Newsletter Archive

2016 LHA Trust Funds Newsletters

Claims and Risk Newsletter

September 2016: Consequences of Poor Communication in a Clinical Setting: Poor communication is cited as a root cause in a majority of sentenel events. This month we present three situations where ineffective communication could facilitate a negative outcome.

August 2016: Communication Between Contracted ED Physicians and Specialty Department Consultations: Our claim this month is related to physician practice/physician decisions and an emergency room physician who did not follow medical staff policies related to consultant requests. It is important to recognize the role and responsibilities of the clinical staff whose sound critical thinking could have affected the outcome of this event.

July 2016: Preventing Infection and Exposure in the Ambulatory Surgery Setting: The facility is responsible for incorporating a process to prevent errors related to sterilization of equipment due to the sequence of events. It is incumbent upon the facility to ensure that there is a clear distinction between the clean and the sterile room and associated carts to prevent a clean package being placed on a sterile cart.

June 2016: Equipment Failure in Surgery: When reporting a medical malpractice claim that involved equipment failure, hospitals are advised to sequester any/all equipment that is either directly involved or considered to be a possible factor in patient injuries.

May 2016: Medical Staff and Hospital By-Laws: Every hospital has a set of by-laws that are approved by the Governing Body that its medical staff must operate under. But what happens when an on-call physician doesn’t follow one of these by-laws. Hospitals act through their staff physicians (even if they are not direct employees) and regulate those physician’s behavior relative to emergency services. Therefore, the hospital is responsible for any dereliction by the physician.

April 2016: Communications with Injured Patients: Patients who experience an adverse outcome during their hospitalization often expect the organization to acknowledge the event with honesty, and sometimes an apology, even if the patient does not submit an actual grievance (by definition. While supporting a culture of safety and the obligation to uphold a patient’s right to be include and informed regarding their care, disclosure can improve the patient/provider relationship as well as enhance patient care through the identification of process errors.

March 2016: When Medical Equipment Fails: Advances in medical devices and equipment improve the care of patients dramatically. Often, it is so integrated into providing routine care that we forget that these are pieces of equipment that while not often; they can fail. In recent months, we have handled cases involving such incidents. When it comes to medical equipment and device incidents, early response and intervention is key. this practice help us to preserve any evidence for possible defense and allows us to develop strategy to minimize claim settlement value and provide direction regarding appropriate response and prevention of similar incidents in the future.

February 2016: Retention of a Surgical Item: Retention of a surgical item (RSI) is a preventable event that can result in patient injury. In this case, it is apparent that the hospital policy related to RSIs was followed. It is crucial that changes in behavior and organizational culture occur to reduce risks related to retained surgical items because the entire surgical team can be held legally responsible for RSIs..

January 2016: Lack of Informed Consent: Despite all the work that has been done to improve the informed consent process over the years, the lack of informed consent continues to be a frequent focus of professional liability claims. The importance of documentation of the informed consent process cannot be underestimated. It is a process that contains a huge component of communication between the healthcare provider and the patients. The documentation serves as a way of memorializing the substance of the informed consent process.


September 2016: eNSIGHTS at a Glance: Cardiac Care, Orthopedics: More Bundled Payments in 2017, New Ratings for Hospitals, Johns Hopkins Redesigning ICU, Good News Surprises Medical Experts.

July 2016: eNSIGHTS at a Glance: Antibiotics: One in Three Prescriptions Unnecessary, AMA Calls Digital Apps Snake Oil, Online Tools Broadening Healthcare, ER Death Rates Drops 50%.

May 2016: eNSIGHTS at a Glance: Ransomware: Hackers Hit Several Hospitals, New Warnings About Opioids, Expanding Definition of Healthcare, EEOC Sues Hospital Over Vaccination Policy.

March 2016: eNSIGHTS at a Glance: Sued Physicians: Just 1% Account for 33% of Claims, Surge in CT Scans for Minor Injuries, Drug Shortages: Prices Bedevil Hospitals, Hospitals Should Be Wary of Calling Cell Phones.

January 2016: eNSIGHTS at a Glance: Gaps in Data Affect Hospital Payments, ICD-10: Much Ado Over Nothing, Jump in Prescription Drug Use, Cybersecurity Task Force for Healthcare.


