Day 1 - Wednesday, January 20, 2016

10:00
LTC LITIGATION THINK TANK – Best Practices for Litigation Fundamentals: A Plan of Action, Depositions, Pleadings, Experts, and Cross Examinations
12:30
Lunch provided for attendees of both workshops only
2:00
MASTER CLASS ON COMMUNICATION: An Interactive Forum with Practical Strategies, Tips and Takeaways that Could Literally Save You Millions in Litigation Costs

Day 2 - Thursday, January 21, 2016

7:00
Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00
Co-Chairs Welcoming Remarks
8:15
Litigation Best Practices: Developing Strategies to Combat the Plaintiffs Bars’ Latest and Most Aggressive Maneuvers
9:15
Keynote Address – View from the front lines in the battle of wound care: They don’t know what they don’t know
10:00
Morning Refreshment Break
10:15
What Every Litigator Needs to Know about an LTC Resident’s Chart and Lab Reports from Clinicians in the Trenches
11:15
In-House Roundtable on Loss Prevention and Settlement Strategies: Trends in Verdicts, Settlements and Arbitration Awards and How that Affects What they Need from Outside Counsel
12:30
Networking Lunch
1:45
Protecting Information: Knowing What Information is Discoverable and the Most Effective Measures to Keeping it Out of the Equation Before the Demand Lands on Your Desk
2:45
EMR & eDiscovery: Managing it, Tools to Generate it, and the Most Effective Ways to Fight It
3:45
Afternoon Refreshment Break
4:00
Conflicts between Residents, Families and Staff: Preventing Violence and Addressing Events after the Fact
5:00
Conference Adjourns to Day Two

Day 3 - Friday, January 22, 2016

7:30
Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00
Co-Chairs Welcoming Remarks
8:15
View from the Bench: Jurists’ Share their Insights from Trials, Discovery Battles and Settlements in Long Term Care Cases
9:30
Morning Refreshment Break
9:45
In-House Think Tank on Staffing – Documentation and Communication: Improving Care and Satisfaction While Preparing Your Proofs in the Event of a Claim
11:00
Defending Assisted Living Facilities in an Environment of Increasing Age and Acuity
12:00
Networking Lunch
1:15
Social Media and Modern Technology: The Power to Build or Destroy All at Your Fingertips
2:00
Ethics Concerns in LTC Litigation:
3:00
Conference Adjourns

Day 1 - Wednesday, January 20, 2016

10:00
LTC LITIGATION THINK TANK – Best Practices for Litigation Fundamentals: A Plan of Action, Depositions, Pleadings, Experts, and Cross Examinations

Julie Bargnesi
Partner
Harris Beach PLLC (Buffalo, NY)

Danny Merril Newman Jr.
Partner, Co-Chair, Long Term Care Liability Practice Group
Reminger Co., L.P.A. (Cincinnati, OH)

In preparation for discussion of the main conference topics, join us for this unique interactive approach to enhancing your litigation fundamentals beginning with the initial plan of action. Experience watching mock and video depositions, gain a new line of attack to combat plaintiffs’ firms’ latest pleading strategies, and attain new insights to utilizing experts. This forum welcomes questions and candid discussion on the extraordinary challenges of this unique area of law and aggressive plaintiff ’s bar.

Starting Off on the Right Foot: Strengthen Your Litigation Plan of Action

  • Best practices to maintaining clear communication between inhouse and outside counsel
    • Evaluating the claim
      • Documents you absolutely must review
      • Early interviews of all pertinent staff members (including those
        that witnessed incidents even if not identified in the chart)
      • Early assessment of potential theories of liability and potential defenses
    • Early intervention and setting realistic goals in light of defense costs
      • Potential for early olive branches to claimant/plaintiff and/or “Jedi-mind tricks” for early negotiations
      • Appreciating the venue, settlement values, jury verdict values, judge assigned to the case and opposing counsel
    • What role are you looking for outside counsel to play in each case
  • Who are the players?
    • Self-insured v. a traditional carrier: Being mindful of how that can alter the litigation plan
    • Coverage limits and number of claims: Practical considerations
    • Carrier’s counsel: Understanding their role
    • Clarifying who needs to be involved in the decisions and how to best keep them in the loop

