COVID lawsuit bounced back to state court

covid lawsuit bounced back to state court - excelas medical legal solutions
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Providers claim compliance with PREP Act

The covid lawsuit bounced back to state courts is a wrongful death lawsuit involving two nursing homes in New Jersey, where residents’ families accused the providers of acting negligently in their handling of the pandemic and causing patients’ COVID-19 deaths.

The PREP Act provides immunity from liability under state and federal law to a “covered person” for losses related to the use of “countermeasures” during a declared public health emergency. The decision to return the case to the state court means that providers now run the risk of more inconsistent application of immunity provisions if cases are left to state courts.


Differentiating COVID wounds from pressure wounds

Mary Foote, RN, MSN, ANP, CWCN-AP, ED.Dc. and Tammera Banasek of HeplerBroom LLC, at the September DRI Senior Living and Long Term Care Litigation Seminar in Las Vegas, presented excellent clinical insights to differentiating and properly identifying wounds, and essential analytical tools to support the defense of claims in litigation.

A pressure injury may be a result of prolonged pressure, or a combination of pressure and shear, over a bony prominence. These wounds are influenced by the stability of the resident’s underlying co-morbid conditions.

Patients with COVID-19 or other critical illness are at risk for developing wounds related to an underlying uncontrollable inflammatory response, poor perfusion, and tissue hypoxia. Injuries due to multi-organ dysfunction cannot overcome reasonable efforts at prevention, and may not appear for 2-3 weeks, possibly after the patient has transferred to a long-term care setting.

The importance of medical record documentation to support severity stratification of wounds, risk status, and unavoidable skin failure is key.


Appellate court sides with assisted living provider, sends resident complaint to arbitration

Last week, The Florida Second District Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s ruling and ordered a former resident and her daughter to resolve their negligence and breach of contract complaint against a Florida healthcare Center through arbitration.

Arbitration agreements are part of the Consent section of the medical record and are included in the organized, Bates stamped medical record produced by Excelas, LLC. The arbitration and mediation agreement can be critical in cases headed to court.

Excelas is a national provider of medical record organization, retrieval and analysis helping skilled nursing organizations reduce risk exposures associated with gaps in record keeping, which could affect audit scores, reduce defense costs, and shorten the claims lifecycle.

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