Patient Abandonment – Home Health Care

Elements of the Cause of Action for Abandonment

Each of the following five elements should [2]  be the gift for a patient to have a right civil reason of movement for the tort of abandonment:

1. Health care treatment becomes unreasonably discontinued.

2. The termination of health care was opposite to the patient’s will or without the patient’s expertise.

3. The health care provider failed to set up for care through every other suitable professional fitness care company.

4. The fitness care provider should have fairly foreseen that damage to the patient could rise from the care’s termination (proximate cause).

Five. The affected person really suffered harm or loss as a result of the discontinuance of care.

Physicians, nurses, and other fitness care experts have an ethical, in addition to a legal, obligation to avoid abandonment of sufferers. The fitness care professional has an obligation to offer his or her patient all vital attention so long as the case requires it and has to go away. Not the patient is a crucial level without giving reasonable observer or making suitable arrangements for some other attendance. [2]

Abandonment by way of the Physician


When a medical doctor undertakes treatment of an affected person, a remedy must keep till the patient’s situations not warrant the remedy, the medical doctor and the affected person mutually consent to end the treatment by using that physician, or the affected person discharges the doctor. Moreover, the physician may also unilaterally terminate the relationship and withdraw from treating that affected person most effectively if she or he offers the patient the right word of their rationale to withdraw and a possibility to attain proper substitute care.

In the home health placing, the health practitioner-patient courting does now not terminate simply because of an affected person’s care shifts in its place from the sanatorium to the house. If the patient maintains to want medical offerings, supervised fitness care, therapy, or different home fitness services, the attending health practitioner should make certain that they were nicely discharged his or her duties to the affected person. Virtually every state of affairs ‘wherein domestic care is authorized by Medicare, Medicaid, or an insurer might be one in which the patient’s ‘desires for care have continued.

The medical doctor-affected person relationship that existed inside the health facility will retain unless it’s been officially terminated via a notice to the patient and an affordable attempt to refer the patient to every other appropriate medical doctor. Otherwise, the physician will hold their duty toward the patient whilst the affected person is discharged from the medical institution to the home. Failure to follow through on the doctor’s part will constitute the tort of abandonment if the patient is injured. This abandonment may expose the medical doctor, the health center, and the home fitness organization to liability for the tort of abandonment.


The attending medical doctor inside the medical institution must ensure that the right referral is made to a doctor who can answer the house fitness patient’s care. At the same time, it’s far being added through the home fitness issuer unless the medical doctor intends to continue to supervise that home care in, my opinion. Even more critical, if the sanatorium-primarily based medical doctor arranges to have the patient’s care assumed via every other medical doctor, the patient should completely understand this variation. It has to be carefully documented.

As supported by using case law, the forms of moves that will lead to liability for abandonment of a patient will include:

• premature discharge of the patient by way of the physician

• failure of the health practitioner to offer right instructions earlier than discharging the affected person

• the assertion via the medical doctor to the patient that the doctor will no longer deal with the affected person

• refusal of the doctor to reply to calls or to similarly attend the patient

• the physician’s leaving the affected person after surgery or failing to follow up on post-surgical care. [3]

Generally, abandonment does no longer arise if the physician liable for the affected person arranges for a substitute doctor to take their region. This alternate might also arise because of vacations, relocation of the physician, illness, distance from the affected person’s domestic, or retirement of the medical doctor. As long as the care with the aid of an accurately educated physician, sufficiently informed of the affected person’s unique situations, if any, has been arranged, the courts will typically not discover that abandonment has come about. [4] Even where an affected person refuses to pay for the care or is unable to pay for the care, the health practitioner isn’t always at liberty to terminate the relationship unilaterally. The medical doctor has to take steps to have the patient’s care assumed by way of any other [5] or provide a sufficiently affordable period of time to find any other previous to ceasing to provide care.

Although the maximum of the instances discussed the medical doctor-patient courting problem, as mentioned previously, the same ideas apply to all health care vendors. Furthermore, because the care rendered by the house fitness enterprise is supplied under a medical doctor’s plan of care, even if the affected person sued the doctor for abandonment because of the movements (or inactions of the home fitness enterprise’s personnel), the doctor may additionally are seeking for indemnification from the house health issues. [6]



Similar standards to those that follow physicians apply to the home fitness expert and the home health provider. As the direct company of care to the homebound patient, a domestic fitness corporation can be held to the equal felony duty and duty to supply care that addresses the patient’s desires, as is the health practitioner. Furthermore, each a felony and a moral obligation to keep handing over care if the affected person has no options. A moral responsibility may also exist to the affected person even though the home fitness company has fulfilled all legal duties. [7]

When a home health provider furnishes remedy to a patient, the duty to maintain providing care to the affected person is an obligation owed with the company’s aid itself and not via the person professional who may be the worker or the contractor of the business enterprise. The home health company does now not have a responsibility to retain presenting the same nurse, therapist, or aide to the affected person throughout the route of remedy, so long as the company maintains to use suitable, ready employees to manage the course of treatment consistent with the plan of care. From the angle of patient pride and continuity of care, it may be inside the house health issues’ nice hobbies to try and provide the same character practitioner to the patient. The improvement of a non-public relationship with the issuer’s employees may improve communications and a greater degree of agreement with and compliance with the affected person. It should help to alleviate the troubles that stand up inside the health care’ placing.

