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Health Law/Long Term Care Facilities for the Elderly

Through our Health Law Practice Group, Murchison & Cumming, LLP provides a full range of defense services for medical and elder care cases, including in-depth investigation of facts of treatment, discovery, pretrial procedures, trial and appeal. The Health Law Practice Group of Murchison & Cumming, LLP has put together a panel of experienced and recognized experts in the field of healthcare and long-term care facilities for assistance in the defense of medical malpractice and elder abuse cases. These experts include physicians, surgeons, licensed nurses, nursing homes administrators and other professionals

Cases handled by our Health Law Practice Group typically fall into one of the following categories – medical malpractice or long-term care facilities; elder abuse; and managed care.

Medical Malpractice

The Medical Malpractice Section of our Health Law Practice Group has formed a team of trial attorneys and paralegals dedicated to defending medical facilities, hospitals, medical and dental practitioners, family counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, physical occupational therapists, interns, radiologists and ophthalmologists and other health care providers with claims of negligence and professional malpractice. Working closely with insurance carriers, risk management departments and health care professionals, we provide complete case evaluation services and aggressive courtroom defense.

As industry leaders, the expertise of attorneys in this section has been called upon for speaking engagements at medical malpractice conferences and article contributions to various medical organizations including the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons and the Hip Society. Malpractice topics covered include the pros and cons of peer review in medical procedures, potential legal consequences of leg lengthening in hip replacement and general issues of risk management.

Long Term Care Facilities for the Elderly

The Long Term Care section of our Health Law Practice Group represents skilled nursing homes, residential care and assisted living facilities for the elderly. In addition to defending suits brought against these establishments, our attorneys often represent corporate owners, managers and personnel at these facilities against claims of abuse and negligence.

Members of the Long Term Care Facility for the Elderly section have served as advisory panel members of national organizations and task forces on nursing homes. The FDCC Nursing Home Task Force developed a sophisticated defense package to answer the aggressive, organized attacks by the plaintiff’s bar in long-term care facility litigation. It utilizes focus groups and mock juries to study, analyze and defend the various cases with the assistance of the most qualified lawyers across the country, who share their expertise and knowledge, identify primary claims, evidence, and themes from previous cases and provide the best tactical approaches and strategic solutions possible.

In addition, attorneys from this section have participated at the Defense Research Institute’s (DRI) seminar on “Defending the Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facility Claim” wherein they spoke and wrote articles on the effects of pre-employment screening of nursing home personnel.  Attorneys have also contributed to major publications on the subject, such as "Elder Law Health Care Strategies: Best Practices from Leading Lawyers Representing Elderly Clients and Long-Term Care Providers (Inside the Minds)," published by Aspatore Books.

Managed Care

The Managed Care section of our Health Law Practice Group defends Managed Care Organization (MCO) claims venued in Nevada and California prosecuted by providers, subscribers/members and/or state agencies.

With regard to MCO actions, the firm's Managed Care Organization Practice Group defends claims arising out of: 

  • Denial of Benefits/Utilization Management. These claims arise when benefits are denied on the basis that provider services are not medical necessary, experimental or excluded by the Health Plan. These claims can trigger ERISA Preemption entitling the removal of the action to Federal Court or require arbitration conducted before the California Department of Managed Health Care.
  • Negligent Credentialing, Selection and Retention of Providers. These claims are predicated on a member's allegation that the MCO negligently selected and/or retained affiliated providers whose negligence resulted in a poor outcome. These claims can require resolution via Administrative Fair Hearings. 
  • Provider Disputes. These often contentious claims arise when the MCO terminates a provider contract, is alleged to have unlawfully discriminated or retaliated against a provider or disputes contractual "prompt pay" obligations to the provider on the basis that the charge in question is not a usual, customary or reasonable. These claims can present themselves a class actions or anti-trust claims but are usually subject to arbitration.           
  • Vicarious Liability.  These claims arise when the member/subscriber attempts to export the tort liability of an affiliated provider to the MCO itself in the face of contractual provisions in which both the MCO and Provider stipulate that the latter operates as an independent contractor.

Representative clients are PPOs owned and operated by Nevada Preferred Providers and Universal Health Network which make available to their Nevada domiciled members a statewide medical network of preferred providers including hospitals, physicians and ancillary service providers.

For more information about the Health Law/Long Term Care Facilities for the Elderly Practice Group of Murchison & Cumming LLP, its attorneys and services, please contact:

Dan L. Longo, Co-Chair

David A. Winkle, Co-Chair