Physicians Quarterly

July 2015: Five Areas of Concern for Malpractice Claims: Recent statistics from The Physicians Insurers Association of America (PIAA) indicates that a “loss” or “indemnity” payment is only made in about 30% of medical malpractice claims. This means a significant percentage of money paid out on professional liability claims goes to legal defense costs only. Medical Economics recently looked into the primary causes for both claims in general and loss payment in particular: faulty communication, lack of informed consent, failure to stay up-to-date on standards and training, inadequate follow-up of diagnostic tests and specialist referral, and variations in policies and procedures. 

March 2015:Physicians Liability in Louisiana 2015: Three Cases – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. We take a look at three liability cases in Louisiana from the past year and analyze each case.


General Liability Newsletter

September 2016: Environmental Risks and Hazards – Let’s face it. Environmental risks are all around us. Unknowingly, we traverse these potential pitfalls several times daily without incident; on public sidewalks, in parks, supermarkets, hotels…and hospitals. When someone does sustain an injury from one of these hazards is some person or entity always financially responsible? The answer from both state and federal courts is a resounding “NO.” 

July 2016: Third-Party GL Claims Resulting From Direct Patient Care – We know that a failure of a healthcare provider to exercise the appropriate standard of care in treatment of a patient that results in injury or death to the patient clearly falls within the realm of medical malpractice. But what happens when a failure to provide proper care to a patient results in the patient injuring a third-party? In Louisiana, would that claim be subject to the terms of the medical malpractice statute; a “cap” on damages and review by a medical review panel. 

June 2016: Statewide Hurricane Drill – Since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Louisiana hospitals have worked to prepare for hurricanes and other emergency events in order to better serve and support our communities. This year, Thibodaux Regional Medical Center enhanced its annual hurricane preparedness routine by testing its evacuation procedures as a part of the statewide 2016 Vigilant Guard Exercise. 

May 2016: Sexual Assaults in Hospitals – Unfortunately, a much more common occurrence we have been seeing nationwide the past several years goes beyond merely physical assault to the much more traumatic sexual assault. Generally, in order to show that a hospital is liable, a plaintiff will need to show that the employee, healthcare provider or patient posed a risk of danger to others, and the hospital knew about the employee’s dangerous proclivities. 

March 2016: Vicarious Liability on GL Claims – Non-“slip and fall” general liability claims occur less frequently, but many times can involve serious damages. One concept that needs to understood is that hospitals may be held vicariously liable (liable for the act of an agent) for the intentional acts of employees if the incident/harm is deemed to be so closely related to employment duties in time and place that it cannot be reasonably viewed as a purely separate and personal act. 

February 2016: Data Breaches – Data breaches continue to be on the forefront of risk awareness in the healthcare community. The cyberattack on Indianapolis-based Anthem, reported in February 2015, was the biggest healthcare data breach to date, affecting 78.8 million individuals. The information services group Experian reports the number of data breaches it has serviced has increased between 15 and 18 percent each year over the last three years. Forty-six percent of incidences Experian has serviced are in the healthcare industry. 

January 2016: Welcome to the New General Liability Newsletter – For the past 24 months, this newsletter has been exclusively focused on slip, trip and fall prevention. Over the years, we have investigated claims resulting from lawnmowers throwing rocks, doors falling on visitors, elevator doors closing too quickly, falling light fixtures, malfunctioning automatic doors, cabinets falling from wall-hangers, and chairs collapsing. The future editions of our General Liability Newsletter will address many of these risk and exposure factors.


Workers' Compensation Newsletter

September 2016: Workers’ Compensation Symposium – We invite and encourage you to join us for our annual Workers’ Compensation Symposium. The event will consist of six educational sessions beginning with a keynote-style address entitled “Claimants are People Too” presented by Mark Pew, national speaker and Senior Vice President of PRIUM. Christi Kingsley, VP of Human Resources and Organizational Development at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital will give a presentation entitled “One Facility’s Story of a Safety Transformation,” where she will discuss the evolution and success of their hospital safety program. Ending the symposium will be a presentation on “Active Shooter in a Healthcare Facility,” presented by Major (Ret.) Najolia, Retired SWAT Commander and Training Director, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.

June 2016: Violence in the Emergency Department – According to a publication from the American College of Emergency Physicians, more than 70% of emergency nurses reported physical or verbal assault by emergency patients or visitors. More than 75% of emergency physicians experienced at least one violent workplace incident in a year. This amount of violence causes a wide variety of issues, even past the obvious physical component. Other concerns include stress to the Emergency Department staff and patients, increased difficulty recruiting and retaining personnel as well as decreased quality of care from a distracted staff.

