New York City medical malpractice attorney: High rates of HACs in NYC hospitals
06/19/2011 // New York City, NY, USA // New York City Accident Lawyer // Jonathan C Reiter
According to data recently released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, certain New York metropolitan hospitals have relatively high rates of Hospital Acquired Conditions (HAC), as reported by New York City medical malpractice attorney Jonathan C Reiter. The release of raw data such as this is a first for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, as the organization typically transmits its data into statistical figures for release. The data gives New York City medical malpractice lawyer Jonathan C Reiter insight into the locations and rate of occurrence for preventable, hospital-acquired ailments and diseases. New York City medical malpractice attorney Jonathan C Reiter explains what the data means and how it may affect you in the future.
In early April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released data concerning the rates of Hospital Acquired Conditions (HAC) for Medicare fee-for-service patients. The data was released nearly six months after its targeted release, when discrepancies between hospital reporting and actual instances of the serious conditions came to light. As was reported by QualityNet, an official communications portal of CMS, “CMS [had] identified a discrepancy between the claims data that hospitals submitted and the CMS data file that was used to calculate the HAC measures.” Jonathan C Reiter, New York City medical malpractice attorney, explains the delay in the release of information allowed the CMS to investigate the discrepancies and thus provide valid information on HAC instances, which are not insured by Medicare. The actual source of the discrepancies, human versus technical error, was not explained, mentioned New York City medical malpractice attorney Jonathan C Reiter.
HACs, also labeled as “never events,” by hospitals, are serious conditions that patients acquire during an inpatient hospital stay, explains New York City medical malpractice attorney Jonathan C Reiter. These conditions are the results of improper procedures and negligence on the hospital’s part, thus not covered by Medicare, yet not billed to the patient either. According to the CMS, “If hospitals follow proper procedures, patients are less likely to get these conditions.”
The CMS investigated the occurrence of claims of the following eight HACs from Medicare fee-for-service patients from October 2008 through June 2010:
1. Foreign object retained after surgery
2. Air embolism
3. Blood incompatibility
4. Pressure ulcer stages III and IV
5. Falls and trauma (includes: fracture, dislocation, intracranial injury, crushing injury, burn, and electric shock)
6. Vascular catheter-associated infection
7. Catheter-associated urinary tract infection
8. Manifestations of poor glycemic control
According to the data, which only represented patients who enlist Medicare as their healthcare provider (the elderly), New York facilities are among some of the top places for medical errors. According to New York City medical malpractice attorney Jonathan C Reiter, the report named approximately 4,700 hospitals across the country that had experienced 22,800 HACs. Among those 4,700 hospitals, many were metropolitan facilities, making the occurrence at the hospitals in the New York metropolitan area unsurprising. New York City medical malpractice attorney Jonathan C Reiter points out there are more hospitals in metropolitan New York than any other metropolitan area in the country.
A WNYC analysis of the data showed 28 hospitals in the New York metropolitan area with HAC problems. New York City medical malpractice attorney Jonathan C Reiter explains four of the 28 New York hospitals registered problems in more than one area. The hospitals consisted of city and state facilities, hospitals with long-established medical and financial problems and some of the most prestigious hospitals in the country.
According to information retrieved from the WNYC report by New York City medical malpractice attorney Jonathan C Reiter, the following New York hospitals made the top 20 list in different HACs for incident rate per 1,000 Medicare discharges:
For Pressure Sores Stages III and IV: No. 5 – University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Hospital in Newark (8 times the national average); No. 8 – North Shore-LIJ University Hospital at Forest Hills (7.5 times); No. 12 – Maimonides Medical Center, in Brooklyn (7 times); No. 18 – Mount Sinai Hospital, in Manhattan (6 times); No. 19 – Bayonne Hospital Center was (5.9 times)
For Catheter-Associated Infections: No. 3 – JFK Medical Center, in Edison (9 times the national average); No. 11 – White Plains Hospital Center (5.5 times); No. 18 – St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, in Paterson
For Foreign Object Left in Body: No. 7 – NYU Langone Medical Center (3.5 times the national average)
For Falls and Trauma: No. 14 – Hospital for Special Surgery (2.5 times the national average).
New York City medical malpractice attorney Jonathan C Reiter explains the occurrence of these HACs results in a substantial loss of money on all sides of the system, from patient to hospital and insurer. On top of the financial burden associated with treatment, the loss of income and possibly employment may accompany the onset of a long-term ailment generated through an HAC. If you require information on HACs, please visit the CMS website, as well as the website of New York medical malpractice attorney Jonathan C Reiter. Both parties are able to provide information on hospital acquired conditions, and provide guidance for the future.
As New York medical malpractice attorney Jonathan C Reiter explains, if a patient sustains injury or dies due to negligent medical care, the physician, hospital or other healthcare provider may be held liable under New York statute. If any healthcare professional fails to provide and the appropriate standard of care to their patients, they may be committing medical malpractice, according to New York City medical malpractice Jonathan C Reiter. In the event that negligent behavior causes serious injury or death, the patient and his or her family may be eligible for compensation.
Contacting a lawyer skilled in the aspects of New York medical malpractice law is your best chance at receiving information and the support you need. Medical malpractice is a complex area of the law that should be handled by a knowledgeable and experienced attorney. New York medical malpractice attorney Jonathan C Reiter has more than 30 years of experience handling medical malpractice cases, both in New York and other jurisdictions, such as New Jersey, Florida, Connecticut and the District of Columbia. New York City medical malpractice attorney Jonathan C Reiter is familiar with the legal and medical aspects necessary to present your best possible case.
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