Countering Plaintiffs’ Attorneys Latest Pleading Maneuvers

  • Defending civil rights claims under the Federal Nursing Homes Reform Act
  • Obtaining dismissals for criminal charges included in civil complaints
  • Addressing the increasing number of parties named by plaintiffs’ attorneys
  • Thwarting attempts to pierce the corporate veil

Interactive Deposition Techniques

  • Prepping and countering depositions of current and former employees
  • The repeat players: Deposing and managing plaintiff ’s expert witnesses
  • Watch a demonstration of an expert being deposed
  • “Profits Over People” arguments: Managing potentially damaging testimony from those in the C-suite

10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Registration begins at 9:30 a.m.)

12:30
Lunch provided for attendees of both workshops only

​12:30-1:30

2:00
MASTER CLASS ON COMMUNICATION: An Interactive Forum with Practical Strategies, Tips and Takeaways that Could Literally Save You Millions in Litigation Costs

Kirsten K. Ullman
Managing Partner and Co-Chair Health Care Practice Group
Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP (Tampa, FL)

James W. Kaucher
Member
Gust Rosenfeld, PLC (Tucson, AZ)

Karen L. Kennedy-Evans RN, FNP, APRN-BC
President
KL Kennedy LLC (Tucson, AZ)

This unique and interactive forum will provide guidance and takeaways on improving communication, amongst your staff, with your counsel, and with the residents and their families, that you can implement immediately after you return to the office. These strategies will not only translate to better care and relationships, but reduce litigation costs significantly as industry experts agree that families who feel heard and included in their family member’s care are less likely to be litigious.

From the first point of contact in advertising and throughout a resident’s stay, there are critical steps wherein communication makes the difference between satisfaction and proper care or bad press, removal of a resident, and litigation. Receive practical tools through role play, video clips, drafting examples and interactive discussion on how changes in policies, staff training and conveying empathy can improve staff, resident and family satisfaction while saving your organization millions in litigation costs.

Marketing and Branding

  • Empty beds v. the increasing cost of litigation: Balancing business goals with safety and mitigating liability risks
  • Checks and balances to ensure marketing materials have been reviewed by legal before being released
  • Setting expectations: Do advertisements convey realistic depictions of today’s ALF and SNF populations and their health? I.e.What do ads such as 65 year olds playing tennis, convey to your
    audience and what they should expect from your facility?
  • Terms to avoid in both marketing and staff communication with families and residents, regarding:
    • Level of supervision available and when
    • Services provided and rights of resident to refuse
    • Prognosis of a resident

The pre-admission process

  • Setting expectations through verbal communication and written documentation that don’t bite you back in litigation, regarding:
    • Supervision
    • Pressure ulcers
    • Falls
    • ALF specific issues
    • SNFs are not hospitals: Clarifications to families when their loved one is being transferred or is admitted short term

Conveying information with empathy to residents and family members

  • The cost effective process of incorporating simple acts to convey care and understanding when residents complain and families visit
  • Understanding why discussing the seriousness of a loved one’s condition with families is worth taking the time for in more ways than one
  • Clarifying how alarms, canes, bed rails and other preventative measures are not guarantees of safety and can have potentially harmful pitfalls

​2:00 – 4:30 p.m. (Registration begins at 1:30)

Day 2 - Thursday, January 21, 2016

7:00
Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00
Co-Chairs Welcoming Remarks

Pam Roberts
Vice President and Chief Counsel, Nursing Center Division
Kindred Healthcare

Donna Fudge
Partner
Fudge & McArthur, P.A. (Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota)

Meredith M. Akerlind J.D.
Vice President, Long Term Care & Miscellaneous Medical Facilities Claims
IronHealth

8:15
Litigation Best Practices: Developing Strategies to Combat the Plaintiffs Bars’ Latest and Most Aggressive Maneuvers

Theresa Creagh
General Counsel
Grane Healthcare Co.