May 2016: Active Shooter: Awareness and Response – While active shooter incidents are on the forefront of public awareness due to the 24-hour media cycle, the actual statistics do bear out that the trend is on the upswing. The FBI reports that all active shooter incidents increased from an average of 6.4 per year between 2000 and 2006 to 16.4 per year from 2007 to 2013. In fact, the next active shooter incident is already being planned and final preparations may be underway at this time. 

April 2016: Opioids and Chronic Pain – Chronic pain is the most debilitating condition in workers’ compensation, as well as the most costly from a financial standpoint for employers and insurers. While chronic pain is not precisely defined, it is generally regarded as pain that persists or progresses over a long period of time, in contrast to acute pain that arises suddenly. Unlike acute pain, chronic pain persists and is often resistant to medical treatment.

March 2016: Workplace Accidents: Breaking the Chain of Events– An accident can be described as an unexpected event that causes unintentional injury. While many factors must be present for an accident to occur, all accidents are caused. They may be the result of human error, involve an unsafe behavior or unsafe condition, or a combination of all. A noted pioneer in industrial safety, H.W. Heinrich developed a theory of accident causation in 1931 that states that the occurrence of an injury invariably results from a fixed and predictable sequence of events, with only the last one being the accident itself. If one event in this sequence is removed, the necessary sequence is broken and the injury is likely avoided. 

February 2016: Risk Management & Loss Prevention – LHA Trust Funds have the tools to help you focus on loss prevention strategies like hazard identification risk assessments, employee education and training. We look forward to being a continued risk management partner. Together we can ensure that your employees have a safe work environment for their protection and yours. 

January 2016: Happy New Year – In the spirit of the New Year, we would like to reintroduce a value added, no cost online safety training platform, Aurora Pictures. The training is offered at no cost to LHA Trust Fund members. We are proud to continue to provide our members complimentary access to the latest with Aurora Pictures to provide our members with on-demand access to over 220 safety, human resource and healthcare training topics, as a compliment to the comprehensive risk management and loss prevention services we provide for our members.


Workers' Compensation Claims and Conclusions

June 2016: The Aging Workforce – “The Aging Workforce” terminology has been a common theme in recent years. There are several reasons for the tag line, including economic recession, younger adults obtaining more advanced degrees and staying in school and increases in retirement requiring the older members of the workforce to stay employed. In an effort to keep workers’ compensation costs reasonable, employers are finding their workforce to be in need of special needs as far as physical requirements are concerned.

March 2016: Factual Frustrations – While the goal of workers’ compensation is to provide necessary medical care to an injured worker and return him/her to gainful employment, we often find situations in which settlement of a claim is the only course of action to close out any potential future exposure. Many factors are considered in order to reach an amicable resolution with all parties concerned. Some factors are not easy to digest, yet must be taken into consideration to provide a lower claim cost, which in turn reduces the experience rating on premiums.



2015 LHA Trust Funds Newsletters

Claims and Risk Newsletter

December 2015: Transfers of patients to and from healthcare facilities often present significant risks related to “failure to communicate.” It is vital that hospitals include policies, forms and processes for transfer in the education process for nurses, physicians and anyone on the healthcare team who has the responsibility to document or communicate pertinent information for the transfer. The responsibility of ensuring complete and accurate documentation for the transfer of a patient to the next level of care rests with the hospital.

November 2015: Venipuncture is one of the most frequently performed procedures in healthcare. Along with thrombophlebitis and accidental arterial puncture, nerve injury is one of the more common injuries associated with venipuncture. Nerve injury can range from temporary to permanent. Although the injury might often not manifest until several hours after the actual venipuncture, in this claim the potential injury was noted immediately when the patient began complaining of burning and numbness. 

October 2015: Corneal abrasions are one of the most common peri-operative injuries. Although not necessarily a high value claim, they cause significant patient dissatisfaction due to the pain, which many patients describe as worse than the pain from their surgical site.

September 2015: This month’s Claims & Risk Newsletter is related to a specimen from a biopsy was lost on its way to the lab and was unable to be tested. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon occurrence so we review best practices for the transportation of specimen to the lab.

August 2015: This month’s Claims & Risk Newsletter is related to a suicide at a facility’s geri-psych unit and how your facility can take proactive steps to prevent negative outcomes, like this one, from occurring.

