As a Houston, Texas medical malpractice lawyer, I handle medical negligence and wrongful death cases throughout the State of Texas, including Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas.
Valley Medical Center is located at 100-A Alton Gloor Blvd., Brownsville, Texas 78526. It is owned by the hospital mega-chain HCA, which is based in Nashville, Tennessee. The hospital offers services including bariatric surgery, an emergency room, heart/cardiac/vascular procedures, diagnostic radiology imaging, laboratory services, rehabilitation and therapy, stroke and neurosciences services, and different kinds of surgeries (including general, orthopedic, neurosurgery, back and spine, and ear, nose and throat [ENT] surgery), and women’s services, including labor, delivery, and birthing.
Quality of care concerns
Valley Regional Medical Center has received some unwanted attention in recent years because of quality of care concerns identified by the U.S. government.
Most recently, in late 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released its list of the bottom-performing 25% of hospitals nationwide in the following measured areas:
Infection rates from a number of procedures including colon surgeries, hysterectomies, urinary tract catheters, and central line tubes.
Infection rates of certain bacteria including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile (C-diff).
Rates of 10 hospital-acquired injuries including blood clots (perioperative pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis), sepsis, post-surgical wound ruptures (wound dehiscence), bed sores (pressure or decubitus ulcers), hip fractures, iatrogenic pneumothorax, perioperative hemorrhage or hematoma, postoperative acute kidney injury requiring dialysis, postoperative respiratory failure, unrecognized accidental punctures or lacerations of the abdomen/pelvic area.
Valley Regional Medical Center, in Brownsville, Texas, was named on this bottom-25% list for both 2016-2017, and 2017-2018. As a result, Medicare has penalized the hospital with a 1% cut to its reimbursement (payment) rate.
In addition, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent a surveyor to Valley Regional Medical Center on January 4, 2017, which resulted in three violations being issued.
The first violation dealt with the hospital failing to handle a patient grievance properly. The surveyor found that family members of a patient met with the hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) director about quality of care concerns. No one in the hospital leadership got back in touch with the family members or patient with the results of the investigation.
As a former hospital administrator, I realize that the standard of care requires hospital administrators to investigate all grievances (complaints) and, if they cannot be handled immediately, to provide a written response to the patient or family member when the hospital is finished handling the grievance. In addition, good hospital administrator leaders treat grievances as an opportunity to improve quality of care by getting direct, unfiltered feedback on what is really going on at the hospital.
The second violation was for a violation of patient safety. The Medicare/Medicaid surveyor found a concerning Code Blue incident where the facility failed to track adverse patient events and analyze their causes. Once again, this is concerning when it comes to patient safety because anytime healthcare providers do not learn from mistakes or adverse incidents, they tend to be repeated.
The third violation addressed the hospital’s failure to ensure that inpatient medical records (for patients admitted to the hospital) were properly filed, retained, and accessible.
We are here to help
Many of our Brownsville clients have told us that they could not find a local attorney willing to take on a case involving Valley Regional Medical Center, a big local hospital. That is not an issue for us at Painter Law Firm, in Houston, Texas, because we handle medical malpractice and wrongful death claims through the Lone Star State. For a free consultation about your potential case, call us at 281-580-8800.
Robert Painter is an attorney at Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who files medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of patients and family members against hospitals, doctors, surgeons, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers. In 2017, H Texas magazine recognized him as one of Houston’s top lawyers. That same year, the Better Business Bureau recognized Painter Law Firm with its Award of Distinction.