Spurred by reports of negligence in patient care, McKnight’s Long Term Care News reports that the Senate Finance Committee has demanded that Select Medical Corporation answer questions about its staffing levels and quality that were raised in a recent New York Times article. Select, a Pennsylvania-based corporation, runs 89 long-term care hospitals and is one of the largest such companies in the United States. Among the troubling cases that concern the Senate Finance Committee are a patient’s heart attack and death after a nurse turned off his heart monitor because she was tired of hearing its beep.
Long-term care hospitals treat seriously ill patients who are too sick for nursing homes and who are not improving quickly at regular hospitals. The New York Times reports allegations that Select structures its patients’ stays so that it can maximize payments from Medicare, regardless of the patients’ medical needs, and it inadequately staffs its hospitals for financial reasons. Patient care is compromised as a result of these profit-driven concerns. Select denies all of these allegations. Nevertheless, Select’s hospitals received four times the number of citations for serious violations of Medicare rules that regular hospitals received in 2007 and 2008. As a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer I have realized that certain facilities routinely provide substandard care.
The only penalty that Medicare can use to punish hospitals for such violations is to bar them from Medicare entirely. That penalty is rarely used, and in one case when it was applied, the hospital successfully sued to bar Medicare from imposing it. However, the families of some victims of long-term care hospital negligence have filed lawsuits against the companies. Even if Medicare does not stop abusive long-term care hospitals from continuing to harm patients, negligent institutions and the companies that run them can still be held accountable through lawsuits.
As a Pennsylvania nursing home neglect attorney, I am proud to help victims and their families who have suffered from this kind of neligence in Pennsylvania and New Jersey nursing homes. When regulations and the basic human compassion of the staff fail to protect vulnerable patients in nursing homes, victims can fight back by working with a Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyer. With the help of experienced attorneys at Rosenbaum & Associates, Pennsylvania families can sue to recover damages for pain, suffering, and expense. To schedule a free consultation, please call us toll-free at 1-800-7-LEGAL-7 or email us through our Web site.