July 2015: This month’s Claims and Risk Newsletter is related to the process of medication reconciliation and the importance of having an effective process in place at your facility. This should begin upon admission and occur anytime a patient is transitioned to another level of care or discharged. Click here to download

June 2015: Elopement risk is a common issue in today’s emergency rooms. The claims we are looking at this month relates to a student at a local high school, who on the day of the incident was acting bizarre and somewhat aggressive. After being admitted to a nearby hospital, he bolted from the ER and attempted to swim across a pond and drowned. The most obvious risk-related factor in incidents of this nature pertains to patient assessment, timeliness of communication between caregivers and need for specific education regarding both. Click here to download

May 2015: Sometimes it is necessary to have a member of your nursing staff ride along with a patient while being transported via ambulance. As a general rule, nursing staff should not ride along in the ambulance since it raises a significant liability for the hospital; however, it is understandable that occasions can arise where the pros outweigh the cons when the outcome of the patient is at stake. We present risk reduction points to consider as well as the best way to educate your nursing staff for when instances when they will have to ride along with a patient in an ambulance. Click here to download

April 2015: Claims involving agency nurses are often complicated. This month we discuss agency nurses and how the hospital is responsible in claims involving agency nurses. Also, we review what the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals licensing standards have to say about the hospital’s responsibilities. Click here to download

March 2015: This month’s Claims & Risk Newsletter highlights Immediate Use Steam Sterilization (IUSS) method and how to use it properly. This method of sterilization is meant to be used in the event that an instrument needs quick cleaning because it is needed immediately and a sterile replacement is not available. Click here to download

February 2015: Preventing patient falls is at the top of the list for every caregiver. National statistics tell us more than 1 million patient falls occur annually and approximately 30% of those falls result in some type of injury and 10% result in serious injuries. Click here to download

January 2015: This month’s Claims and Risk Newsletter highlights the need for testing of competence of nurse’s skills, including those that are rarely used. Click here to download



November 2015: eNSIGHTS at a Glance: HIgh Rate of Errors in U.S. Health Care, Cardiac Procedures: Hospitals Fined $250 Million, U.S. Urges Major Shift in Managing Hypertension, and Building Boom in Cancer Centers.

September 2015: eNSIGHTS at a Glance: Remarkable Gains for Medicare Patients, Widespread Cyber-Attacks in Health Care, Financial Risk for Hip, Knee Surgeries and Tough Warnings on Analgesics.

July 2015: eNSIGHTS at a Glance: OSHA Expands Enforcement, Quality of Health Data Questioned, CMS Will Cut Providers Slack on ICD-10 and New Class of Heart Drugs Approved.

May 2015: eNSIGHTS at a Glance: High Drug Costs are Here to Stay, Worker Injuries to be Made Public, Robots Doing the Heavy Lifting and Hospitalized at Home.

March 2015: eNSIGHTS at a Glance: Obamacare Hangs in the Balance, Mixing Alcohol and Medications, Massive Data Breach at Anthem and Hospital Ratings Don’t Make Sense.

January 2015: eNSIGHTS at a Glance: Broad Implications from Sony’s Plight, The Promise of Mobile Stroke Units, IRS Final Billing, Collections Guide and Severe Flu Anticipated.


General Liability Newsletter

December 2015:  Floor Cleaning and Matting, Part Two – Facilities should use the highest quality rubber-backed mats possible and those certified “High Traction” by the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) to prevent buckling and ripping. Instituting proper cleaning procedures, mat programs and chemical use training will help reduce or eliminate slips and falls in a healthcare facility.

November 2015:  Floor Cleaning and Matting, Part One – Proper floor cleaning techniques are key to fall prevention. Keeping patients, visitors and staff on their feet is a top priority in any healthcare facility. Unfortunately, many healthcare providers often fail to consider the environmental components in their facility and only consider a person’ psychological factors. This attitude ignores the one environmental component that all employees, patients and visitors alike come into contact with: the floor.  

October 2015:  Identifying Hazards – The same slip, trip and fall hazards that contribute to visitor injuries create unsafe conditions resulting in employee workplace injuries. Elevated awareness along with STF accident prevention training and a well-developed systematic and routine facility-wide inspection are key for preventing slip, trip and fall accidents in your facility. Click here to download

August 2015:  Unsafe Acts, Unsafe Conditions, Lack of Focus – these are primary contributing factors when we study claims resulting from slips, trips and falls. Nearly one million people visit the emergency rooms across the U.S. yearly because of slip, trip and fall accidents. It is of utmost importance that we understand how and why slip, trip and fall accidents occur in our facilities. It is equally important that we establish prevention procedures to reduce and eliminate STFs on facility property, facility grounds and in our buildings. Click here to download