If the affected person requests the replacement of a particular nurse, therapist, technician, or domestic health aide, the house fitness issuer still has a responsibility to offer care to the affected person, unless the affected person also specifically states he or she does not desire the company’s carrier. Home fitness agency supervisors must continually follow up on such affected person requests to decide the dismissal’s motives, hit upon “problem” employees, and make certain no incident has taken location that could provide upward thrust to legal responsibility. The domestic health business enterprise needs to continue supplying care to the affected person until definitively instructed not to accomplish that by the patient.


Home fitness provider employees may additionally now and then come across an abusive affected person. This abuse mayor might not be a result of the medical circumstance for which the care is being supplied. Personal protection of the individual health care issue needs to be paramount. Should the patient pose a physical hazard to the person, they should depart the premises straight away. The provider needs to record in the scientific report the facts surrounding the lack of ability to complete the remedy for that go to as objectively as possible. Management personnel should tell supervisory employees at the house health provider and consider an internal incident report. If it appears that a crook act has taken place, which includes a physical assault, attempted rape, or other such act, this act must be pronounced right away to neighborhood law enforcement businesses. The domestic care company should also notify both the affected person and the health practitioner that the issuer will terminate its dating with the patient and that an opportunity provider for these offerings has to be acquired.

Other less severe situations might also lead the house health company to determine that it needs to terminate its courting with a selected affected person. Examples might also consist of especially abusive sufferers, patients who solicit -the home health provider expert to interrupt the law (for instance, by using supplying illegal drugs or supplying non-included offerings and gadgets and billing them as something else), or continually non-compliant patients. Once the remedy is undertaken but, the house health issuer is generally obliged to maintain offering services until the affected person has had an affordable opportunity to gain a substitute company. The equal principles observe a failure of an affected person to pay for the services or system supplied.

As health care professionals, HHA personnel ought to have to school on the way to take care of the difficult patient responsibly. Arguments or emotional comments ought to be avoided. If it turns clear that a sure provider and patient aren’t likely to be like-minded, a replacement provider needs to be tried. Should it appear that the problem lies with the affected person and that the HHA needs to terminate its dating with the patient, the following seven steps have to be taken:

1. The instances should be documented within the affected person’s file.

2. The home health company ought to deliver or ship a letter to the patient explaining the situations surrounding the termination of care.

Three. The letter needs to be dispatched with certified mail, go back receipt requested, or different measures to file the affected person receipt of the letter. A reproduction of the letter should be located inside the patient’s document.

4. If feasible, the affected person should take delivery of a positive time period to gain replacement care. Usually, 30 days is sufficient.

5. If the patient has a lifestyles-threatening circumstance or a medical circumstance that could go to pot inside the absence of continuing care, this situation must be really said in the letter. The necessity of the patient’s acquiring substitute domestic fitness care should be emphasized.

6. The affected person ought to be knowledgeable of the location of the closest clinic emergency department. The patient should be told to visit the closest clinic emergency branch in case of a clinical emergency or call the neighborhood emergency wide variety for ambulance transportation.

7. A reproduction of the letter need to be despatched to the affected person’s attending health practitioner via licensed mail, go back receipt requested.

These steps need to be now not undertaken gently. Before such steps are taken, the affected person’s case should be very well discussed with the house health provider’s risk manager; the criminal recommends the medical director and the patient’s attending health practitioner.

The irrelevant discharge of a patient from fitness care coverage through the house health company, whether because of termination of entitlement, incapability to pay, or other motives, can also cause legal responsibility for the tort of abandonment. [8]

Nurses who passively stand by using and look at negligence by a doctor or all and sundry else will individually end up responsible for the injured patient due to that negligence… Healthcare centers and their nursing home team of workers owe an independent responsibility to patients past the duty owed via physicians. When a health practitioner’s order to discharge is inappropriate, the nurses will be held liable for following an order they knew or need to realize beneath the same old care. [9]

About author

I work for WideInfo and I love writing on my blog every day with huge new information to help my readers. Fashion is my hobby and eating food is my life. Social Media is my blood to connect my family and friends.
    Related posts

    The Most Common Types of Cancer


    These Are the Most Common Medical Malpractice Claims in Florida


    5 Steps Taken by IRDAI To Make Health Insurance Consumer-Friendly


    PCOS and Fertility: How You Can Boost Your Chances

    Sign up for our newsletter and stay informed !