McArthur Law Firm

When Does Rehab Become Malpractice?

Rehab is where you go to recover from an injury. It's supposed to make you healthier, supposed to help you recover the independence you lost when you fell ill. However, that's not what a new study found when it looked into rehab facilities.

When Does Rehab Become Malpractice?

On Thursday July 21st, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) released a study through the office of Inspector General Daniel Levinson. The report was an evaluation of outpatient rehab facilities all over the country, and what researchers found was not encouraging.

The report said that 29 percent of Medicare patients in these facilities were harmed during the course of their treatments. The doctors who conducting the study surveyed 417 randomly selected Medicare patients who were treated in rehab facilities in March of 2012. Of these patients, 158 had incidents that these doctors described as preventable. That means that these patients experienced medical malpractice when they went in to recover from surgeries and other traumatic instances. And the prices these people paid for their caretaker's negligence was high.

The Cost Of Malpractice During Rehab

The study showed that 46 percent of these substandard care cases were medication errors, while around 40 percent involved inattentive caretakers. This included bedsores and infections that often set patient recoveries back days or weeks. These delays often caused medical costs to balloon, but some of these patients experienced even worse than that.

DHHS doctors were also quick to point out that these incidents could result in more than just a patient's death. These preventable medical mistakes can cause loss of independence or even permanent disability. Patients recovering from surgery or traumatic events can be more susceptible to permanent harm during recovery. So steps must be made to improve these facilities' care as soon as possible.

DHHS doctors warn that this level of malpractice is intolerable, and emphasize that changes must come quickly. How fast do you think rehab facilities can update their practices? Are there any other ways to speed up change? Tell us your ideas on Facebook and Twitter. And don't forget to follow our blog for more updates on staying safe at the hospital.

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