July 2015:  The leading cause of injury sustained by visitors and vendors in our member facilities is Slip, Trip and Fall. Our claims data tells us that 87% of the general liability claims in our LHATF member population during the period 2010-2014 were caused by STF accidents. Those claims accounted for 78% of total incurred dollars for general liability claims in the LHATF as a whole during the same calendar year period. There is a direct correlation of the environments related to visitor, vendor and employee injuries in healthcare facilities. The wet floor that our visitors slip on is the same wet floor that our employees slip on; the crack or fault in the parking lot pavement that causes a fall with injury to a visitor is the same cause factor that results in injury to our employees who fall in the parking lot on their way to clock-in. Click here to download

June 2015:  In order to have a comprehensive slip, trip and fall prevention program includes floor cleaning, maintenance and employee training. As important as the chemicals used to clean floors as, it is equally important to train the housekeeping staff and environmental services staff how to properly mix, use and apply the cleaning agents. Also, the facility safety management team should conduct routine inspections of parking lots, sidewalks, walkways, stairs, steps, entryways and elevators to ensure that these are free from hazards that could contribute to slips, trips and falls. In addition to being trained, housekeeping environmental services and maintenance staff should also be knowledgeable about policies and procedures related to slip, trip and fall accidents. Click here to download

May 2015:  National statistics tells us that about 14% of all losses in the insurance industry are attributable to slip, trip and fall accidents. Claims data for LHA Trust Fund members tells us that visitor slip, trip and fall accidents are number one in both frequency and severity across our membership, with the top three locations of visitors falls happening where the highest rate of pedestrian traffics occurs: the hallway/corridor, parking lot and lobby.  Click here to download

April 2015:  According to the All Injury Program, a cooperative involving the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, falls are the leading cause of nonfatal, unintentional injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms. A combination of deficiencies in housekeeping, design, lighting, visibility and attention are usually the culprits in slips, trips and falls. Click here to download

March 2015:  In March’s newsletter, we bring you part 3 of a series of recommended best practices for reducing slip, trip and fall incidents in your facility. This month, we offer a suggested Slip, Trip and Fall Prevention Campaign Calendar that you can employ at your facility. Click here to download

February 2015:  In February’s newsletter, we bring you part 2 of a series of recommended best practices for reducing slip, trip and fall incidents in your facility. This month, we review what two central Illinois hospitals achieved significant reductions in employee and visitor slips, trips and falls by employee awareness and education campaign with communication. Click here to download

January 2015: In January’s newsletter, we present part 1 of a 3-part series of recommended best practices for reducing slip, trip and fall incidents in your facility. We review what two central Illinois hospitals achieved significant reductions in employee and visitor slips, trips and falls by identifying the top causes of loss along with program development and loss prevention. Click here to download


Workers' Compensation Newsletter

December 2015: Safety Process: Proactive vs. Reactive – The Miriam-Webster dictionary defines proactive as “controlling a situation by making things happen or by preparing for future problems. Workplace safety is an important issue that is all too often taken for granted. The direct costs related to a workplace injury are easily identifiable in the form of medical bills and lost wages. However, the indirect costs related to lost productivity, hiring and training a replacement worker, decreased employee morale, time spent by administrators and supervisors on the claim, among many others, are not so easily quantifiable but are absolutely absorbed by the employer.

November 2015: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) defines workplace violence as consisting of physically and psychologically damaging actions that occur in the workplace or white on duty. Bullying is repeated, unwanted harmful actions intended to humiliate, offend and cause distress in the recipient. Bullying actions include those that harm, undermine and degrade. Actions may include, but are not limited to, hostile remarks, verbal attacks, threats, taunts, intimidation and withholding of support.  

October 2015: An Experience Modification Factor, or E-Mod, is typically seen on a workers’ compensation premium invoice but is sometimes misunderstood. The E-Mod is one factor that can be controlled and reduced without a reduction in staffing levels. Learn how you can be a savvy employer and utilize several methods to drive down the E-Mod and ultimately your insurance premiums.

September 2015: We have all heard of “Best Practices” on numerous occasions. The business world defined, “Best Practices” as: Commercial or professional procedures that are accepted or prescribed as being correct or most effective. Prompt and efficient reporting of all insurance claims is an integral component of Risk Management Best Practices. Failure to properly and promptly report claims typically contributes to a negative claim outcome.

