||Registration and Continental Breakfast
||Welcome and Introduction
Ted McDonald, McDonald Veon PA, Overland Park, KS
Drew Graham, Hall Booth Smith PC, New York, NY
||The Fork in the Road: Empowering Collaborative Resolution Strategies
Many professional liability claims in senior living arise from common issues such as falls and skin integrity. However, as our population ages, we are facing increasing claim complexity. At the same time, our clients are facing challenging insurance markets, increased regulatory challenges and declining reimbursement. In this session, an experienced panel of claims leaders will address the best practices for excellence in client focused collaborative resolution strategies. Topics will include the importance of the claims and defense counsel relationship; end-in-mind initial status reporting; how to define the scope and urgency of the initial investigation; managing time-limited demands; finding efficiency in the defense team; and, how to develop collaborative early resolution plans on time and on budget.
Ashley S. Heslop, Hall Booth Smith PC, Mount Pleasant, SC
Mark J. Stenner, Ironshore, Chicago, IL
Tom Goodwin, Brookdale Senior Living, Nashville, TN
||Back to Basics: Common Employment Law Concerns in the Senior Care Industry and Current Trends
This session will explore common employment law issues confronting senior care operators and how to mitigate against future claims from employees. Topics to be covered include an overview of the national employment litigation landscape, wage and hour vulnerabilities for long-term care operators, medical and recreational marijuana use by facility employees, best practices for handling employees with disabilities and vaccine mandates.
Caroline J. Berdzik, Goldberg Segalla LLP, Buffalo, NY
||Defending Staffing/Rebutting PBJ Attacks
"Expected Staffing", "Required Staffing", and "CMS Mandated Staffing" are terms common in complaints against nursing homes. Usually staffing concerns are not what is driving the complaint, but allegations of not meeting some “mythical staffing standard” are included. Disconnects in data between Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ), and the system that it replaced (CMS form 671), are often wrongly compared with time clock punches, staffing sheets, and cost reports. This session will address the most common arguments presented around staffing, the data and the regulatory requirements pertaining to staffing. Specific case studies will illustrate past successful defense against staffing allegations.
Steven Littlehale, Zimmet Healthcare Services Group LLC, Morganville, NJ
||Understanding and Defending Senior Living Investor Relationships
This panel will provide insight into the various types of passive investor relationships by an industry insider, as well as strategies for dismissal and discovery when defending an investor. Nationally we have witnessed a concerted strategy by plaintiff attorneys to include as many defendants as possible in SNF and ALF negligence suits, regardless of the corporate veil. These additional, and improper, defendants may include REITs, limited liability owners, shareholders, or other types of passive investors. This session will provide the unique perspectives of both the senior living attorney and client investor in facing the challenges of defending claims brought against both individual and corporate entity investors.
Paul A. Dzenitis, Dzenitis Newman PLLC, Louisville, KY
Emily Newman, Dzenitis Newman PLLC, Louisville, KY
||Lunch (On your own)
Reconnect and network with your DRI friends at a Women in the Law Lunch. Local Dine Arounds include Cipriani, Jardin, or Tableau. To register for the local Dine Arounds, please click the links below. For more information, please contact Ashley Heslop.
Sign up for lunch at Cipriani
Sign up for lunch at Jardin
Sign up for lunch at Tableau
||The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: An Update on Nationwide SNF and ALF Decisions and Verdicts
You will not want to miss this national survey of critical cases and outcomes in the world of aging services litigation. Ms. Stanley will provide an insightful overview of the opinions, orders, and verdicts over the past year that impact the defense of skilling nursing and assisted living facilities. This will be a unique opportunity to learn useful arguments from other jurisdictions, new strategies by the plaintiffs’ bar and nationwide trends in long-term care litigation.
Christine L. Stanley, Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., Lexington, KY
||Juror Perspectives in the Post-COVID Era: Report of Focus Group Studies
The COVID-19 pandemic may have shut down the courts for much of 2020 and into 2021, but jury research continued out of the necessity to accurately evaluate how jurors will view pending cases to prepare for mediations and other case deadlines. Join jury consultant Claire Luna and attorney Jack Oliver for a discussion and review of actual focus group footage – in person and virtual – from the past 16 months throughout the country and gain a better understanding of how COVID has impacted juror attitudes on key issues such as healthcare, liability and damages.
John (Jack) Oliver, Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., Dallas, TX
Claire N. Luna, Jury Impact, Inc., Irvine, CA
||Regulatory Update: Three Important Regulatory Developments for Litigators
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) recently stated that the transfer or discharge of a "resident initiated by a nursing home can be an unsafe and traumatic experience for the resident and his or her family." This session will focus on the federal regulations, penalties, and appeals associated with the discharge process and focus on the new scrutiny placed on discharge and transfer procedures. The session will also include an update on infection control surveys conducted during the COVID pandemic and a deep dive on appeals and litigation associated with findings of infection-related noncompliance. Finally, the presenters will cover CMS's renewed commitment to evaluate post-COVID quarantine cognitive and quality of life decline as part of the recently announced visitation guidance for skilled nursing facilities.
Joseph L. Bianculli, Healthcare Lawyers PLC, Arlington, VA
Michael Redhair, Ensign Services/Cornet, Tuscon, AZ
Kathleen M. Reilly, Ensign Services Inc., San Juan Capistrano, CA
||COVID Wounds: Clinical Insights
This presentation will discuss how to clinically differentiate the COVID Skin Injury from a Hospital Acquired Pressure Injury, including discussion of the guidelines that have previously formed the SOC, and the disease processes behind the development of these wounds. The discussion will highlight the key elements of documentation, risk analysis and modifications necessary for a successful litigation defense of these newly evolving skin failure issues in age of COVID-19.
Tammera E. Banasek, HeplerBroom LLC, Chicago, IL
Mary Foote, RN, Woundcare on Wheels, Inc., Galena IL
||Medical Liability Committee Meeting (Open to all)