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October 2016 Archives

Rules change on filing lawsuits for nursing home abuse

North Carolina residents who have a loved one in a nursing home may also be able to file a lawsuit against the facility they believe has been neglecting or abusing the patient. A ruling from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is now in place that will allow this, although it is expected that it will be challenged. In the past, nursing home contracts contained an arbitration clause that made it impossible for families to sue. This meant that even if an arbitrator ruled against the nursing home, it never became public knowledge.

Traffic accident deaths up sharply again

North Carolina motorists may have noticed that the roads have become far busier in recent years. American drivers covered 50.5 billion more miles between January and June 2016 than they did during the first six months of 2015, and this increased traffic congestion contributed to a 10 percent surge in accident fatalities according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the equivalent period in 2015. A NHTSA report released on Oct. 5 revealed that 17,775 people died in motor vehicle accidents during the first half of the year, which puts 2016 on pace to be the deadliest year on the nation's roads in five decades.

How peer pressure could impact North Carolina patients

While it is impossible to know how often a doctor will lie to protect a colleague, there is evidence to suggest it does happen. Studies have shown that medical professionals don't like telling patients if a mistake occurs while health care providers are unlikely to speak up if something seems out of place. According to statements given to ProPublica, medical professionals fear retaliation if safety issues are made public.

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