Federal Law Forces Hospitals to Pay for Patient Infections
Under Title III of the Affordable Care Act, hospitals in the United States have a responsibility to promote public health, and to “reduce necessary errors that can harm patients.” This includes preventing the spreading of infectious diseases, and preventing patients from sustaining further injuries to their health—while under the hospital’s care. Title III of the Affordable Care Act is influenced by the voluminous amount patients who have been infected by bacterial diseases while under the care of a hospital. In the Atlanta metropolitan area, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution study of federal data cited several local hospitals with high rates of bacterial infections such as Clostridium difficile, and urinary tract infections due to dirty catheters. Consequently, the Federal government enforced penalties on more twenty Atlanta hospitals in an effort to reduce the number of patient injuries, to include infections and physical injuries.
If you are an Atlanta resident and are suffering from injuries to your health following a recent hospital visit, immediately seek a medical diagnosis, and consult your attorney. According to personal injury and medical malpractice laws, hospitals can be held responsible for injuring a patient under certain circumstances—liability and damages.
When a hospital assumes the responsibility of your care, they are obligated to ensure your safety–to protect you from additional and unnecessary harm from within their facility. This means that hospitals are liable for any harm you might sustain. For hospitals, liability falls into two categories:
- Negligence: A hospital is negligent if members of the staff (i.e., doctors, nurses, and administrative personnel) fail to follow the necessary health and hygiene policies outlined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Procedures in the CDC’s National Health and Hygiene policies include hand washing, wearing protective clothing, the sterilization of routine equipment, cross-contamination, sanitation guidelines, etc.
- Malpractice: Contrary to negligence, a hospital has committed medical malpractice if a member of its staff makes a medical error causing injury to the patient. Common medical errors include misdiagnosing patients, performing services without the patient’s consent, mistakes during an invasive procedure, and prescribing patients the wrong medications. States have their own malpractice laws to litigate personal injury cases. However, in all cases, a doctor will be held liable if his or her conduct fails to meet the “standard of care” provided by other doctors under similar circumstances.
Restitution for the patients typically comes in the form on damages, or money, which are negotiated by your lawyer. When doctors commit medical malpractice or act negligently, the consequences can be enormous for the patient. For this reason, financial awards in medical malpractice and clinical negligence cases are among the highest of all United States personal injury cases. Claims for damages can include:
- Compensation for minor or major impairment;
- Decreases in earning potential;
- Emotional distress;
- Lost wages;
- Medical expenses;
- Physical pain; and
- Punitive damages.
Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are an Atlanta resident, and have suffered from injuries following a recent medical procedure or hospital visit, you need to speak with a skilled and knowledgeable personal injury or clinical negligence lawyer. Call the law firm of Ted A. Greve & Associates, P.A. today to schedule a consultation, and learn about the compensation that you deserve.