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Proposed CMS Rule Could Put a Stop on Public Reporting of Hospital Infections

Published on Jul 9, 2018 at 3:12 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Over the years, we have discussed many health care related issues on our blog, including those involving medical malpractice. We have also written many posts discussing proposed rules and legislative changes in the health care industry that harm patients, their rights, and their safety. Recently, a new proposed rule change that would put an end to public reporting of certain infections acquired in hospitals has been making headlines, and is being criticized for its potential impact on public safety.

The newly proposed rule change is part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) plan. Under the proposed legislation, federal regulators would no longer report on hospital infections, including serious infections and other accidents and injuries, including:

  • The “super bug” MRSA
  • Post-operative sepsis
  • Surgical site infections
  • Patient injuries / infections ranging from bedsores to respiratory failure post-surgery
  • Never events (preventable medical errors that should never happen)

If the proposed rule is approved and finalized, the CMS website won’t disclose data on infections or safety measures. That’s because doing so would require that data to be part of a program the current Presidential administration states hospitals should no longer use to report safety issues.

Should I Consult a Medical Malpractice Lawyer After a Birth Injury?

Published on Apr 16, 2018 at 3:28 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Birth injuries are never an easy experience, especially when those injuries result from preventable acts of negligence committed by the medical professionals in whom you placed your trust during such an important time. While families are tasked with rebuilding their lives and finding ways to manage life-altering repercussions, it is also important to understand they have legal rights when birth injuries are preventable – rights that can not only provide them with a sense of justice, but also the compensation and resources they need to navigate their futures.

At Shrager & Sachs, our Philadelphia birth injury lawyers are passionate about serving as the advocates and support system families need during difficult times. Backed by decades of combined experience and a reputation for handling challenging medical malpractice cases, we understand the vital role we play in guiding birth injury victims through their personal and legal journeys, and why it becomes so critical for families to assert their rights as a means to seek the justice and compensation to which they are entitled.

Federal Government Penalizes Two Philadelphia Hospitals for High Injury, Infection Rates

Published on Feb 15, 2018 at 3:34 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Hospitals are an important piece of our health care industry, and they play an important role in treating patients who often require serious or immediate care. While we can’t expect hospitals to successfully treat every patient all of the time, we can certainly expect them to take reasonable measures in protecting patients from preventable harm – it’s their legal duty. Unfortunately, two hospitals in Philadelphia fell short in that regard.

According to recently released data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), two Philadelphia hospitals are being penalized for excessively high rates of infections and injuries among patients treated at those facilities. Albert Einstein Medical Center in North Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Hospital in City Center are among more than 750 health care facilities nationwide being penalized through a program established under the Affordable Care Act (the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program), which was designed to decrease preventable injuries, infections, and blood clots in the American health care system. Under that program, facilities like Pennsylvania Hospital and Albert Einstein Medical Center will receive reductions in Medicare payments.

Advocacy Efforts Could Mean More Rights for Medical Malpractice Victims

Published on Feb 1, 2018 at 3:36 pm in Medical Malpractice.

In recent blogs, we have discussed how corporations, lobbyists, and politicians push for legislative changes that restructure our civil justice system in a manner that benefits themselves – even when it comes at the expense of everyday Americans and victims of negligence. Prime examples of these changes relate to tort reform, which have succeeded in state legislatures across the country passing unfair laws that limit the amount of compensation victims are able to recover after being harmed by negligent health care providers.

Today, more states than not impose some type of damages cap on medical malpractice cases. Most of these states limit non-economic damages – which are the types of intangible losses victims and families suffer after preventable injuries, such as mental anguish, loss of quality or enjoyment of life, and their pain and suffering. Some even limit total damages that can be recovered, including economic damages. Should one particular bill making its way through Congress be passed (the “Protecting Access to Care Act”), these caps could be placed on medical malpractice and nursing home injury cases nationwide.

The unfortunate truth is that money is continually flooding into American politics – and that money can be traced back to lobbyists and corporations that have financial interests in limiting how much they pay to the victims they harm, or the victims harmed by their insurance policy holders. The powerful combination of money and rhetoric have succeeded in getting tort reform initiatives and damages caps to pass in many states, but advocacy efforts are beginning to strengthen, raise awareness, and prompt much needed change.

Cancer Misdiagnosis: Do I Have a Case?

Published on Jan 22, 2018 at 3:39 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Cancer diagnoses are never welcomed news, but when timely and accurate, they provide the opportunity for patients to seek the treatment they need and better their prognosis. Unfortunately, medical professionals who provide substandard care during diagnostic testing can strip patients of that opportunity, enable the progression of their condition and suffering, and decrease their chances of recovery.

Because medical malpractice is an area of law which places accountability on health care providers in whom we place our trust, and holds them liable for providing substandard care, victims of cancer misdiagnosis may have the right to seek legal action. Due to the challenging legal and medical issues involved, cancer misdiagnosis cases demand the attention of proven and experienced attorneys.

Our medical malpractice lawyers at Shrager & Sachs fight for patients and families that have suffered at the hands of negligent medical professionals across Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and beyond. Our team understands the elements of providing medical negligence, as well as ways to navigate challenges inherent to complex medical information and disputes over quality of care and liability. Because we know these cases are ones of significant emotional turbulence, we treat clients compassionately, and fight aggressively on their behalves.

When Should I File for Medical Malpractice?

Published on Nov 21, 2017 at 5:22 pm in Medical Malpractice.

If you have been injured by a negligent healthcare professional, you have the right to pursue compensation in a medical malpractice claim. However, many people may not think their situation warrants a lawsuit, or they may not be aware of their rights. Our firm provides compassionate legal assistance to those who have suffered from the carelessness of physicians and nursing staff.

