accordance to the American Cancer Culture (ACS). But the cancer is typically gradual-escalating, and could by no means development to the point of threatening a man’s everyday living: Only 1 in every 41 adult males actually die of prostate cancer.

So despite the fact that gentlemen may well not be equipped to exercising their danger of the disease absent, way of life may well issue in the aggressiveness of the cancer.

“One particular way to glimpse at it is, an unhealthy way of life may well throw gasoline on to the fireplace,” Kibel mentioned.

The study, published on-line a short while ago in the journal European Urology, involved above 12,000 gentlemen from two extensive-working exploration projects. All had been health and fitness experts who, beginning in the 1980s, finished periodic questionnaires on their wellbeing and lifestyle behavior. They also gave blood samples, so their genetic information could be analyzed.

Prostate cancer has a huge genetic part, and above 200 gene variants

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