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Healthcare Risk Management – April 1, 2020

April 1, 2020

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  • Surgeon Sues Health System for ‘Forced Referrals’

    A Florida health system is facing a whistleblower lawsuit from a surgeon alleging the system violated federal law by requiring him to perform surgery and refer patients within its own facilities. The surgeon claims the health system fired him for not complying with the policy. The mandatory self-referrals violate the Physician Self-Referral Law and other statutes, the lawsuit claims.

  • HHS, CMS Easing Some Abuse Rules, Will Reduce Compliance Burden

    The Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are trying to reduce regulatory burdens on healthcare organizations with rule changes that would protect some activities from anti-kickback allegations. The changes are intended to promote value-based care.

  • Medical Record Retention Requires Good Policies, Strict Compliance

    Records retention is a critical issue for risk managers, as the loss of important patient records and other documents could compromise litigation defense and threaten ongoing care. Healthcare organizations must create clear records retention policies and follow them closely, experts say.

  • Fall Prevention Always Is a Concern; Innovative Products Help

    There has been progress in fall prevention, but there is much more room for improvement. Some organizations are finding success with innovative products that can help reduce falls.

  • Patient Selection, Standardization Can Reduce Surgical Liability

    One-quarter of all malpractice claims in a recent closed claim study involved surgical allegations, second only to diagnosis-related allegations. The authors of the study said standardization and practice contribute to successful outcomes. Routine and rigor also are vitally important.

  • Causation Difficult for Plaintiff in ED Malpractice Claim

    Generally, plaintiff attorneys find some aspect of care that was arguably beneath the standard of care. Likewise, they can show the ED provider was acting in the scope of his or her employment. However, causation often is a difficult problem.

  • Severe Hypoxia During Delivery Results in Permanent Brain Damage, $15 Million Verdict

    This case presents a multitude of breaches of the standard of care that cumulatively gave rise to the liability and significant verdict in this matter. In the complaint, the patient alleged the physicians breached their duty of care on multiple factual bases, including by failing to disclose all the risks associated with VBAC, violating the hospital’s standard operating procedure, failing to monitor the fetal heart rate continuously, allowing the patient to ambulate, and failing to identify early signs of fetal hypoxia.

  • Appellate Court Affirms $6 Million Medical Negligence Arbitration Award

    The issue of liability in this case was unanimously decided by all three arbitrators in favor of the patient. The facts of the case leave little space to argue the nurse acted in conformity with the necessary standard of care, particularly because of the significance of the delayed medical intervention.