In general, there are several situations where you may be able to obtain compensation for medical malpractice. These include:

  • You receive improper treatment
  • You are misdiagnosed
  • You suffer injuries during surgery or medical procedures
  • You suffer an overdose or harmful side effects from prescription drugs
  • You are not properly treated for your condition, and it worsens

Surgical errors, anesthesia errors, and misdiagnosis can result in serious injuries that require more treatment. Doctors, nurses, surgeons, medical specialists, and anesthesiologists owe a duty of care to patients. This involves providing adequate and effective treatments to improve your quality of life. If you are injured or your condition grows worse because of improper or poor medical care, you have the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Depending on the situation, you may be able to receive compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost present and future wages, and other damages.

Discuss Your Case with Our Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Attorneys

At Shrager & Sachs, we are committed to helping injured clients seek justice from those responsible. If your doctor or healthcare provider caused your injury, we can analyze the facts of your situation and help you file a medical malpractice claim. Doctors are relied upon to provide safe, effective, and thorough treatment to patients. However, when they negligently fail to do so, they must be held accountable in court.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

What You Need to Know About Surgical Never Events in Medical Malpractice Cases

Published on Oct 30, 2017 at 5:36 pm in Medical Malpractice.

When it comes to medical malpractice cases, injured patients have the burden of proving how a medical professional’s negligence more likely than not led to their preventable injuries. While medical negligence can take numerous forms, it is generally defined by law as a health care provider’s failure to administer treatment in accordance to accepted medical standards – which means that any reasonable and skillful medical professional under the same or similar circumstances would have acted differently to avoid harm.

As this legal definition makes clear, what constitutes medical negligence can sometimes be a matter open to argument. Were there medically acceptable reasons why a doctor failed to make a diagnosis of a patient’s condition? Could a doctor reasonably have foreseen complications experienced by a specific patient? The answers to these questions can vary from case to case, which is why it is often difficult for injured patients to understand when their medical professional’s care amounted to negligence, and whether they have a viable medical malpractice claim. However, there are some types of medical errors that always constitute malpractice. These are known as “never events.”

Damage Caps on Medical Malpractice: Why It’s Dangerous

Published on Sep 1, 2017 at 5:53 pm in Medical Malpractice.

In a continuing trend of naming bills misleadingly, the Protecting Access to Care Act (HR 1215) was passed in the Republican-majority Congress on June 28, 2017. This bill places a cap on the maximum amount a patient can sue for damages in a medical malpractice suit. HR 1215 is currently being considered by the Senate, so it has not yet gone into effect.

However, this is a bill Republicans favor. If the Senate goes the same way as Congress, those who are victims of severe negligence will only be able to sue for up to $250,000 in noneconomic damages, despite any additional care needed to deal with the repercussions.

Proponents of the bill argue it will save the health care industry thousands of dollars, making health care affordable for more people, but this assertion is dubious. Even if medical insurers do save millions of dollars, this is no guarantee they will lower their premiums to allow better health care for low-income individuals who can’t afford it. Likewise, this bill targets the victims of malpractice who have suffered the most. Those who require extensive amounts of health care, rehabilitation, and who can no longer work after their injuries will need much more than $250,000 to survive.

In one example, written about by F. Paul Bland Jr. in on The Hill website, Kathleen Astleford is one such victim. In 2018, she was diagnosed with cancer in the right tonsil. She was referred to a Dr. Turrisi, who incorrectly noted she had been diagnosed with cancer on the left side of her tonsil, rather than the right. He then recommended she undergo 35 radiation therapy treatments, after which she would be cancer free.

Medication Error Leads to Death & 7-Figure Settlement

Published on Aug 3, 2017 at 6:12 pm in Medical Malpractice.

With more than 80 years of combined experience, Shrager & Sachs has guided hundreds of clients to successful outcomes. We take each case seriously and work hard to provide effective solutions to meet clients’ specific needs. Our team is proud to share the story of how we helped our client obtain a settlement for the wrongful death of his father.

The Situation

Our client’s father had been living independently in a senior living home for several months. However, he started becoming confused and unable to maintain his independent situation. It was recommended that he undergo a brief hospital stay, where he would try a combination of medication in the hopes of decreasing his confusion.

Once he was admitted to the psychiatric unit of a neighborhood hospital, the senior living facility sent over a list of his prescriptions, including Methotrexate, which he was taking as a maintenance drug for his rheumatoid arthritis. However, the list had a transcription error. Instead of recording a dosage of 2.5 mgs for 3 administrations given once a week, the list reported a dosage of 2.5 mgs given twice a day, on a daily basis.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death During Pregnancy

Published on Jul 19, 2017 at 6:14 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Physicians owe a duty of care to patients to provide safe, responsible medical treatment. If your loved one died during pregnancy, our Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys can investigate the situation and provide compassionate representation. There are many causes of wrongful death during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. These could often be prevented with adequate diagnosis and prompt treatment. Unfortunately, doctors sometimes fail to act, or make hasty, reckless judgments regarding a patient’s care, resulting in wrongful death.

There Are 2 Main Causes of Wrongful Death During Pregnancy:

1. A Physician’s Negligence

If a doctor fails to diagnose and treat a mother’s medical condition before, during, or after pregnancy, this may lead to wrongful death. There are many dangerous diseases and medical conditions that can threaten the life of a mother and child. Physicians must use their training to identify the issue and provide effective treatment to protect the life of the patient. If they do not, they may be held liable in a wrongful death or medical malpractice lawsuit.

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