Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Courtesy of MedPundit, I bring you this from Overlawyered:

March 19 -- $12,000 a bed. "Nursing homes [in some states] now pay close to $12,000 per bed annually on liability insurance, according to [a new] report [by AON Risk Consultants]." Nationally, liability costs per bed grew from an average of $300 annually a decade ago to $1,120 in 1997 and $2,880 in 2002, according to the study. Defenders of rising litigation say it provides long-overdue recourse against bad care, but the former administrator of the recently closed Gadsden Nursing Home in Quincy. Florida, doesn't buy the idea that only poorly run homes can expect to be sued. "'We were ranked 51st out of 668 homes in the state the day we closed. If you're ranked in the top 7.5%, you're not a bad home,' he said." (Reuters Health, "Legal liability costs surge for US nursing homes", Mar. 14).
You'll pardon me if I'm in no mood to sob for nursing homes right now -- in the last eight months, I've seen cases from six different ones that involved one or more of the following: (1) dehydration; (2) gangrene (and limb loss); (3) skin anthrax (and limb loss); (4) ignored, critical medical emergencies (as in, immediate surgery was required); (5) actual abuse (striking, starving, locking away); and, (6) death.

So if they're paying more for insurance, I'm thinking there might be a reason.

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