Issue: May 2018
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Nursing Home Injuries: Acute Risks for Subacute and Skilled Nursing Care

Introduction

Nursing Home Injury Risks

About 70% of people 65 and older are likely to need long-term services and supports (LTSS) at some point for an average of three years. About 20% of people 65 and older will need LTSS for at least five years. In the U.S., approximately 15,600 nursing homes serve 1,369,700 residents, while 30,200 assisted living and similar residential care communities serve another 835,200 residents.


The current health industry consolidation movement has significantly impacted LTSS and, consequently, litigation related to LTSS. Almost 75% of nursing homes in the U.S. outsource a wide variety of goods and services. Nursing homes that outsource to related organizations tend to have fewer nurses and aides per patient, higher rates of patient injuries and unsafe practices, and are the subject of complaints almost twice as often as independent nursing homes. Litigating nursing home injuries has become complex.

 

Attorneys, physicians, insurers, employers, and other potential parties to litigation need to understand the types of litigation issues that may arise in connection with a nursing home injury.


The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy

Attorneys:

What proof is needed for medical malpractice or negligence claims involving a nursing home injury? And, what is a potential strategy for the attorney to employ?

Physicians:

How can liability for medical malpractice be avoided for a nursing home injury? And, what is a potential strategy for the physician or provider to employ?

Insurers:

Can a payout under a medical malpractice liability policy be avoided by proof that the health provider was not negligent or there was no coverage for nursing home injuries? And, what is a potential strategy for the insurer to employ?

Employers:

Can a nursing home be subject to liability for a health care provider’s negligence or medical malpractice involving a nursing home injury? And, what is a potential strategy for the nursing home to use?


Practice the Technique: Checklists

Attorneys:

Check this list of facts and circumstances tending to show a provider’s liability for malpractice or negligence involving a nursing home care injury.

Physicians:

Presented is a checklist of items a physician or nursing home must consider when defending against claims of malpractice or negligence involving the treatment and care of nursing home residents.

Insurers:

The insurer should check these “red flags” and inconsistencies when investigating a claim of negligence by a nursing home.

Employers:

Use this checklist to determine if an employer, such as a nursing home, may be held vicariously liable for the actions of an employee or agent, such as an employee-physician or staff.

Expert Analysis

What Evidence Is Needed to Prove Nursing Home Negligence?

Joel A. Glaser, JD

What Psychiatric Issues Lead to Problems in Nursing Homes?

Elliott M. Stein, MD

What Care Standards Must Nursing Homes Meet for Falls, Bedsores, and Other Injuries?

Cyndy Minnery RN, BSN

Litigation

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Arbitration or mediation may be required by contract or statute, may be mandated by the court or, in some circumstances, may be the appropriate method for a negotiated resolution.


Reasons to Reach Settlement

The following are reasons why the attorney, physician/nursing home, insurer, or employer would want to reach settlement, and not take the action to trial.


Reasons to Go to Trial

The following are reasons why the attorney, physician/nursing home, insurer, or employer would want to take the action to trial.


Jury Awards and Settlements

How much have juries awarded and what settlements have been reached recently in cases involving nursing home injuries?



Medical Examples

Nursing Home Injuries

This section provides medical information on the susceptibility of nursing home residents to injury. Potential injuries are covered. Also discussed is the prognosis and ability to work of a nursing home resident who suffers an injury due to the negligence or malpractice of the nursing home.



Law and Medicine Resources

Law and Medicine Resources

Provided is a listing of law and medical resources for further information on nursing home injuries.


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Nursing Home Injuries: Acute Risks for Subacute and Skilled Nursing Care

Table of Contents
Introduction

Expert Analysis
   Joel A. Glaser, JD
   Elliott M. Stein, MD
   Cyndy Minnery RN, BSN

The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy
   Attorneys
   Physicians and Health Providers
   Insurers
   Employers and Risk Managers

Practice the Technique: Checklists
   Attorney Checklist
   Physician Checklist
   Insurer Checklist
   Employer Checklist

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Reasons to Reach Settlement

Reasons to Go to Trial

Jury Awards and Settlements

Nursing Home Injuries

Law and Medicine Resources