Debbi S. Mann
Claim Manager-Aging Services
CNA Healthcare (Tampa, FL)

William J. Mundy
Member
Burns White (Philadelphia, PA/Cherry Hill, NJ)

  • The AG and plaintiff ’s firms: Managing the ripple effect of contracted plaintiff ’s attorneys conducting investigations on behalf of the AG’s Office
    • Risk management techniques
    • What to do during the investigation
    • Protecting the information during litigation
    • Coordinating with counsel on related claims by other government agencies
  • Surveys upon request: What is the best course of action when families continue making complaints with the state even after their claims were found to be unsubstantiated?
  • Defending against punitive damages claims: War stories and lessons learned
    • Best practices for dismissal
    • Obtaining sanctions for bad faith claims
  • Rookies: Dealing with challenges specific to plaintiff ’s attorneys new to LTC cases
  • When criminal charges are filed against executives and staff
    • Protocols to have in place
    • Indemnification and potential conflicts with representation in the civil suit

9:15
Keynote Address – View from the front lines in the battle of wound care: They don’t know what they don’t know

Ronald A. Kline M.D., FACS, FAHA-SC
Medical Director for Wound Care Carondelet St. Joseph Hospital – Tucson, AZ
Tucson Kindred Hospital Director – Southern Arizona Vascular Education Foundation

10:00
Morning Refreshment Break
10:15
What Every Litigator Needs to Know about an LTC Resident’s Chart and Lab Reports from Clinicians in the Trenches

Nancy Collins PhD, RDN, LD, FAPWCA, FAND
President, Light Bulb Health, Inc.
Founder, Nutrition411.com (Las Vegas, NV)

Karen L. Kennedy-Evans RN, FNP, APRN-BC
President
KL Kennedy LLC (Tucson, AZ)

  • What to look for in:
    • Lab reports
    • Resident’s chart
  • A road map for using the medical documentation during negotiations or throughout litigation to explain how what could be perceived to be abuse or neglect may actually be a natural inevitability of declining health
    • Pressure Ulcers
    • Poor nutrition and dehydration
    • Co-morbidity
    • Unintended weight loss
    • Non healing wounds
    • Dehydration
    • Choking
  • Communication tools and early interventions to prepare families for possible consequences of their loved one’s increasing acuity

11:15
In-House Roundtable on Loss Prevention and Settlement Strategies: Trends in Verdicts, Settlements and Arbitration Awards and How that Affects What they Need from Outside Counsel

Anthony Stompanato
Regional Vice President-Major Loss, Healthcare Professional Liability
AIG Property Casualty (Chicago, IL)

Richard P. Kidwell
Senior Associate Counsel/Vice President of Risk Management
UPMC

Michael R. Capone
General Counsel
Senior Care Centers, LLC

Jonathan D. Allred
Executive Vice President & General Counsel
EmpRes Healthcare Group, Inc. (Vancouver, WA)

Meredith M. Akerlind J.D.
Vice President, Long Term Care & Miscellaneous Medical Facilities Claims
IronHealth

Moderator:

Bradley L. Kelly
Principal
Law Office of Brad Kelly, PC (Bethesda, MD)

  • What carriers and in-house need from outside counsel in a climate of increasing earlier resolution
    • Cost benefit analysis of claims handling: Defense costs and runaways verdicts v. the message to Plaintiff ’s attorneys of “easy” settlements
    • Establishing a plan of action: Aggressive defense v. early settlement
    • Rates and what law firms can do to be a more viable resource for carriers and LTC companies
  • Updates on this year’s case resolutions
    • Recent verdicts
    • Settlement trends
    • Arbitration
      • Trends in enforcement of arbitration clauses
      • Patterns in Arbitrators’ decisions: Are the majority really splitting the baby or does it just feel that way?
    • Early Intervention: Which risk management strategies have actually reduced claims and settlements?
    • Taking out the guess work: Best practices in evaluating a potential or new claim
  • How do these trends affect the industry
    • How recent patterns in LTC litigation have changed how facilities conduct business
    • How carriers are evaluating cases based on recent decisions, settlement and ADRs
    • How is the plaintiff ’s bar integrating settlement trends into their strategies?
  • Is the jury still out? What’s the verdict on the cost benefit of group resolution with plaintiff ’s firms?

