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Nursing hospitals and homes are usually a major target of Medicaid and Medicare audits and investigations. This is mainly because of the diverse services they provide, the large volumes of patients they cater to, and the complexity of the billing systems they use. There are various circumstances under which nursing homes can be held liable for their actions. These instances call for the need to seek the services of a nursing home hospital representation lawyer. These lawyers have the expertise needed to help nursing homes avoid hefty fines, license revocations, and convictions. The following are common litigation charges that nursing homes face.
Improper coding and billing
Allegations of improper coding and billing are very common among nursing hospitals and homes. This is mainly attributable to the complexity of the billing systems, as such, mistakes are common. It is important to establish that there is a difference between accidental billing and intentional and fraudulent acts. A new employee can easily enter the wrong code. A good lawyer can help you defend yourself in such cases. They can demonstrate to the board that the mistakes arose from negligence and not necessarily malice. Good representation can help you avoid stern action from the board such as revocation of your nursing home license.
Negligent hiring is a very common complaint filed against homes. Nursing homes are expected to hire qualified and trained personnel. The staff members need to have the requisite degrees and training for the positions they hold. They also need to have a clean record which does not include violence or abuse. If these homes hire workers without conducting a proper background check, then they are liable for negligent hiring.
A study released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) indicated that most nursing homes are seriously understaffed. Under-staffing leads to negligence and every patient does not get the standard care and attention they need. Under-staffing creates more stress and strain on the existing staff members. This in turns leads to loss of morale and a lack of passion. Strained workers are also susceptible to making more mistakes, and this increases the chances of acting negligently. Nursing homes must ensure that they are properly staffed to avoid potential charges.
Nursing homes can face mental abuse charges. This refers to threats, verbal degradation, sarcastic remarks, insults or isolation. Emotional manipulation is also considered as mental abuse. For instance, the patients can be threatened with not being fed, groomed or bathed. This instills fear in the residents which is manipulative. The patients may shy away from asking for services that they deserve in the fear that they will be reprimanded or victimized. Residents who suffer from emotional abuse may show signs such as low self-esteem, withdrawal, mood swings, involuntary seclusion, depression and restless behaviors such as rocking and biting.
Other common allegations filed against nursing homes include medication errors, third-party responsibility claims, breach of regulatory rights, financial abuse, among others. These charges are best handled by nursing home hospitals representation lawyers.