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:: NAHC Report
NAHC Report: Issue# 2486, 8/12/2014
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California Supreme Court Finds That Caregiver Assumes Risks with Dementia Patients
Hospice CAHPS Survey Pilot Study Results Released
For Your Information: Clinical Educational Sessions at NAHC’s Annual Meeting
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California Supreme Court Finds That Caregiver Assumes Risks with Dementia Patients

The Supreme Court of California issued a very detailed ruling on the rights of health care workers who are injured in caring for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. In its ruling, the court held that health care workers employed to care for individuals with dementia assume the risk of injury caused by their clients who suffer from a disease that manifests itself in agitation and physical aggression. The case is the first known of its kind in the nation, and it extends a fairly well-settled principle “that those hired to a hazardous condition may not sue their clients for injuries caused by the very risks they were retained to confront.”

In Gregory v. Cott, the California Supreme Court addressed the claims brought by a personal care worker employed by a home care agency against one of her clients and the client’s spouse. The worker sought damages for injuries caused the client when the client bumped into the worker as she was engaged in housekeeping tasks. Specifically, the worker lost control of a knife when she was bumped, the knife injured her hand, and she ended up with a series of injuries from the knife wound. The worker received protections under the agency’s worker compensation coverage, but also sued the client for damages.

The court applied a principle of law known as primary assumption of risk to reject the worker’s claims. Under that principle, there is no duty breached by a party when an injury occurs in a hazardous situation where risks are inherent in the nature of the employment. The court reviewed earlier cases throughout the nation where the principle was applied to firefighters, veterinarians, and health care workers in an institutional setting.

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Hospice CAHPS Survey Pilot Study Results Released
Mean overall rating of hospice care was 93.0 out of 100

The results of the Fall 2013 Hospice CAHPS survey pilot study have been released.  The field test was conducted from November – December 2013.  Responses from 1,136 individuals reporting care experiences from decedents receiving hospice care from 29 different organizations were analyzed. 

Surveys for three settings were utilized:

Home, which includes both home and assisted living facilities

  • Nursing home, which includes both skilled and regular nursing facilities
  • Two subsettings of inpatient care:
    1. Acute care hospitals
    2. Freestanding hospice IPUs

Response rates varied by setting, but were greater than 50 percent across all settings.  Parents and spouses were more likely to respond than children of decedents, and those individuals who had already received a hospice survey - i.e. the Family Evaluation of Hospice Care (FEHC) or another experience of care survey - were less likely to respond.  In addition, those whose decedents had longer lengths of stay in hospice care were more likely to respond.  The CAHPS test survey was sent no earlier than one month and no more than 12 months after the patient’s death.

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Clinical Educational Sessions at NAHC’s Annual Meeting

This year’s Annual Meeting features track-specific educational sessions, informative round table discussions and much, much more. Below are some of the sessions included in this year’s Clinical Track:

  • How to Prepare for Your Post-Acute Partnership: A Fresh Look at Reducing Avoidable Re-hospitalization
  • How to Incorporate Evidence-based Practices and Clinical Decision Support to Improve Outcomes and Agency Efficiency: The New EMR
  • How to Avoid the Risk and Defend your Reimbursement: Therapy Underutilization
  • How to Continue the Journey Through OASIS

Visit the NAHC website for full descriptions and to register for the this year’s Annual Meeting.

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