12:30
Networking Lunch



COMBATING DISCOVERY CHALLENGES – From Pre-Incident Risk Management to Discovery Motions: Proactive Measures to Managing Document Pitfalls, Overly Broad Demands and Production Costs

1:45
Protecting Information: Knowing What Information is Discoverable and the Most Effective Measures to Keeping it Out of the Equation Before the Demand Lands on Your Desk

Donna Fudge
Partner
Fudge & McArthur, P.A. (Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota)

Lori Semlies

Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP

  • Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs) and the federal protection this structure can provide your organization
  • Are these documents up for grabs? Tactics for protecting:
    • Peer reviews: Determining if LTC facilities fall under that umbrella of protection provided by your state, and if so, what protocols must you have in place to ensure it
    • Star Ratings: Managing perception when plaintiff ’s attorneys equate changes in ratings to a decline in care, and disregard the changes in standards set by your state
    • Surveys
    • Investigations
    • QA & Mock Survey findings

2:45
EMR & eDiscovery: Managing it, Tools to Generate it, and the Most Effective Ways to Fight It

Janice L. Merrill
Shareholder
Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin

Karen Robbins
Vice President of Clinical Services
Clear Choice Healthcare

  • Procedures to incorporate paper records into electronic charts
  • In the Courtroom: Persuasive arguments on:
    • The exorbitant cost of overly broad discovery
    • The potential agenda to hasten settlement
    • Other effective motion practices
  • Practical tips to translating electronic records to responses to discovery demands
    • Cost effective tools
    • Protocols to ensure no required info is inadvertently excluded
    • Only providing what you have to without setting yourself up for accusations of concealment or spoliation

3:45
Afternoon Refreshment Break
4:00
Conflicts between Residents, Families and Staff: Preventing Violence and Addressing Events after the Fact

Norris Cunningham
Chair, Litigation Practice Group
Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman, PC (Indianapolis, IN)

Frank Russo
Vice President of Risk Management
Silverado (Irvine, CA)

  • OSHA concerns
  • Protecting the resident – From Emotional, Physical and Financial Harm/Abuse
  • Government Investigations
  • Visitation Restrictions and Revocation – When, why
  • When to involve the police
  • Managing the backlash of resident and family arrests
  • In-house security staff:
    • Should you have it?
    • Does it reduce violence and claims?
  • Lessons Learned: What protocols and measures have been shown
    to increase safety and decrease liability exposure for facilities
  • SNF v. ALF: Specific considerations for different levels of care
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s: Addressing violence in your Memory Care facility or wing

5:00
Conference Adjourns to Day Two

Day 3 - Friday, January 22, 2016

7:30
Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00
Co-Chairs Welcoming Remarks

Pam Roberts
Vice President and Chief Counsel, Nursing Center Division
Kindred Healthcare

Donna Fudge
Partner
Fudge & McArthur, P.A. (Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota)

Meredith M. Akerlind J.D.
Vice President, Long Term Care & Miscellaneous Medical Facilities Claims
IronHealth

8:15
View from the Bench: Jurists’ Share their Insights from Trials, Discovery Battles and Settlements in Long Term Care Cases

Hon. John M. Younge

Phila. Ct. Common Pleas

Hon. Sean W. McPartland

Sixth Judicial District of Iowa

The Honorable Colaw Patrick Thierry
Judge
California Superior Court [Orange County] (Santa Ana, California)

Moderator:

David C. Marshall
Partner
Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young, LLP

Do not miss this unique opportunity to hear from distinguished
jurists who have presided over long term care cases over the last few
years. These civil and district court judges have overseen trials where
both plaintiff and defense verdicts were awarded, heated battles over
discovery demands and expert witnesses, and assisted in settlement
negotiations. They will share with us their observations on what
worked and what didn’t.

