One Easy Defense Can Transform Your Case as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant

A 2013 study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal and a 2012 American Journal of Medicine study both show that leaving a hospital against medical advice (AMA) more than doubles a patient’s risk of death. Leaving a hospital AMA also triples a patient’s likelihood of readmission within 30 days.

While the AMA defense is a dream for defense attorneys, whether you’re a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant working for plaintiff or defense, documentation that a patient left AMA is an important red flag in the medical record.

I’m Just Sayin’

P.S. Comment and share your experiences with AMA as an issue in your cases as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.

2 thoughts on “One Easy Defense Can Transform Your Case as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant

  1. There certainly are numerous items that contribute to the plaintiff attorney’s decision with regard to the acceptance or refusal to pursue a specific case.
    As a plaintiff only CLNC® consultant, I have found my plaintiff attorney-clients will (with few exceptions) refuse to pursue litigation when the documentation supports the plaintiff left the hospital/healthcare facility AMA.

  2. In my experience, if a patient desires to leave AMA this can usually be traced back to a couple of things: (1) Inadequate education about their condition – e.g. a lack of understanding about their situation or questions not answered, or (2) Pain management – or perceived lack of management.
    If patients refuse to sign the AMA form, then I certainly hope that the nurse has documented the circumstances surrounding the departure well. Although I am also aware that often nurses don’t really know the importance of this in the absence of the form. Either way they should document, but it is especially important in my mind when the patient desires to leave.

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