Friday, July 13, 2007

Street names and nursing homes

The street that I work has a four different names. 2 actual street address, find-it-on-Google-maps names and two "honorary" names. The two real names: Duane St. and Federal Plaza. The two fake names: Paul O'Dwyer way and also FBI Special Agent Someone-or-Other St. Doesn't it kind of take the honor out of having a street named after you if it's also named after someone else? It's bad enough that they don't actually rename the street--they just add a name that you need to have remarkable vision to notice and be able to read.

Amusingly, despite the fact that no one notices all of New York's "honorary" names for streets (of which there are many, since some of them appear to only cover a block or two), there has been a recent controversy over renaming a street in my neighborhood in Brooklyn. Go figure.

Moving on...

The last two weeks have been better at work. I am helping out an attorney who is working on a nursing home case, which is actually very interesting work. Unfortunately I spend a lot of time waiting around for her to tell me about what she wants to do next.

Basically, the State gov't (in this case, the NY Department of Health), inspects nursing homes on a regular basis. The surveyors issue something called a "Statement of Deficiencies" (if there are deficiencies) which identifies the scope and severity of each deficiency. Each level of scope/severity is assigned a letter. L is the worst--Widespread immediate jeopardy to resident health or safety, and A is the least serious--Isolated/No actual harm with potential for minimal harm. Sometimes (often) these nursing homes appeal the surveyor's findings and our imposition of remedies (such as monetary penalties, termination of the provider agreement, denial of payment for new admissions, etc.). When they do so, we represent Medicare at an administrative hearing.