What are Hospital-Acquired Conditions?

 In Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury

Medical malpractice can occur due to a variety of causes including carelessness, negligence, or in some situations, hospital-acquired conditions. When patients who are in the hospital contract a medical condition because of their exposure to the hospital environment, they are victims of medical malpractice. Like any other cause of medical malpractice, hospital-acquired conditions frequently result in the malpractice victim facing a variety of obstacles including large medical bills and lost wages. While a patient might be hospitalized and hoping to quickly recover from an ailment or injury, hospital-acquired conditions usually result in a person facing a prolonged recovery.

The List of Hospital-Acquired Conditions

In 2005, Congress passed the Deficit Reduction Act which required the Secretary of Health and Human Services to list medical conditions that were expensive to treat, occurred frequently, and were preventable through the use of reasonable care. Later in 2008, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services created a list of 10 conditions that match this description. In 2013, these 10 conditions were expanded to 14. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services created this list of hospital-acquired conditions to reduce the rate at which at which these conditions are occurring as well as to penalize hospitals that are poorly operated. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid classify hospitals according to the rates at which these conditions occur. While hospitals with a high number of acquired conditions receive less Medicare and Medicaid funding, hospitals with a lower number of hospital-acquired conditions, however, receive full compensation for these injuries.

How They are Documented

After a patient’s medical condition is recorded, it is categorized by hospital staff as either “Present on Admission” or not. If a diagnosis is recorded as not Present on Admission, a person’s condition might be demoted. Many hospital-acquired conditions are demoted if they are not Present on Admission.

Types of Hospital-Acquired Conditions

The 14 types of conditions include the following:

  • Air Embolisms
  • Blood Incompatibility
  • Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis, Pulmonary Embolism Following Certain Orthopedic Procedures including Hip Replacement and Total Knee Replacement
  • Foreign Objects Retained After Surgery
  • Falls and Trauma which can include burns, crushing injuries, dislocations, fractures, intracranial injuries, and other injuries
  • Iatrogenic Pneumothorax with Venous Catheterization.
  • Manifestations of Poor Glycemic Control including diabetic ketoacidosis, hypoglycemic comas, nonketotic hyperosmolar comas, secondary diabetes with hyperosmolarity, and secondary diabetes with ketoacidosis.
  • Stage III and IV Pressure Ulcers
  • Surgical Site Infection Following Bariatric Surgery for Obesity including gastroenterostomy, laparoscopic gastric bypass, and laparoscopic gastric restrictive surgery.
  • Surgical Site Infections Following Cardiac Implantable Electronic Device
  • Surgical Site Infections Following Certain Orthopedic Procedures including elbow, neck, shoulder, and spine.
  • Surgical Site Infections, Mediastinitis, Following Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
  • Vascular Catheter-Associated Infections

Speak with a Knowledgeable Malpractice Attorney

If you or a loved one suffers from a hospital-acquired condition, consider contacting a medical malpractice lawyer. Contact our legal counsel today for a free case evaluation to begin taking steps to make sure that you obtain the compensation that you deserve. The legal counsel at The Ferrara Law Firm understands how to help individuals proceed with cases involving these scenarios. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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