Medicine & the Law - LawCall

If you have to place a loved one into a nursing home, then you know how difficult that can be. There are many decisions to be made, and many worries to be had. Nursing homes are notorious for having reputations that are less than stellar when it comes to patient care.

 One of the first things you should look for when signing an agreement to admit a loved one is something called an arbitration agreement. Put simply, an arbitration agreement is a written contract in which two or more parties agree to settle a dispute outside of court.

 In other words, if you sign paperwork while admitting your loved one into a nursing home, or with any health care provider, such as home health workers, and there is an arbitration clause, you are giving up your right to have any disagreement with that company handled in court.

 The nursing home will have all the power in such a dispute, and they know this which is why they include such agreements in their contracts. It is highly recommended that before you sign this type of contract with a health care company, you first consult your own attorney.

 Most nursing homes are owned by for-profit companies, and under-staffing can be a huge issue. This, and hiring less experienced care givers are ways that these companies save money. Your loved one may pay the ultimate price for this and receive less than acceptable standard care.

 When you are taking your loved one to a nursing home, try to find out as much as you can about the staffing situation. Nursing homes are many times under-staffed, and your loved ones will not get the care they need.

 In Alabama, nursing home cases are considered medical malpractice. What you will have to prove is that the facility, doctor, nurse or caregiver violated the standard of care. In other words, they did something that no similarly situated medical provider would have done in the national medical community.

 If you have questions about nursing home issues, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.

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