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Category Archives: Practice Tips

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Yes, Nursing Homes Can Prevent Pressure Ulcers (or so-called Bedsores)

Posted in Elder Issues, Practice Tips

Pressure ulcers, which people sometimes call bedsores, develop when a person spends too much time in the same position while lying in bed or sitting in a chair. During that prolonged time, the person’s body weight and bones create pressure by pressing the skin and soft tissue against the—harder—bed or chair surface. The pressure reduces… Continue Reading

New Report Suggests Ways for Elderly to Stay Mentally Sharp

Posted in Elder Issues, News, Practice Tips

Placing someone in a long-term care facility is a very difficult decision to make. Many times, this decision is not due to physical limitations, but mental ones. Older folks who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s may be physically mobile, but due to cognitive issues, they require 24-hour supervision. They may forget where they are, get… Continue Reading

New Law Proposed Making Mandatory Pre-Dispute Arbitration Illegal in Nursing Homes

Posted in Practice Tips

Arbitration is a process of resolving complaints without the use of the court system. A person basically signs a document waiving their right to a jury trial, and gets nothing in return. The rules for arbitration are different, the process is confidential, and a mediator decides the case as opposed to a jury. The family pays costs to prosecute a claim they would not have to typically pay in the court system (for example, a plaintiff does not have to pay a judge but does have to pay the arbitrator, which can be expensive). Many nursing home corporations and companies want this forum because it is confidential and there is no jury.

Potential Liens

Posted in Practice Tips

Because of the length of time it takes to determine the amount and applicability of both Medicaid and Medicare liens, inquiries to these entities should be made as soon as a case is opened.

Affidavit of Merit

Posted in Practice Tips

Before even considering entering the realm of plaintiff’s malpractice litigation, it is imperative to become intimately familiar with your jurisdiction’s malpractice law, including certificates of merit, affidavits of merit and the like.

Provisions Relatnig to Affadavits of Merit

Posted in Practice Tips

Some jurisdictions, New Jersey being one example, include provisions of the affidavit of merit statute which addresses situations where a defendant fails to produce a medical record, despite a legitimate request which has been made by certified mail.

Liability in Negligence Claims

Posted in Practice Tips

A common problem in the prosecution of nursing negligence claims is an over-emphasis on liability (i.e. the conduct of nursing staff) which an under-emphasis on the issues of causation.

Joint Commission Accredited Facilities

Posted in Practice Tips

In addition to state records, check to see if the facility involved is a Join Commission accredited facility. If so, the Joint Commission will have surveys available to identify potential systemic problems at such a facility.

Obtaining All Other Medical Records

Posted in Practice Tips

After receipt of all known medical records, conduct a review of those to determine what records they reveal which are not yet available. Put all of this together to complete the timeline of all medical treatment.

Statue of Limitations

Posted in Practice Tips

Do not ever take a statue of limitations determination for granted prior to a full evaluation of a claim. Very often, issues, which appear to be beyond the statue of limitations, are not.

Assistance of Nursing Experts for Litigation Cases

Posted in Practice Tips

In any nursing negligence claim, it is advisable to retain a nurse – who is not necessarily the ultimate expert in the case – to provide a detailed timeline to examine all claims and all sites of alleged negligence or manifestation of injury to determine the proper players in the case.

Infections Incurred as a Result of Negligence

Posted in Practice Tips

In all cases involving infection, the practitioner should consult with a physician to address causation issues involving the relationship between that infection and the injuries more directly involved in whatever items of negligence are in the case.

Compliance With OBRA Federal Regulations

Posted in Practice Tips

it is a clear violation of the federal regulations (OBRA) for a nurse to fail in complying with a physician’s admission order. These same regulations also strongly suggest that the failure to follow any physician’s order, such as the administration of medication, will constitute a violation of a resident’s nursing home resident rights.

Powers of Attorney

Posted in Practice Tips

Preparing and maintaining an enforceable set of healthcare power-of-attorney and durable power-of-attorney documents speeds the process of opening and investigating the claims. Similarly, developing a streamlined system to establish an estate representative, by way of direct estate work to contacts with a qualified state attorney help to accomplish this same end.