Dear Healthcare, what gives you the right?
Can I ask a quick question healthcare industry, why do you hate my brother and I? Seriously, what did we do to you? Our dad has excellent insurance and has been under your care since August yet that does not seem to be enough for you. We continue to pay his bills on time and without protest yet you continue to show us nothing but disrespect. Why?!
In case you were paying attention to something else this week, let me explain.
This past Tuesday you called me to say that dad was no longer meeting his goals and expectations at Valley View Retirement. According to you, he was refusing to eat most meals and was now refusing liquid. In addition to not eating, you said he was no longer participating in his physical, occupational, and speech therapy too. As was explained to my brother and I four weeks ago, this meant that Medicare would no longer pay for his stay. Fine. We anticipated that this day would come.
The phone call happened on Tuesday afternoon. I was told then that dad would need to be out by the following Monday or he would have to become a private pay patient at $350.00 a day (roughly $11,000/month in case math isn’t your thing healthcare) if we kept him at Valley View Retirement.
Due to our previous research after dad was discharged from St. Al’s due to multiple strokes, my brother and I were aware of a local memory care facility called Morningstar. Unfortunately, at that time, the facility was still under construction and therefore not an option for dad. We had no choice, at that particular time, but to put him in a horrible facility called Emerson House. As you probably have guessed, returning to Emerson House was not an option. The people running Emerson belong in jail, not in high paying jobs healthcare.
As we all know healthcare, you are not cheap. In some weird cases even a simple band aide can cause of patient to need a long-term loan in order to afford it. As mentioned earlier, Valley View Rehabilitation per month charge math’s out to around $11,000.00 while Morningstar is around $6,000.00 a month. In both cases healthcare, your per month charges are gross, Morningstar just being less gross. Dad being who he is would automatically vote for Morningstar regardless of its condition. $11,000.00 a month is just obnoxious healthcare!
It is now Wednesday at 11am. My brother and I meet with the leadership at Morningstar for a tour and meet and greet with the staff. Morningstar is a nice facility; their rooms are basically one-bedroom apartments without a washer/drier. They are spacious, nice, and have a huge bathroom with a walk in shower. Their rooms are nicer than all the apartments I’ve ever lived in, of course, none of my apartments rent was anywhere near $6,000.00 a month though.
My brother and I were impressed with Morningstar. We arranged for them to go see dad to do an assessment on that Thursday at 11:00am. From what we were told, the assessment was to determine if dad would be a good fit for Morningstar and give them an idea of the level of care they would need to provide him. Seems logical, assess away healthcare.
Thursday ends with no word from Morningstar regarding their assessment findings.
Friday at noon, still no word.
Friday, at 4:30pm, I get a voicemail stating that they would not accept dad because of a deep tissue injury he has by his tailbone (we told Morningstar about this injury during our visit on Wednesday). If Valley View can heal that wound then they will reconsider him at that point. Otherwise, good luck with your dad was the message I got healthcare. Geez healthcare, thanks for leaving us with time to come up with a plan B.
I’m not sure if this is just an Idaho thing but memory care facilities in Boise do not move in new patients over the weekend. Mr. Cynical says it’s because their overpriced administration staff doesn’t want to have to work a Saturday or Sunday. As we all know healthcare, you only operate from 8 to 5pm, Monday through Friday, because no one ever gets sick or needs medicine after hours. I know my own rheumatoid arthritis hates the weekends because it isn’t allowed to cause me pain then…oh wait, it doesn’t care what day it is when it decides to cause me pain.
Ok, I’m off my sarcasm soapbox. Not only do I have a problem with 4:30pm phone calls on a Friday healthcare, but you have forced a situation in where dad will probably have to pay the private pay rate for Valley View because you refuse to work with my brother and I fulltime work schedules. Luckily, dad has savings so instead of it going to his kids, as per his wish, it is now going to the most expense option in Boise Idaho. We can live without the inheritance, what hurts my brother and I the most is the realization that dad would not be happy with this situation. By waiting until 4:30pm, on a Friday, to call us back healthcare, you have effectively taken dads care away from the ones he wanted making the final decision regarding his end of life care.
Just to let you know, the amount of 4:30pm Friday night calls we have had with you has got to be close to a world record. This isn’t the first or second time we have been put in the position, it has happened to us frequently since August. Mr. Cynical is wondering why that is?
My brother and I don’t like being Mr. Cynical. We want and can help; both of us have vast experience in the healthcare arena as patients and as apart of the system. My brother and I know what dad would want in regards to his care, not you! Dad would want us to work with you but you have created a situation where it is we versus you? Why do you have to be like that?
I end this letter like I started, why do you dislike my brother and I healthcare? Why do you continually show us disrespect as we try to plan dads end of life care? What gives you the right?