Sally Damm, LNHA

There are currently 1.8 million residents in long-term care facilities. With the population aging, this number can be expected to grow. As the resident population increases, the amount of litigation may also increase.  Allegations of elder abuse and nursing home litigation cases can include both medical and administrative decisions.

A licensed nursing home administrator expert witness can review the documentation that describes the resident’s daily care, the quality of a resident’s life and the facility employees’ response to the individualized care plan. An administrator using his/her specialized knowledge may then be able to opine on whether the care delivery system in the case at hand was flawed – thereby creating a quality of care and/or quality of life issue.

A licensed nursing home administrator expert witness can be particularly helpful in long-term-care-support and services cases. Such a nursing home expert should be expected to have specialized knowledge regarding state and federal statutes, rules and regulations.  Implementation of Medicare and Medicaid mandates is a typical responsibility for nursing home administrators.  Nursing home administrators may also provide daily oversight that protects, advocates and edifies a solid implementation of medical, nursing, nutritional, rehabilitative, and environmental management programs that promotes quality living free of harm, neglect and/or abuse.  A nursing home administrator expert witness may be able to address areas beyond which say a geriatrician (medical director) or nurse typically address including: life, fire, and safety codes, staffing patterns, and building structure.

An expert witness in nursing home administrator typically has training, experience and responsibilities that differ from medical directors and nurses and may be able to analyze and address areas such as:

  1. Nursing/Activities of Daily Living/
  2. Dietary/Hydration/Weight loss/gain
  3. Rehabilitation/Restorative/Contractures
  4. Housekeeping/Laundry/Infection control
  5. Maintenance/Environmental Management/Life/Fire/Safety Codes
  6. Personnel/Human Resources/Staffing levels
  7. Medical Records/Resident Files/Documentation
  8. Activities/Quality of Life/
  9. Social Services/Admissions/Level of Care/Psycho-social
  10. Financial/Medicare/Medicaid/Private Pay/Third party payors

A nursing home administration expert witness may be able to review, evaluate and make an analysis of a facility’s operational culture. Using his or her specialized knowledge, a licensed nursing home administrator may be able to highlight each department’s performances, thus revealing constructive or damaging outcomes of a resident or residents’ quality of care and quality of life.

Sally Damm is a multiple-award winning nursing home and long term care administrator. She has 30+ years administrative experience including being the head administrator of two different facilities.  Ms. Damm is Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, Qualified Assisted Living Administrator, Licensed Social Worker Associate, Preceptor and long-term-care support and services expert witness and may be contacted at cell (605)651-3648 or sallydamm@swiftel.net.