August 2015: If you’re a nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist or other healthcare worker who provides direct patient care, y ou should take a closer look at how body mechanics can help minimize and prevent back injury when transferring, moving or handling patients. The number one cause of workers’ compensation claims in the healthcare industry on a national level as well as among the LHAWC Fund members is overexertion of the body. Most of these injuries come from patient lifting and transferring.

July 2015: Effective Emergency Disaster Action Plans – Are you prepared for an emergency of disaster to strike your hospital? Don’t think it cannot happen to you…it can. Whether it be a weather-related disaster, a violent situation, an active shooter, mass casualty, security breach, bomb threat, hazardous spill or medical emergency, it is vital that your facility and employees are ready and act according to the facility’s emergency disaster action plans. Click here to download

June 2015: Sizzling Summer Heat – Heat-related illnesses kills more people yearly in the United States than tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and lightning combined. If ignored, high temperatures and high humidity combined with strenuous activities can cause a number of issues including: dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and the dangerous heat stroke. A proactive approach and early recognition of danger can help manage these situations during the upcoming summer months. Click here to download

May 2015: May I Assist You? – Overexertion or injuries from lifting, pushing or carrying cost businesses about $12.75 billion in direct annual expenses. Learn how to stay injury free when lifting objects and to not be afraid to ask for help when a lead seems unsafe to lift alone. Click here to download

April 2015: April Fool’s – When someone tries to commit Workers’ Compensation fraud, the joke is one them. Learn how to protect yourself from fraudulent claims. Click here to download

March 2015: Best of Luck – Good luck is not enough when it comes to providing a safe workplace. It takes a lot of time and energy to protect your best assets…your employees. Click here to download

February 2015: A Healthy Heart – February is Heart Awareness Month and this month’s newsletter highlights the leading cause of death in the United States: Heart Disease and ways to be active with a hectic work schedule.

January 2015: A Year in Review – Cheers and Happy New Year! Happy New Year! We are wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015! Last year was a whirlwind but the accomplishments were plentiful. We wanted to share some statistics with you as we look forward to the new year. Click here to download


WC Claims and Conclusions Newsletter

November 2015: Social media can be a very beneficial tool in investigating and management of allege work-related injuries or at least, continued disability. Checking with the injured worker’s coworkers who are friends on social media might reveal another side to the injured worker’s alleged inactivity. 

September 2015: Sometimes, the pieces of a claim don’t match up to what is reported. After investigating and evaluating the claim, you must choose the path most amicable to both sides. 

June 2015: Some workers’ compensation claims go smoothly without much confusion, but then there are those occassional claims that require a flow chart to navigate. The statutes and/or case laws often are misinterpreted by the court both in and out of favor of both sides. Click here to download

March 2015: Knowing the legal environment in which a workers’ compensation claim is going to be handled will often govern compensability and litigation defenses used to guide a claim. Our judicial system often favors the employee’s perspective, not the employer’s; however, the system does sometimes work in the employer’s favor. Click here to download



2014 LHA Trust Funds Newsletters

Claims and Risk Newsletter

December 2014: This month’s Claims and Risk Newsletter is about patient handling and hand-offs and how your facility should have policies in place to assist ancillary staff in the transporting process. Click here to download

November 2014: Our claim this month involves Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the use of home Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine and a 52-year-old female patient who presented to the emergency department with abdominal pain. Click here to download

September 2014: Our claim and risk study this month involves a 70-year-old male who was hospitalized for peri-rectal abscess surgery. The incident occurred during his post-surgical stay. Our post-incident claim investigation brought forth the following information related to the event and the subsequent patient care (or lack of care). Click here to download

August 2014: A 70-year-old female presented to the ER with dizziness, rapid heartbeat and minor chest pain and was admitted to the telemetry department. On the second day of the admission, she began to exhibit changes in the mental status including confusion and increased lack of responsiveness. She was transferred to ICU, and a neurology consult was ordered. Click here to download

June 2014: This month we look at multiple claims that result from injury during discharge. Click here to download

May 2014: This month, our claim involves poor documentation, apparent lack of nursing action and lack of knowledge of hospital policies and procedures lead to an untoward patient outcome. Click here to download

April 2014: The primary issue surrounding the “claim-in study” this month is documentation or lack thereof. Hospitals are expected to develop appropriate policies and procedures that govern the use of verbal orders and minimize their use. Click here to download

March 2014: In our Claims and Risk writing this month, we look at two scenarios that resulted in tragic outcomes and involved the availability to access the key to the restroom when a patient becomes ill or has a problem while inside a locked bathroom. Click here to download

February 2014: Contractual liability and indemnity language can affect the protection that is intended to be in a general liability insurance coverage agreement. Our Claims and Risk Series writing this month takes on a different format and addresses a matter of importance with respect of the ramifications of indemnity language in business-related contracts and agreements that impact the outcome of claims brought against member facilities. Click here to download



November 2014: eNSIGHTS at a Glance: Ebola Shakes Up Health Care, Providers Rethink Ebola Interventions, Nigeria and Senegal Stop Ebola, Walmart Expands Healthcare Presence and What the AHA Sees On the Horizon. 

