Nursing homes are residential care facilities, certified to participate in Medicare, that provide continuous live-in care for elderly and infirm residents. Nursing homes are also known as SKILLED NURSING FACILITIES (SNFs) because they are staffed with nurses who monitor residents and attend to their needs. In this regard, nursing homes differ from group homes, board and care homes, assisted living facilities, and other residential treatment facilities that may have trained caregivers in the absence of registered nurses. In addition to registered nurses (RNs) and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), many nursing homes have attending physicians (typically Geriatric Medicine, Internal Medicine, or Family Medicine) who supervise patient care. The physician may also act as an administrator, though most Nursing Home Administrators and Executive Directors are not healthcare providers.
Nursing home litigation commonly involves two categories: 1.) Medical Negligence and 2.) Elder Abuse/Neglect.
Allegations of medical negligence typically involve falls, medication errors, complex infections, and pressure wounds (bedsores). The exploration of these issues may require SNF nurses on standard of care and physicians from various specialties (e.g. Orthopedics, Wound Care, Infectious Disease) on causation. Skilled Nursing Home Administrative experts may be required to address credentialing, staffing, and compliance.
There are numerous state and federal laws to protect the elderly from neglect, physical abuse, sexual attacks, and financial exploitation. Such allegations may be independent of medical negligence claims, or they may dovetail when medical problems like fractures and bedsores occur under suspicious circumstances.
Given the diverse issues and medical specialties involved in Skilled Nursing Facility negligence and elder abuse cases, expert witnesses may include SNF Nurses, Nurse Assistants, and nearly every medical and surgical specialty. For issues of causation, leading university experts in Geriatrics, Infectious Disease, Wound Care, Orthopedics, Neurology, and Psychiatry are mission-critical.