Dr. Charles alerts us to an archived editorial on tort reform published in the New York Times. Common Good excerpts the article here. The title of the article is It's Time to Try Special Health Courts. Here's the excerpt:We hold no brief for the current medical liability system, which does a poor job of compensating most victims of medical malpractice. An authoritative study of thousands of patients in New York State found that the vast majority who were harmed by medical errors or negligence … [Read more...] about What About Tort Reform?
Representative Deshotel has filed a bill which mandates that surveyors treat nursing facility staff with courtesy during inspections. It reads specifically:Sec. 242.0447. DUTIES OF REPRESENTATIVES. The department shall adopt written policies requiring representatives of the department to treat the residents of an institution and the institution's staff with courtesy, consideration, and respect during an inspection, survey, or investigation conducted under Section 242.043 or 242.044 or in … [Read more...] about Ms. Manners For Surveyors
Do you use a pharmacy that has adopted the Opus system or a similar system? Have you specified that any pharmacy who does business with your facility must use the Opus system including the part where the pharmacist generates the MARS and physician order forms and provides other services?If so, you may run afoul of DADS. Recently, a facility was cited for having such requirements on the basis that this is a violation of resident rights. As you know Rule 19.1502, Choice of Pharmacy states: A … [Read more...] about Resident Choice of Pharmacy vs. Facility Choice of Medication Distribution System
If you have a pending nursing home Civil Penalty case based on a survey that predates September 1, 2003 and you have already paid a Federal Civil Monetary penalty, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals has rendered a favorable decision. The case is The State of Texas v. Haltom Medical Investors, L.L.C. d/b/a Haltom Convalescent Center.The facts of the case involve a survey done in July, 2002 which resulted in a recommendation of Federal Civil Money Penalties and a referral to the Texas Attorney … [Read more...] about Double Penalties
You all know that Pain Management is a quality of care concern for DADS. Facilities have been cited for failing to adequately and systemically deal with pain being suffered by residents.Nursing facilities must, of course, obtain physician's orders for pain medication and increasing dosages and types of medications. Today, there was a column in the New York Times by Sally Satel regarding the criminal liability risks assumed by physicians who are managing pain with narcotics.(You may need to … [Read more...] about Pitfalls of Pain Management
Lately, several people have asked me about the advisability of having employees write statements to accompany reports of incidents sent to DADS. It is my position that having your employees write such statements is neither advisable or required.Thus, the next question is--how do you conduct your investigation if you don't have your employees write statements? My answer is that your investigator actually investigates. That means interrogating employees who are witnesses to an incident or who may … [Read more...] about Written Statements for Incident Reports
On November 15, 2004, CBS news reported on an incident involving alleged resident-on- resident sexual abuse in a Florida nursing home. The resident-suspect, a man in his 80's, had been found wandering the streets by Florida law enforcement. A Florida court declared him a "vulnerable adult ... in need of protective services." Thus, the officials caused him to be admitted to the nursing home--where he allegedly sexually abused another resident.Buried further down in the story, it is noted that … [Read more...] about Criminal Checks of Nursing Home Residents?
On November 15, 2004, HHSC released its report relating to reforming Adult Protective Services in accordance with Executive Order RP33. The report is linked here.According to the press release:The reform plan recommends adding an additional 63 caseworkers over the next biennium - for a total of 144 new caseworkers by fiscal year 2007. The additional caseworkers would represent a 32 percent increase in three years over the agency's current 446 caseworkers and would reduce caseloads to 28 per … [Read more...] about Reforming Adult Protective Services