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CMS Penalizes Hospitals For Negligence With High Readmission Rates

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provides medical coverage to more than 100 million people through its different public health programs, so it keeps close tabs on facilities that receive funding. A key aspect of CMS efforts is eliminating fraud, abuse, and inefficiencies in serving patients. The agency will take decisive action to root out issues, and a recent announcement under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program is an example. According to a November 1, 2022 report from Kaiser Health News, CMS penalized 2,273 hospitals that demonstrated high rates of readmission. Patients were discharged from the facility but needed to return for further care, a possible indication of hospital negligence.

As much as you might want to leave the hospital, providers have a duty to ensure you are not wrongfully discharged. Being sent away too early can have devastating implications for your health and, as the Kaiser report indicates, there is a good chance you will have to go back. A Florida hospital negligence attorney will advise you on legal remedies, and you can read on for an overview of wrongful discharge claims.

How Wrongful Discharge Affects Patients: A person could be released too early from the hospital for many reasons, often involving communication errors and incomplete information. Staff then make decisions regarding discharging a patient based upon inaccurate details. The patient may suffer harm when the hospital:

  • Delays returning the results of lab screenings and imaging tests
  • Neglected to order proper testing that would reveal whether the patient is ready for discharge
  • Allows a patient to leave without proper transportation
  • Does not properly assess how well surgical sutures are healing
  • Sends the patient home with a health care acquired infection (HAI)
  • Allows parents to take home a newborn when there is a need for continued care

Wrongful Discharge from Hospital: When the facility was negligent in prematurely releasing someone, Florida law allows the patient to seek legal remedies. These cases touch on medical malpractice concepts, but there are very specific elements to prove. You must have evidence showing that the hospital discharged you in violation of the standard of care, which is measured by what another facility would have done under the same circumstances.

Damages for Hospital Negligence Cases: In a successful claim for wrongful discharge from the hospital, you may recover for specific economic damages. An example is the costs of medical care you needed when being readmitted because of the hospital’s error. Non-economic damages are also available for these claims, so you might qualify to obtain amounts for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Emotional anguish
  • Lost quality of life 

Surviving family members can also recover damages for wrongful death if a loved one died due to hospital negligence.

Discuss Your Options with Our Florida Hospital Negligence Lawyers 

Our medical malpractice attorneys at Freidin Brown, P.A. are knowledgeable about claims for wrongful discharge from the hospital, so you can count on us for legal help. Please contact us today to set up a free consultation at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers, FL. We can provide additional details after reviewing your circumstances.

Source:

khn.org/news/article/medicare-fines-hospital-readmissions-drop-covid/

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