9:30
Morning Refreshment Break
9:45
In-House Think Tank on Staffing – Documentation and Communication: Improving Care and Satisfaction While Preparing Your Proofs in the Event of a Claim

Beverly B. Wittekind
Vice President and General Counsel
The Ensign Group (Mission Viejo, CA)

Tara Clayton
Associate Counsel
Elmcroft Senior Living (Louisville, KY)

Mary Adams RN, BSN, FNC
Director of Clinical Risk Management
PruittHealth Consulting Services

Pam Roberts
Vice President and Chief Counsel, Nursing Center Division
Kindred Healthcare

Moderator:

John E. Wade
Member
Brunini Grantham Grower & Hewes PLLC (Jackson, MS)

  • Effective training methods that ensure care that was given was
    also recorded
    • Deciphering the training techniques that stick with your staff
    • In an industry of high turnover, checks and balances to guarantee new staff doesn’t fall through the cracks
    • Expanding your training program to increase employees’ understanding of why complying with corporate policies and procedures are so crucial and the potential fallout of failing to do so
    • Cell phones and texting:
      • Effective charting measures to routinely incorporate crucial communications into the chart when:
        • Physicians only text or fax
        • Updates to families are provided via phone call or text
    • Complying with HIPPA requirements when staff uses unencrypted personal cell phones to communicate with doctor’s, co-workers and families
  • When should you include information from shift or incident
    reports in a resident’s chart?
  • To apologize or not to apologize:
    • An update on recent cases
    • If you do, who on your team should do it and how
  • Fostering better relationships with staff and clarifying what are appropriate boundaries with residents and their families

11:00
Defending Assisted Living Facilities in an Environment of Increasing Age and Acuity

Jennifer L. Green JD
Senior Claims Analyst - Major Loss
AIG

La’Verne Edney
Shareholder
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC

Kristina Hulsey
Associate General Counsel – Assisted Living
Ensign Services, Inc.

  • Best defenses to claims that a resident was kept too long to keep
    beds filled and profits up when the reality is altogether a different story
  • The medicalization of Assisted Living: Is it time for a more clinical
    care model?
  • Even if not required to, should you increase your documentation?:
    Lessons learned from recent ALF litigation
  • Patient’s rights and autonomy
    • Alcohol and drug use
    • Sexual activity, STIs and STDs
  • Establishing early intervention protocols for emergencies
  • Increased memory care population in ALFs
    • Risk management strategies to avoid statutory noncompliance allegations that could be raised by plaintiffs later

12:00
Networking Lunch
1:15
Social Media and Modern Technology: The Power to Build or Destroy All at Your Fingertips

Caroline J. Berdzik
Partner, & Chair of Healthcare Practice Group
Goldberg Segalla (Princeton, NJ)

Lynn K. Fieldhouse
Vice President and General Counsel of Litigation Services
Signature HealthCARE (Louisville, KY)

  • Public Relations: Crucial protocols to have in place for situations requiring your immediate attention, such as:
    • News vans pulling up unexpectedly and reporters banging on your door
    • An adverse event making the 6 o’clock news
    • Plaintiff ’s attorneys blogging from the parking lot after a motion hearing or settlement conference
  • Hotlines and other means for complaint reporting to deter the emotional reaction of going public
  • The lesser of two evils: Do you respond to a negative post/review
    or leave it alone?
    • Specific responses that address the criticism without inviting an onslaught of additional comments
  • Conducting the business of Long Term Care in an age where
    everyone has a smart phone
    • Addressing family members taking pics and videos
    • With the web in their pocket, preemptive measures to counter increased negative information on the internet about the long term care industry
  • Nanny Cams
    • Do you prohibit them?
    • What do you do when you find one?
  • Social Media Policies
    • Can you maintain some control over employees’ posts and pics without running afoul of labor laws
    • Are cell phone restrictions at the work place effective?
    • Best practices for employees connecting with residents’ families online

2:00
Ethics Concerns in LTC Litigation:

Thomas Quinn
Managing Partner-Denver Office
Gordon & Rees, LLP

Kynda Almefty
Member
Hardin, Jesson & Terry (Little Rock, AK)

David Barker LNHA, CHC, RMC
Vice President of Compliance and Risk Management
Reliance Health Care, Inc.

Come hear from LTC legal doyens as they discuss how to avoid ethics pitfalls in light of recent developments. This can’t miss session will discuss ethics concerns in these areas:

  • CMS proposed rule – CMS-1622-P and its impact on LTC facilities
  • False Claims Act
  • Anti-Kickback

3:00
Conference Adjourns