Over 30% more cases were added to state and local courts’ backlogs on average during the epidemic. According to estimates, these delays could cause damages to rise 20–30%. Case preparation could be hurried and frenetic in order to “catch up” on the docket. Leading long-term care attorneys recently emphasized that in-house legal departments must come up with creative solutions for concise, well-organized list of medical facts to cut expenses and responsibilities due to the court backlog, dwindling budgets, higher regulatory and compliance requirements, and the anticipated deluge of COVID-related litigation.
Prior to the pandemic, falls, pressure injuries, and staffing concerns topped CNA’s list of reported claims’ severity and average cost, which had been rising. Add to that the roughly 145,000 nursing home residents who have passed away as a result of COVID, along with the undetermined number of lawsuits that will be filed in the near future. In order to keep the expense of long-term care claims and litigation under control, efficient management of medical information and concise, well-organized list of medical facts must be prioritized given that there are over 15,000 skilled nursing institutions and almost 29,000 assisted living communities in the United States.
Slipping and Pressure Sores
Death, falls, injuries, infections, decubitus, and fractures were among the most often discovered issues in claim descriptions according to the 2020 Oliver Wyman and Marsh Professional and General Liability Benchmark for Long-Term Care Providers. In the cases that Complete Legal Outsourcing has analyzed for its clients, concise, well-organized list of medical facts pertaining to pressure ulcers and/or falls are mentioned in more than a third of the cases. Falls and pressure ulcers accounted for 40.5 percent and 22.6 percent of all claims, respectively, according to the most current CNA Aging Services Claim Report (2018). Nearly 50% of claims in assisted living involved falls, and those that resulted in death had average claim payments of more than $200,000. The average settlement for pressure ulcer claims that ended in death was over $246,000.
Allegations Associated With COVID
COVID-related cases, where infection control concerns are frequently the emphasis, will be added to the mix. For instance, CMS inspections of Ohio nursing homes reveal that facilities are paying significant fines, up to $459,000, as a result of lax infection control procedures. In addition to concerns with infection control, COVID-related plaintiff complaints also include, but are not limited to, wrongful death, carelessness, staff failure to utilize personal protective equipment (PPE), insufficient testing, and staff training failure. The COVID-19 Complaint Tracker reveals 541 health/medical category complaints as of January 2022, in addition to fines from regulatory bodies, thus making concise, well-organized list of medical facts more crucial.
The epidemic has made staff turnover in long-term care facilities worse. According to the CNA research, pre-pandemic (2018) average turnover for CNAs, RNs, and LPNs was 41.9 percent, 33.9 percent, and 28.8 percent, respectively. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing homes lost 234,000 employees (14.8 percent) between May 2020 and November 2021, and assisted living institutions lost 39,000 employees (8.4 percent ). More than 75% of providers claim that things have gotten worse recently. A study published in September 2021 came to the conclusion that citations for infection control were related to staff turnover. As part of its focus on the connection between staffing and care quality, CMS started publishing information about staff turnover and weekend staffing on its Care Compare website in January 2022. The CMS Nursing Home Five Star Quality Rating System, which the public uses to choose the best facility for a family member, includes these staffing indicators, thus giving a rise for the need for concise, well-organized list of medical facts
Best Implementations for Reducing the Cost of Litigation
In order to handle the current backlog, the ongoing cases that would be anticipated if the pandemic didn’t exist, and the influx of COVID-related files, how should counsel use their time most effectively? Counsel can concentrate their time on the complex legal aspects of each case when working with a partner who has created efficient methods for concise, well-organized list of medical facts collection and analysis. Deliverables from Complete Legal Outsourcing relieve counsel of responsibility and assist in making decisions in a number of crucial areas.
Recovery of Records
The retrieval of records must be done quickly. Records are swiftly obtained and checked for completeness using Complete Legal Outsourcing’s familiarity with numerous electronic health information systems.
Effective case analysis depends on the structure of medical records. Records are indexed by document type, Bates-numbered, and searchable using OCR. They are also arranged by provider and episode of care. Records are checked for completeness, duplicates are eliminated, additional healthcare providers are found, and papers pertaining to the “wrong patient” are either erased or redacted for drafting a concise, well-organized list of medical facts. Each member of the legal team has access to documents online through the HIPAA compliant, secure web interface of Complete Legal Outsourcing.
Individualized Medical Analysis
Each year, the medical team at Complete Legal Outsourcing reviews millions of pages of medical records and creates concise, well-organized list of medical facts to aid in counsel’s decision-making. Depending on the stage of the case, reports’ complexity can vary to encourage quick resolution. The following are some examples of reports that address the problems of falls, pressure ulcers, COVID, and staffing:
The Provider of Care report makes it easier to efficiently get ready for depositions and interviews.
The Care Calendar/Touch Chart is an easy-to-use application that displays all interactions between the patient or resident and the provider (a doctor, nurse, nursing assistant, etc.) on an interactive calendar. When staffing-related concerns are allegedly present, concise, well-organized list of medical facts could be crucial.
An executive-level narrative summary of significant medical events that either support or contradict the allegations is provided in the Strengths and Weaknesses Assessment. An evaluation of the clinical events is included in a more thorough early risk assessment, along with an unbiased assessment of the gravity of the findings and potential liability. Links to the online sources are provided in this report. Early claim value evaluation and early dispute resolution save time and money, achieving the goal of allocating funds where they are most needed for the healthcare system, patient care, and staffing.
Based on the important factors unique to each circumstance, case summaries and medical chronologies can be modified. These reports include hyperlinks that lead to the relevant page in the patient file or other source document.
In order to defend COVID-related claims, the Comprehensive Integrated Timeline Tool (CITT) is a potent tool. The CITT enables the effective layering of information from patient/resident medical records, facility policies and procedures, and regulatory guidelines and standards during the preparation of concise, well-organized list of medical facts.
Complete Legal Outsourcing has experience and expertise in managing medical information for claims and litigation to assist counsel in reducing overall litigation costs. Contact us today to discuss your medical information management requirements and for concise, well-organized list of medical facts.