Skilled nursing facilities provide care to patients who have to rehabilitate after a serious medical problem like a stroke or a bad fall. A skilled nursing facility generally provides treatment for up to 35 days after a patient is discharged from the hospital. Unfortunately, a recent report from ProPublica revealed that a significant number of patients in skilled care are victims of medical negligence or medical mistakes.
If you or a loved one is harmed because of substandard medical treatment in any care facility, consult with a New York medical malpractice lawyer for assistance in pursuing a claim.
Medical Mistakes Common in Skilled Nursing Care Facilities
Many patients who leave hospitals spend time in skilled nursing facilities. One in five Medicare patients go into skilled nursing care for at least some time after leaving the hospital, and Medicare spending more than doubled to $26 billion between 2000 and 2010.
A study of skilled nursing facilities was conducted by Medicare's inspector general. There are more than 15,000 such facilities throughout the United States, with 90 percent of the facilities serving as both nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. The remaining 10 percent provide only short-term recovery care. The researchers focused on the outcomes of 653 randomly selected Medicare patients from more than 600 different skilled facilities across the country.
Unfortunately, patients in these facilities are experiencing more problems from medical mistakes than those in hospitals or other care settings. The Medicare Inspector General's report revealed that almost 22,000 patients were injured and 1,500 patients died in a one month period in skilled nursing facilities as a result of medical errors.
This is a high number of fatalities, but it makes sense when considering that one in three patients in skilled nursing care has experienced a medication error, an infection or another kind of harm.
Doctors reviewing patient records determined that 59 percent of the mistakes made in treating patients in skilled care facilities were preventable. When the errors occurred, more than half of the patients who were harmed had to be readmitted to the hospital. The cost of treating the readmitted patients totaled $208 million over a single month. This is about two percent of the total amount of money that Medicare spends for inpatient spending.
In 1.5 percent of cases where errors were made, the patient died as a result of the care that he received in the skilled nursing facility. A total of 11 percent of patients experienced temporary harm while 22 percent of patients experienced events that caused them to have lasting health problems. The issues were caused by medication mistakes, inadequate monitoring, failure to provide needed care, or other substandard treatment. Complications that resulted in death included fluid imbalances, preventable blood clots, kidney failure and excessive bleeding resulting from blood thinners.
Patients in skilled nursing facilities deserve better from the professionals who are entrusted with their health and victims or family members can pursue legal action if medical negligence results in health complications.
For more information about how a medical malpractice attorney in New York can help you with your medical malpractice case, contact Jonathan C. Reiter Law Firm, PLLC. Call 212-736-0979 or visit http://www.jcreiterlaw.comand schedule a free consultation today.