May 27, 2020
As we continue to wind through the coronavirus, the most obvious cases of infection have centered around our nursing homes. There is no doubt that nursing homes and similar group living facilities are in a difficult position. USA TODAY reports that a minimum of 2300 long-term care facilities in 37 states have reported positive cases of COVID-19 and that over 3000 residents had died. Because the infection spreads rapidly and is not always symptomatic, nursing homes that exercise reasonable care may still experience an outbreak. USA TODAY also reports that before the pandemic, 75% of nursing homes had been cited for failing to properly monitor and control infection in the past three years.
Elderly and immuno-compromised individuals are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and whether the facility that they reside in is responsible for their infection requires a thorough investigation. (more…)
April 20, 2020
Changing times mean new opportunities. Not only are attorneys being asked to work in new ways, but clients are going to ask new questions that you should be prepared to answer. The following is a guide to finding your way during the pandemic.
What clients need:
The search term “getting a will” has risen sharply since March 8th according to Google Trends. Many people in uncertain times look to put a plan in place in case of illness or death. This trending search indicates many Americans are getting their proverbial houses in order. It is also a good time to discuss with clients the need for power of attorney should they become incapacitated.
Interpretation of changing federal and state benefit laws (more…)
March 26, 2020
Expanding your practice can come with many hurdles. We can help you grow by taking the workload off your desk and allowing you to focus on the practice of law. Outsourcing leads to higher efficiency and productivity, with the ability to meet deadlines and to start new projects quickly and at lower operational costs. These advantages help level the playing field by giving smaller firms and solo practitioners the same economy of scale in regard to efficiency and expertise, without an increased payroll.
Saponaro, Inc. has developed a menu of services to assist in all aspects of litigation support including our:
February 18, 2020
We can simplify your Certificate/Affidavit of Merit process
Our Comprehensive Case Evaluation service is a simple and cost effective approach to meet your State requirements in the preparation of a Certificate/Affidavit of Merit
What Must the a Certificate/Affidavit of Merit cover?
The specific language requirements of the affidavit vary from state to state. But generally speaking, the a Certificate/Affidavit of Merit must state three things:
- the expert signing the affidavit qualifies as an expert in the same medical field or healthcare profession in which the defendant health care provider practices
- the expert has reviewed your case, and
- the expert is of the opinion that your case has merit — meaning that the defendant’s conduct has deviated from the accepted standards of care under the circumstances.
January 23, 2020
Urgent care centers first opened in the 1970s. Now, more than 10,000 urgent care centers provide a variety of medical services to consumers in every part of the United States.
As the number of urgent care centers has increased in the U.S., so has the number of medical malpractice lawsuits brought against these facilities. A majority of these claims allege an urgent care center made an incorrect diagnosis or failed to diagnose a serious medical condition.
Unfortunately, errors made in outpatient settings are considered to be as common, if not more prevalent, than errors made in hospital settings. Yet it’s hard to find data on the numbers of these errors.
As a point of reference, it’s important to note that in 2016, medical errors in hospital settings were the 3rd leading cause of death in the US.
The typical long wait and high costs associated with visiting a hospital emergency room have enticed many people to visit urgent care centers for emergency treatment. Unfortunately, urgent care centers do not have access to the same diagnostic or critical care equipment found in hospital emergency rooms, which can lead to serious consequences for the patient. (more…)
January 2, 2020
Understaffing is the most common issue in nursing homes that can lead to abuse and neglect. Overworked and under supervised staff pose a greater risk to patients. Inadequate attention and frustration lead to mistakes and neglect.
This is a serious issue that plagues over 90% of nursing homes. Studies have proven that residents who live in understaffed nursing homes are at a greater risk of malnutrition, weight loss, bedsores, dehydration, infections, and pneumonia. Families of elderly patients are increasingly noticing this problem and are starting to hold nursing homes responsible for the abuses that occur as a result. (more…)
To resolve this issue there is a need for higher minimum nurse staffing standards for U.S. nursing homes based on multiple research studies showing a positive relationship between nursing home quality and staffing and the benefits of implementing higher minimum staffing standards. Studies have identified the minimum staffing levels necessary to provide care consistent with the federal regulations, but many U.S. facilities have dangerously low staffing. Secondly, the barriers to staffing reform are economic concerns about costs and a focus on financial incentives. The enforcement of existing staffing standards has been weak, and strong nursing home industry political opposition has limited efforts to establish higher standards. Researchers should study the ways to improve staffing standards and new payment, regulatory, and political strategies to improve nursing home staffing and quality. (more…)
December 3, 2019
Thirty days after release from the hospital can pose a risky time for many people. A study found that nearly 20% of patients experience adverse events within 3 weeks of discharge, nearly three-quarters of which could have been prevented.
Early discharge dangers include:
- Adverse drug events are the most common post-discharge complication
- hospital-acquired infections
- procedural complications
- hazards arising from the fact that nearly 40% of patients are discharged with test results pending
- discharged with a plan to complete the diagnostic workup as an outpatient
In addition, there is increasing concern that the stressful hospital environment may lead to post-hospitalization syndrome— a patho-physiologic syndrome of weakness and increased stress that may leave patients vulnerable to clinical adverse events such as falls and infections. Nearly 20% of Medicare patients are re-hospitalized within 30 days of discharge. (more…)
October 23, 2019
What is a breast implant?
A breast implant is an implanted device used to augment existing breast tissue for cosmetic purposes or to reconstruct the breast after surgery such as mastectomy. Litigation from alleged harm due to breast implants is not new, but recently a new form of lymphoma thought to be associated with implants added to concerns over the safety of these devices, which have also included implant rupture and contracture.
In 2018, silicone implant breast augmentation was the #1 performed plastic surgery for women in the United States, with 928,914 procedures performed. Implants range from round to oval to teardrop shape to best approximate the patient’s natural shape and may contain silicone or saline. Both silicone and saline implants have an outer shell made from silicone. Some implants have a smooth surface, others have a textured surface thought to stabilize the implant and decrease scar tissue formation.
Fig 1 Breast implants (image courtesy FDA; https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/implants-and-prosthetics/breast-implants, accessed 6/1/19)
October 14, 2019
Credibility is critical to the success of an expert witness. You should be able to rely on your expert for honesty, and a case that is articulately and assertively presented. There are many factors to consider when engaging an expert and to make sure that the opinion you receive is objective and will stand up to cross-examination.
Juries are required to sift through vast amounts of information. The reliance on an expert witness to assist in understanding the facts is crucial and appearance of bias can negate an expert’s testimony with the jury. Saponaro, Inc., employs several safeguards against unreliable and unethical expert witness testimony with the following guidelines:
September 12, 2019
It can happen even if you are treated by the most skilled physician at best hospital the state has to offer. Leaving lasting scars, disabilities, a lifetime of pain or even death, medical malpractice can destroy a patient’s life. It is little wonder why tragic mistakes lead to serious lawsuits.
Here are recent medical malpractice cases that have resulted in large settlements: (more…)