September 2014: eNSIGHTS at a Glance: Walmart Offers $4 Healthcare, Exotic Diseases in the News, NY Hospital Uses Cameras to Check Compliance in OR, Study Questions Low-Sodium diet and Photos of Newborns Come Down Because of HIPAA Concerns.

July 2014: eNSIGHTS at a Glance: Obesity Weighing Down Public Health, CDC Warns Over Heavy Drinking, Better Results From Enhanced Mammography, Uprising Against Drug Prices and Obamacare Seems to be Working.

May 2014: eNSIGHTS at a Glance: Hepatitis C: Cost of New Drugs Complicates Treatment, Nitroglycerin in Short Supply, A Bigger Tent for Healthcare, Colonoscopies Reducing Cancer Deaths and CDC: Hospitals Misuse Antibiotics.

March 2014: eNSIGHTS at a Glance: Mammography Does Not Save Lives: Canadian Study, Skepticism Over Cancer Screenings, Focus on Diagnoses, AMA Still Fighting ICD-10, High Burden of Chronic Conditions and New Painkiller Called Dangerous.

January 2014: eNSIGHTS at a Glance: New Guidelines Shake Up Heart Care, More Slack on Treating Hypertension, Hospitals Rebound from Recession, Fewer Hospital Re-admissions, CT Scans Increase False Positives for Lung Cancer and More Evidence Bariatric Surgery Works.


General Liability Newsletter

December 2014: Louisiana Appelate Court rules hospital is not liable in visitor slip and fall incident, based on nurse’s testimony. A hospital or other healthcare facility can be held liable in a civil negligence lawsuit if a visitor is injured in a slip and fall accident due to a foreign substance spilled on the floor. In a case handed down by the Court of Appeal of Louisiana, a hospital was ruled not liable, based on the testimony of the nurse. Click here to download

November 2014: Premises liability refers to the body of law that holds the property owner, or any person in possession of the property, liable for damages suffered on their premises. As it relates to our hospital environment, premises liability hold us responsible for the safety of our visitors while they are on and moving about our property. Click here to download

October 2014: By far, a slip, trip and fall event is the most common visitor accident; however, we must also be aware of other factors and conditions that contribute to fall accidents. There are four primary types of accidents that can result in an injury from a fall: Step-and-fall accidents, stump-and-fall accidents, step-and-fall accidents and trip-and-fall accidents. Click here to download

September 2014: The biggest contributing factors to slip, trip and resulting resulting falls is improper housekeeping and lack of or absence of warning signs. When trip hazards cannot be engineered out by design, one way to elevate awareness and alert pedestrians is to use yellow paint to identify high-hazard walking surfaces and to alert pedestrians to potential trip hazards. Click here to download

August 2014: Training and education play a major role in slip, trip and fall prevention throughout the hospital and across the campus. Slip, trip and fall prevention should be a key component of staff, patient and visitor safety in your facility. The safest facilities develop and employ best practices surrounding fall hazards and risky scenarios. Click here to download

June 2014: Premises/general liability claims for slip, trip and fall incidents are a reflection of the environment that visitors and vendors encounter while on the facility property and in the building. Our LHA Trust Fund Risk Consultants recommend the use of a survey tool to access slip, trip and fall related risks on hospital property and throughout the facility. Click here to download

May 2014: There are many different types of hazards that can lead to slip and fall incidents. Common slip and fall incidents include: slippery floors, irregular walking surfaces, contaminants on the floor, trip hazards in hallways, etc. Slip and trip injuries can be severe and especially if the person is older or the surface they fall on is a hard surface. Click here to download

April 2014: Good housekeeping is important in preventing hazards. Keeping work areas tidy will create a better working environment and mean fewer accidents for employees, visitors, guest and vendors. Click here to download

