The fear of malpractice is one reason why fewer doctors are taking nursing home patients

“Doctors who treat nursing home patients also face the risk of a suit alleging ‘elder abuse.’ If the patient’s in pain, for example, a doctor who’s overly cautious or overly generous about prescribing pain medication could be charged with elder abuse. ‘Every day,’ says Reznick, ‘we see newspaper or TV ads by plaintiffs’ attorneys seeking cases of nursing home neglect or abuse.’

Compared to malpractice suits, elder abuse claims can present greater legal dangers: While state laws vary, such claims may not be limited by caps on non-economic damages; they’re more likely to result in punitive damages; and, worst of all, they may not be covered by your malpractice policy.”

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  • Anonymous

    That’s why I turn them away.

    Not theoretical. I have done precisely that, more than once, and have ended up in some heated arguments with family members over my refusal.

    I tell them precisely why I will not treat their mother or grandmother in the nursing home. They would rather SUE doctors than HAVE doctors, and I will let them have their wish.

    The only difference. I used to feel sorry about it. After listening to the smarmy remarks by some trial attorneys…..if you want an example just read this blog…..I am no longer sorry when I turn them away.

  • Curious JD

    Anonymous,

    You would do well to educate yourself on the subject you have such strong, and silly, feelings about.

    Here’s an excellent article from law.com via Symtym which might point you in the right direction:

    http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1115197516213

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the joke.

    I’ll remember it the next time someone asks me to manage their family member in a nursing home.

  • Curious JD

    Yes, education is such a joke. Spouting off uninformed opinions at the top of your lungs is the real form of discourse these days. Thank you Ann Coulter, thank you Michael Moore.

  • Anonymous

    I rarely see nursing home patients because nursing home care sucks. That’s the reality. There are a few decent nursing homes out there, but the rest… I would sue some of the children who let their parents spend the last years of life in such a place. Many of them could make some accommodations in their life but won’t. When I’m in a dark mood I look at my children and tell them that if I treat them right now, I hope they’ll find a nice nursing home for us when we get old.