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 healthcare system. Under that program, facilities like Pennsylvania Hospital and Albert Einstein Medical Center will receive reductions in Medicare payments.
Penalties against hospitals that fail to keep injury and infection rates at an acceptable level are important for the public. According to data, Pennsylvania Hospital was previously penalized last year. Although the facility is a teaching hospital and cares for a large percentage of patients with complex conditions, penalties are based on different formulas that take patient conditions and outcomes into close considerable. Penalties were also assessed against several other Pennsylvania hospitals, including Lancaster Regional, Pottstown Memorial, Phoenixville Hospital, Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, and OSS Orthopaedic Hospital in York.
Victims of Medical Negligence: Know Your Rights
While data from CMS does not indicate how many cases of injuries or illnesses led to medical malpractice claims being filed against these facilities, it does suggest that many instances could and should have been prevented. Hospitals and the health care professionals who work there have a legal duty to treat patients in accordance to accepted standards of their field, and they can be held accountable for negligence and errors that amount to substandard care and cause preventable harm.
For patients who suffer injuries or infections while in a hospital, it can be difficult to determine when treating nurses, doctors, or other professionals failed to meet their duty of care. As such, working with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can be vital when victims wish to better understand their rights, determine if medical negligence played a role in causing their injuries, and whether or not they have a case.
At Shrager & Sachs, our legal team has over 80 years of collective experience fighting for victims who have suffered preventable harm and losses, including those injured as a result of medical negligence – in cases ranging from birth injuries and cancer misdiagnosis to emergency room errors, medication errors, and surgical injuries. If you wish to discuss a potential case anywhere in Philadelphia or the state of Pennsylvania, our legal team is here to help! Contact us for a free consultation.