March 2014: Slip and trip accidents may have different causes, but often they have the same result. By looking at the contributing factors separately, it is possible to work out more accurately the cause of the slip or trip accident. We present the likely causes of slips and trips and how to have an effective and successful slip, trip and fall prevention program. Click here to download

February 2014: Implementing a STF prevention program greatly aids in the reduction of STF accidents. The program should include on-site hazard assessments, changes to housekeeping procedures and products, STF preventative procedures and products, general awareness campaigns, programs for external ice and snow removal, flooring changes and slip-resistant footwear for employees. Click here to download

January 2014: We present the slip, trip and fall basic. Slips, trips and falls are one of the leading unintentional injuries in the US, accounting for approximately 8.9 million visits to the ER annually, according to the National and Safety Council Injury Facts. Falls are the second-leading cause of unintentional deaths in homes and communities, resulting in more than 25,000 fatalities in 2009. Click here to download

Workers' Compensation Newsletter

November 2014: The World Health Organization reports 2 million of the 35 million healthcare workers experience percutaneous exposure to infectious diseases each year. This month’s newsletter provides ways to protect your workers from needlestick injuries. Click here to download

October 2014: Many workplace accidents are caused by unsafe behavior, not unsafe conditions. This month’s newsletter highlights ways to use behavior-based safety effectively. Click here to download

September 2014: In September’s newsletter, we discuss how to prevent back injuries at work. Learning how to lift objects is important to prevent back injuries but you also need to know how to carry and unload objects safely. Click here to download

August 2014: Back injuries are among the most common types of injuries as well as being expensive and time consuming. In this month’s newsletter, we discuss how to maintain a neutral position while you work eliminates potentially harmful strains and helps prevent painful and sometimes disabling musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Click here to download

July 2014: Good safety practices help protect you and your coworkers from injury or illness on the job. Because of that, we take safety very seriously here – and that means that you should consider working safely an important part of your job responsibilities. Click here to download

June 2014: Motor vehicle accidents are the largest single cause of accidental death – both on and off the job – and are also a major cause of serious injuries. In fact, according to the statistics, during the time you’re reading this article, someone will die in a road accident and 33 people will be injured. That’s why it’s so important to drive defensively and be prepared to respond to traffic conditions and other drivers. Click here to download

May 2014: Do your employees walk around your facility or down the street with their faces buried in their mobile phones? Even if they’re on hospital business, this is just not a good idea, according to Professor Jack Nusar of Ohio State University. Professor Nusar’s research revealed that more than 1,500 people were estimated to be treated in emergency rooms in 2010 for injuries related to using a cell phone while working. Click here to download

April 2014: Avoid stress and strain at your computer with this helpful tips to work comfortably and efficiently on the computer while at work. Click here to download

March 2014: Safety is everyone’s business. it requires the active participation of management, supervisors and employees. No one group can do the job alone. That’s why it’s so important for you to understand your safety responsibilities and always carry them out to the very best of your ability. We also present the do’s and don’ts of office safety. Click here to download

February 2014: Workplace violence or occupational violence refers to violence, usually in the form of physical abuse or threats that create a risk to the health and safety of an employee or multiple employees. We discuss workplace security and how to be safe and secure on the job. Click here to download

January 2014: Federal OSHA recently revised its hazard communication standard to align it with Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals known as “GHS,” which was adopted by the United Nations in 2003. Under the GHS, detailed chemical hazard information must be provided in a standardized format called a safety data sheet, or SDS, which now has 16 sections. Click here to download


WC Claims and Conclusions Newsletter

December 2014: The benefits of surveillance video: one of the best resources for a claim investigation is clear and timely surveillance video. It becomes the “eyes” and often times the documentation we need to refute the allegations of a questionable claim. Click here to download

September 2014: We evaluate each claim in making a determination to defend or seek resolution through an amicable settlement. Factors in the evaluation and determination process include such things as the age of the injured worker, past medical history, ability to return to work and future (unrelated) medical expenses required for the injured worker’s life expectancy. Often times certain extenuating variables must also be given consideration. Click here to download

June 2014: We investigate each lost time claim. There are a number of ways to gather information. As part of the claim investigation process, feedback from reliable sources should be not overlooked. We recently had a definitive case in point with a hospital employee who had been employed for only a few months prior to reporting a work-related incident. Click here to download

March 2014: Taught in nearly every continuing education class is a “golden rule” upon which every Claim Examiner must base the investigation and daily handling of workers’ compensation claims: Each claim is separate and apart from the next. Click here to download