In 2016, nearly 20 percent of Medicare recipients discharged from the hospital were readmitted within 30 days. In what researchers are calling post-hospital syndrome, the stress of staying in a hospital and disruptions such as interruptions to sleep, weight loss, and physical deconditioning present an overall health at risk to seniors who may never regain their health without proper care following discharge.
When seniors emerge from hospitals, often in a weakened state, many require a continuation of enhanced care. Discharge marks the start of a 60 to 90 day period of increased health related vulnerabilities stemming from the hospitalization itself and it is vitally important that the elderly receive competent care in nursing homes, assisted living facilities or the home environment.
Researchers say hospitals can do a better job and those caring for the elderly after a hospitalization must be vigilant. Addressing issues such as awakening a patient at all hours of the night to take vitals, serving irregular meals, lack of mobility, and pain management gaps – all of which can have negative ripple effects on health – may be a good place to start. When elderly patients are discharged back to nursing homes, assisted care facilities or private homes, it is equally important to provide the correct standard of care or risk a return to the hospital.
The after effects of hospitalization can be profound, sometimes robbing a loved one of their health and independence. If your family member has been neglected in a nursing home resulting in an initial or subsequent hospitalization, it is important to seek help of an experienced nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer. Contact the Des Moines nursing home injury attorneys Hemminger Law Firm for immediate assistance at 515-283-2116.
Independent Medical Exam
When someone is injured at work, their employer may choose where the employee goes for medical attention. However, if there is a disagreement regarding the doctor’s evaluation, you, the insurance company, the state, and even the employer may request an independent medical evaluation or IME.
If your employer asks for the IME, they are responsible for medical expenses you incur including transportation to and from the exam. If you refuse to participate in an IME, you may forfeit your right to compensation under the law. If, on the other hand, you as the employee requests an IME, then you will have to cover the exam fee, but may later be able to request reimbursement from the employer if it is a compensable injury.
Independent medical exams can affect your benefits of course. An independent exam will speak to your level of impairment, whether it is temporary or permanent, and what the appropriate course of treatment is. A doctor’s opinion can be used as testimony in your case, so it can either work for you or against you.
It is important to consult an attorney if you are asked to participate in an IME following a work injury or if you are considering one because you believe you are not receiving appropriate treatment or have been misdiagnosed.
If your employer and the insurance company are requesting an IME, it can be anything but independent because they are the ones making the referrals and paying the doctors. If you are seeking an IME yourself, the doctor you select can make all the difference in your case so it is important to see one familiar with Iowa workers’ compensation law.
An experienced Iowa workers’ compensation attorney can provide you with referrals and help you prepare for your independent medical evaluation. Your attorney will ensure that the doctor has all the relevant information and documentation to present a complete picture of your condition. Because your time in front of the doctor is limited, it is critical that they understand your injury and associated impairment.
If you have been asked to have an independent medical exam or feel that you need a second opinion after seeing your employer’s doctor, contact the Iowa workers’ compensation offices of John T Hemminger first at 515-283-2116. We have helped many Iowa workers get the medical treatment and compensation they need to recover and we welcome the opportunity to assist you too.
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