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Week in Review

by Kroger Burrus on July 30th, 2013

Kroger | Burrus Week in Review


Select Specialty Hospital Houston – West v. Simmons
The survivors of a patient at a long-term care facility filed suit alleging that nurses did not change his dressings or reposition him enough to prevent ulcers. The clinic argued that an obstetrics nurse and a pediatrician were not qualified to opine on the care of a critically ill, elderly patient. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss. A Houston appellate court found the experts were qualified, noting the nurse’s experience with pressure ulcers and that the pediatrician had treated critically ill children at risk for developing ulcers. The court also found the reports adequately described the experts’ belief that the nurses did not change the patient’s dressings or reposition him as frequently as necessary.


Most Doctors, Nurses, Midwives Report Observing Risky Shortcuts
Most doctors, nurses, and midwives who help deliver babies have observed colleagues taking dangerous shortcuts, such as not washing hands or failing to change gloves, according to a recent survey. More than 90% of respondents reported observing problems, while fewer than 15% directly confronted their colleague about their concerns.

Sheriff Takes Control of Central Texas Hospital
In a rare move, the Milam County Sheriff Department has ceased control of Central Texas Hospital in Cameron, pursuant to a court order intended to prevent the facility’s owner from altering, hiding, or destroying records and other property. The sheriff’s department closed the hospital’s main operations, while the ER remains open.

Feds Ban Certain Medicare and Medicaid Providers
As part of a crackdown on fraud, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid has imposed a moratorium on new providers entering the program in certain cities where scams have been prevalent. The ban, which restricts new providers from joining the program for six months, does not apply to existing providers.

Tennessee Victims in Meningitis Outbreak Win Right to Pursue Product Liability Claims
A US Bankruptcy Judge has declared the company believed responsible for a massive meningitis outbreak insolvent, paving the way for litigants in Tennessee to begin pursuing product-liability claims against medical providers and other sellers of the tainted product suspected to be responsible for hundreds of infections.

Justice Department Sues Florida Over Treatment of Disabled Children
The US Department of Justice has filed suit against Florida, alleging that it failed to provide adequate care to disabled children by unnecessarily segregating them in nursing homes for long-term care. The lawsuit claims that almost 200 disabled children in the state could have been cared for at home or in other community-based settings, but the state has failed to provide access to the necessary services to make this possible.

Parents Turn to Retail Clinics for Pediatric Care
A quarter of parents surveyed report having used a retail clinic, such as Walgreens or CVS, to obtain medical treatment for their children. Half the parents who have used retail clinics for pediatric care did so more than once in the past year. Respondents noted they chose to use these clinics because of the convenient hours, lack of pediatrician availability, and a belief that the medical problem at issue was not severe enough to visit a pediatrician.

States Closing High-Risk Health Insurance Pools
More than a dozen state programs that offer health insurance to individuals with conditions that discourage private insurers from offering coverage will be shuttered in 2014 in response to provisions in the federal health law that require guaranteed coverage for certain conditions. More than 220,000 people are enrolled in 35 high-risk plans throughout the country, but even if their plans are discontinued some are optimistic they may be able to find more affordable coverage through online health exchanges set to open in October.

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