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Covid-19 and the Law

July 21, 2021

There are four areas where Covid-19 cases are appearing in the courts:

  • Nursing Home related infections

One out of four coronavirus deaths in the United States are nursing home residents, according to a new analysis of federal data conducted by the Associated Press. Close to 1 in 10 of all COVID-19 cases are contracted by nursing home residents, as well.

Administrators at nursing homes and assisted living facilities owe a duty of care to their residents. This duty of care includes acting quickly and taking reasonable steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as:

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There is no Yelp for Experts

March 1, 2021

It is common knowledge that expert witness fees can be one of the highest costs in litigation, if not the highest.  Especially if a referral service invoices for the expert assisting on the case. Therefore, an attorney will try to mitigate these costs by:

Finding an expert on their own, and using that expert on multiple cases

Asking around, via email blast or word of mouth, to see if anyone has an expert in the required specialty

Using a local doctor to screen their case, and trying to find an expert that agrees with this opinion

In addition to the risks and costs of the above there are many expert horror stories, that involve:

  • Not disclosing a disciplinary action
  • Not actively performing the procedure or care in question
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Standard of Care in Telehealth Medicine

November 30, 2020

Standard of Care for Telehealth Visits In the recent months, telehealth has been an integral part of delivering health care services. Because this avenue of service has increased throughout the pandemic, patients need to trust that their care is competent; their privacy is protected; and there is continuity of care. To ensure patients receive high-quality treatment, state laws and medical board regulations require the standard of care in telemedicine reflect that of an in-person physician-patient encounter. Physicians who participate in telehealth/telemedicine must have appropriate protocols to prevent unauthorized access and to protect the security and integrity of patient information at the patient end of the electronic encounter; during transmission; and among all health care professionals and personnel who participate in the telehealth/telemedicine service, consistent with their individual roles. The key rule is that the standard of care in telemedicine is identical to the standard of care in an in-person office visit.

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The Pitfalls of the Expert Search

August 3, 2020

Yes, knowing that you need an appropriately qualified expert is the first step in properly investigating the merits of your case, and connecting with the right expert is an investment that pays off starting with record review, all the way through to trial. Let Saponaro, Inc. assist you from the beginning, so you avoid these common mistakes.

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Corona Virus Ravaging Nursing Homes

May 27, 2020

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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…)

 

Nursing Home Understaffing

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…)

 

Types of Nursing Home Abuse in the U.S.

March 18, 2019

Learn types of nursing home abuse in the U.S.

Nursing home abuse stories are all over the national news. A Quincy nursing home is fined after mental abuse by a staffer. A troubled Raleigh nursing home faces new state and federal investigations.

And of course, the well-known and horrifying story of the long-term care facility patient who was raped, became pregnant, and gave birth.

How common is nursing home abuse in the United States? And what exactly do we mean when we say ‘nursing home abuse’? What are the different types of nursing home abuse?

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Hiring a Nursing Home Expert Witness for Abuse and Infractions

March 28, 2016

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An article by The Nursing Home Abuse Advocate reported a new “record” has been broken in the form of $38 million. Extendicare Health Services Inc. agreed to pay $38 million to the U.S. government and eight states to settle allegations that it billed Medicare and Medicaid for substandard nursing care and unnecessary rehabilitation therapy.   (more…)