Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers: When Rehab Hospitals Reverse Progress

When patients enter a rehabilitation facility, the last thing they expect is for their condition to worsen, or to develop a new condition altogether. Unfortunately, according to a recently published study, close to 30 percent of patients who entered rehabilitation facilities in the United States suffered a range of health issues as a result of the medical care they received. The study findings conclude that poor sanitation and medication errors plague these rehabilitation facilities.

Doctors reviewed Medicare cases from a broad sampling of rehab facilities across the country. What they found was that close to half of the medical mistakes were most likely preventable. According to an infectious disease specialist at the University of Utah School of Medicine the results of this study show that we have not made adequate improvements in preventing harm to patients.

The study, which was conducted by the office of the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, looked at independent rehabilitation facilities that did not have any connection to a hospital. Patients who stay at rehab facilities must be able to participate in a minimum of three hours of physical and occupational therapy each day for five days a week. As a result, these patients tend to be in better overall health than those in a hospital or nursing home.

Doctors and nurses reviewed the medical records of 417 Medicare patients, selected randomly, who entered a rehabilitation facility in March 2012. The medical issues they identified ranged from temporary injuries to those that required a longer stay. Some events lead to a permanent disability or were even fatal. Of those patients harmed, close to 25 percent were admitted to an acute care hospital. The costs associated with their care totaled approximately $7.7 million for the month.

Most Common Causes of Harm

 The doctors involved in the study found that substandard treatment and inadequate monitoring, including serious medication errors, caused the most harm. The director of the Consumers Union Safe Patient Project commented that while it is unlikely that a patient would die from something like bedsores or constipation from poor medical treatment, it could result in an extended stay, delayed recovery, and a compromised quality of life.

Stemming from such reports, the inspector general requested that  Medicare and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality compile a list of adverse events that typically occur in rehab facilities in an effort to reduce harm to patients. The two agencies have agreed to comply.

Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Patients Harmed in Rehab Facilities

 If you or a loved one has experienced substandard, or negligent medical care while receiving treatment at a rehabilitation facility, the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton are on your side. We are committed to providing you with the dedicated and experienced legal counsel you deserve, and we will not stop fighting on your behalf until we have secured the maximum financial compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.

Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent clients throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.