Fall Prevention and Liability in Skilled Nursing Facilities

AGG Healthcare of counsel Alan C. Horowitz authored an article titled “Fall Prevention and Liability in Skilled Nursing Facilities” for the March 2024 issue of Caring for the Ages, a publication by AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care.

In the article, Alan shares that falls are the leading cause of injuries among nursing home residents. Despite a facility’s best efforts, not all falls can be prevented. However, for those falls that can be avoided — in addition to the harm to a resident — there is the risk of an “immediate jeopardy” deficiency during a survey, or a plaintiff’s negligence or even wrongful death lawsuit.

To illustrate the importance of taking a multidisciplinary team approach to prevent avoidable falls, Alan details the case of Autumn Care of Norfolk v. CMS and lessons learned.

Some best practices that facilities can employ to prevent falls include:

  • Develop and implement comprehensive fall prevention policies and procedures and revise as needed.
  • Have an accurate fall risk assessment at admission and update as appropriate
  • Engage physical/occupational therapy for consultation and treatment where gait strengthening and balance training may be appropriate

To read the full article, please click here.