Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Profiles in frustration (UPDATE).

As I have discussed here before, my father-in law has been battling several types of cancer for some time now.

Given his most recent decline, it was determined by his physicians that he required long-term care. So Monday was the day that Dad was to be admitted to ABC nursing home (NOT the real name) near his residence. My wife has been staying at her folks’ place since Friday in an effort to make the transition smooth. Such logistics as Power of Attorney papers, coordinating Dad’s release from the local hospital, setting up his admittance into the new facility, etc. has consumed the family for about a week now. The hardest part was my mother-in law packing up her husband’s clothes Monday morning. It was a depressing realization that he may never walk in the front door again.

I arrived at Mom and Dad’s place at about Noon on Monday to help load some furniture into the van. Thankfully, the nursing home was less than a mile away. We figured Dad would be in his own private room by dinner time. We waited with anticipation for the nursing home to call. Once they did, my wife and I would go set up his room while my mother-in law and sister-in law went to pick him up from the hospital.

The phone rang at about 1:00. It was the business office at ABC saying that they were still working on Dad’s admittance. They had serious concerns about the cost of his radiation treatments he needs over the next 10 days. We assured them that they would never see the bill for those treatments. Dad’s health insurance through his former employer would cover that fully. But they insisted they needed to hear that official word from the insurance company.

In the interim, the Social Worker at the hospital was calling letting us know that Dad was ready to be released. However, his room at the nursing home was still not ready and we legally could not bring him back home since he requires professional care. Because the nursing home had still not heard from Dad’s health insurance provider, they would not be able to admit him. Thankfully, we had already arranged for Dad to go to the ACME (again, not the real name) in the event we couldn’t get him into ABC. We figured if there was an opening at ABC home, we’d send him there because he would have his own private room. But with the hospital so eager to release him, we resigned ourselves to sending Dad to ACME. We figured we would then move him to ABC once they sorted out the billing logistics.

At 3:00 we called ACME to let them know that we’d be there by 4:00. Upon placing the call, we were hit with yet another bombshell. ACME no longer wanted to accept Dad as a resident. Apparently the hospital where he’s been staying gave him some medication last week that sent up a “red flag”. ACME told us that said medication was the type which alleviates combativeness. They pretty much told us they didn’t want someone with Dad’s “difficulties”. The truth is Dad was given that med once to suppress some agitation he was experiencing due to some general soreness. However, ACME was under the impression that he was taking such medication on a regular basis. We then had to return our pleas to ABC home. By the time we called them again, they too had found out about Dad’s “red flag” meds and were seriously questioning whether or not to take him once they straighten out the billing mess.

To recap:

The folks at the hospital made a determination that Dad needs long-term care and thus has to be discharged from his current facility. But none of the long-term care facilities will accept Dad because of the medication the hospital gave him. Since he has nowhere to go we would like to bring him home------ except we are legally prohibited from doing so since he requires professional care.

As of Tuesday morning, we still have no answers.

In the mean time, Dad is still stuck in the hospital enduring the pain that would be relieved once he received his radiation treatments.

Have you ever tried to gather leaves in a tornado? I feel as though that’s what we’re attempting to do in trying to receive proper care for our beloved father.

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UPDATE:

We found an incredibly nice facility in Hudson, WI, less than 15 minutes from my in-laws' home! And they have absolutely no qualms with Dad's health care coverage or medication.

Thank You, Jesus!!

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1 comment:

Uncle Ben said...

I was so glad to read the update.