COVID-19 Liability Defense Preparedness For Senior Living Partners
Med Law Advisory Partners, under the leadership of Alicia Davis, RN, LNCC, has announced the formalization of a new program, COVID-19 Liability Defense Preparedness for Senior Living Partners.
With the outbreak of COVID-19 in senior living facilities, some insurers have already seen over 200 individual COVID-19 claims.
COVID-19 Clinical Responsiveness Audit
Med Law Advisory Partners assessments include a targeted review of medical records and risk evaluation before mitigation plans and course correction strategies are implemented. Our Legal Nurse Consultants are experts in medical-related litigation and possess unique understanding of complex healthcare issues and records.
“Many of our long-term care and senior living partners are deeply impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19,” says Alicia Davis, RN, LNCC, President and CEO of Med Law Advisory Partners. “Our goal is to help them implement procedures to mitigate the risk of liability claims and provide tactical strategy and litigation assistance in the face of COVID-19 related lawsuits.”
The Med Law Process
- Audit: comprehensive data gathering and reporting
- Evaluate risk: evaluate level of exposure
- Develop CAP: define tactical priorities and mitigation plan
- Course correct: implement strategy and educate
Medical Record Audit Components
- Resident and family education on COVID-19 symptoms and infection prevention and control
- Ongoing resident and family communication
- Physician and staff coordination of care
- Clinical signs and symptoms monitoring (emotional, psychosocial and physical)
- Implementation of transmission-based precautions
- Measures to triage, detect and isolate potential cases
- Diagnostic and COVID-19 testing
- Symptoms and outcomes tracking
Why Being Prepared Matters
Senior living partners must engage in proactive risk mitigation and have access to resources for claims defense when necessary. Med Law Advisory Partners is working diligently to help our long-term care partners mitigate risk and systematically respond to COVID-19 related claims.
- As of August 13, 2020, 40% COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes. Senior living community members and long-term care patients are at a heightened-risk due to complications due to COVID-19.
- Liability protections unproven, may exclude aging services. Aging services, such as long-term care facilities and senior living communities, may be excluded from liability protections and waivers that have shielded them from litigation in the past.
- Plaintiffs circumventing immunity through sensational claims. For many healthcare providers across the country, the fear of liability is limited. However, this typically is not the case for long term care or senior living providers. These facilities are providing services to their residents in good faith on the frontline of the pandemic with a looming risk of being excluded from state immunity protections. Further, gross negligence cases, highlighting “profits over patients,” may be filed in an attempt to circumvent any liability immunity protections in place.
- Immediate Jeopardies [IJ] deficiencies numbers rising. CMS is enhancing penalties for noncompliance to increase facility accountability and consequences for noncompliance, which are “more significant for nursing homes with a history of past infection control deficiencies, or that cause actual harm to residents or Immediate Jeopardy.” A notable case in Charlotte, North Carolina, demonstrates these increasing penalties.
- Best defense is a good offense. Proactive preparation is necessary to ensure compliance and strategy in response to potential COVID-19 related claims. This includes understanding defensive record-keeping practices and response procedures from a claim’s perspective.
- Validate monitoring, rapid ID and management of new cases. Allegations of negligence related to COVID-19 in long term care facilities may range from patient care and wrongful death to workers compensation. Documentation must reflect compliance with evolving policy, procedure and regulation.
- Mitigate future risk through staff training in defensive record-keeping. Improper defensive record-keeping practices can increase a facility’s risk of litigation.
About Med Law Advisory Partners
With more than 18 years of experience in the senior living space, we are working diligently to help our long-term care partners mitigate risk and systematically respond to COVID-19 related claims. While unprecedented, we possess transferable skill sets for COVID-19 litigation to help clients create both proactive mitigation plans and reactive strategies to respond to claims.
“With over 18 years in the senior living space, Med Law is solidifying a program around our everyday work,” says Alicia. “We are simply pivoting resources along with our clients to the COVID-19 space out of necessity.”
Covid-19 Liability Defense Preparedness for Senior Living Partners
The outbreak of COVID-19 in senior living facilities has already seen hundreds of individual COVID-19 claims. Senior living entities must be proactive in COVID-19 liability defense and reactive when necessary. Med Law Advisory Partners are shifting resources to the COVID-19 liability space to help our long-term care partners respond to these unprecedented times. With over 18 years of experience in the senior living space, we have expertise to handle this new challenge with our partners. Read our recent COVID-19 case studies.
Founded by Alicia Davis, RN, LNCC, Med Law Advisory Partners (and former ALN Consulting) provides resources and expertise in the areas of safe opioid prescribing, medical malpractice and post-acute care litigation, including COVID-19 claims. Alicia and her team have worked with government entities, healthcare systems, insurers and senior-living operators for nearly 20 years, helping mitigate risk and manage medical-legal and healthcare fraud claims.