My question involves potential malpractice in the state of Iowa.
My 72-year-old mother has been told she needs knee-replacement surgery. The doctor that would be performing the surgery told her that she would be in the hospital for no more than two days. (I'm trusting she heard this right.) Everything I've read on knee-replacement surgery states that a stay of 3 - 5 days is the norm. When I questioned my mother on this, she said she believes it has to do with the fact that she is on Medicare with no supplemental insurance. Since Medicare does not pay at the rate of private insurance, hospitals cut the stay short to make up for their losses. (Or, perhaps, Medicare won't pay for more than 2 days in a hospital after a knee replacement? I find that hard to believe, if the senior requires it, but I don't know much about Medicare.) This got me to thinking. If this is accurate, and hospitals are discharging Medicare patients early to make up for the lower payout, could this be fodder for medical malpractice? That's if sending the senior home early results in additional/unnecessary hardship or injury or something like that.