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Four Baton Rouge Hospitals Penalized for High Infection Rates

Four Baton Rouge hospitals are being penalized by Medicare as part of a nationwide crackdown on hospital acquired infections (HACs). The penalty will be a cut to payments from Medicare by one percent.

The hospitals facing the punishment in Baton Rouge are: Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Surgical Specialty Center of Baton Rouge, Lane Regional Medical Center and St. Elizabeth Hospital. An additional 16 hospitals in Louisiana, including six in New Orleans, were cited for having high rates of infections that could have been avoided.

Hospital Acquired Conditions

Last year, Medicare announced it would be penalizing 721 hospitals who failed to address issues that can lead to HACs. These conditions include infections of the blood stream, urinary tract infections, and serious injuries such as blood clots, bed sores and fall-related injuries.

In the legal world, these types of problems fall under medical malpractice. When patients go to a hospital to get treated for an illness or injury, they don't expect to come out in worse condition than when they went in. Unfortunately, it happens all too often.

Many of these HACs are a result of error, carelessness or negligence on the part of the medical staff or hospital administrators.

Researches have recommended a number of simple procedures to help reduce hospital errors, such as better hand hygiene, procedural checklists and requiring physicians to enter orders into a computer instead of handwriting them. Still, many hospitals fail to implement these common sense procedures.

Hospitals who fail in their duty to provide a safe, clean and hygienic environment for their patients should be held accountable. The Medicare penalty is a nudge from the government, but the patients who have already been infected should receive restitution as well.

If you or a loved one has suffered unnecessarily due to hospital negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced Baton Rouge medical malpratice lawyers at Simien & Simien for a free consultation today. We will fight to get you justice.

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