The New York Times recently published an article on the lack of scrutiny long-term healthcare hospitals face over their standards of care. According to the report, Medicare has never closely examined the care provided in these facilities, which are largely run by for-profit companies and have no doctors on staff. Many are "hospitals within hospitals", as the company that runs them contracts space from a host hospital so the facility can be opened quickly and cheaply.
These facilities have been cited at a rate of up to four times higher than traditional hospitals for violation of Medicare rules. They also have a higher rate of patients developing bedsores and serious infections. Federal reports found that for-profit long-term hospitals spend less on patients and have a higher profit margin comparable to non-profit hospitals. These reports also detail preventable patient injuries and deaths as well as understaffed facilities.
The New York Times reported that many of these hospitals will manage how long patients stay to maximize profits, even if it goes against the doctor's wishes for the patient. Maximum profit is gained when patients are discharged at or just after their 25th day. Interestingly, the average length of stay at Select Medical Corp's hospitals, the company that runs the largest number of long-term hospitals in the U.S., is 24 days. Unfortunately, Medicare has few ways to discipline hospitals and rarely takes action to decertify a facility.
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Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm understand how difficult it is for victims or families of victims who have suffered from medical malpractice or negligence. We work to ensure that you receive the best representation and largest settlement possible. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical malpractice or negligence in a long-term healthcare facility or another facility, contact us immediately. We will provide you with a free no-obligation consultation and explain your legal rights.