Alarming Number of Patients Suffer Harm in In-Patient Rehab Facilities

Posted on behalf of Gordon & Doner on Jul 25, 2016 in Medical Malpractice

rehab facility patientA recent study conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General found that 29 percent of those admitted to inpatient rehab hospitals experienced an adverse event during their stay, including incidents like infections, medication errors and pressure ulcers.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a hospital, inpatient rehabilitation hospital or skilled nursing facility, contact an experienced West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorney. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve after an adverse event at a healthcare facility or hospital.

The study analyzed the medical records of random Medicare patients staying in rehab hospitals throughout the country during March 2012. They found that 158 of the 417 cases analyzed experienced some form of harmful incident, half of which could have been prevented.

Roughly 25 percent of those who suffered an adverse event were transferred back to an acute-care hospital, which costs the Medicare program an estimated $7.7 million per month and $92 million per year.

The study focused on stand-alone rehabilitation facilities that are not associated with a hospital. These facilities require patients to have a minimum of three hours of therapy per day, five days per week. Because of this, most patients in these facilities are healthier than those in traditional hospitals or nursing home facilities.

The study found that the rate at which harmful incidents occur in rehab hospitals is slightly higher than the rate in skilled nursing home facilities. A similar report from 2014 found that one in five skilled nursing patients were subject to some type of adverse event during their stay. Hospitals in general also have a similar harm rate – 27 percent.

The conclusions from the report note that there is a serious need and opportunity to significantly reduce the rate of care-related harmful events across all healthcare settings. Patient safety should be a focus of all in-patient facilities to prevent harm and encourage a quicker recovery.

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