Home health agency can refuse treatment

marie26January 31, 2007

If this didn't happen to my daughter, I wouldn't have believed it possible. She has a bad case of pneumonia and was discharged from the hospital yesterday with a home health agency set up to come in and administer IV antibiotics for her. I got a call from them this morning that they decided not to take her on as a patient. The reason they gave was that she was non-compliant. This, I'm assuming, comes from the fact that she had left the local rural and not highly regarded hospital against medical advice. We only complained about the doctor who did not do his best to treat her. The hospital refused to transfer her, so I drove the hour to the next hospital where she was given much better care. She saw specialists who did procedures and took a biopsy and explained to her that there is an abscess that might require major surgery should the antibiotics not work. BTW, she has a digestive disorder where she cannot take antibiotics by mouth and she is also a very brittle diabetic. After scrambling, we found someone an hour away who we must travel to since they refuse to come to our house.

Apparently, home health agencies and nursing homes are privately owned, thus they can refuse treatment to anyone with no explanation.

Also, if something is in your records that you do not agree with, you do not even have the right to add an explanation to give your side of the story of your care.

Is this the best America can do for patients in need?

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I agree this sucks. I could go on another whole rant about health insurance. Other countries have much better care as far as health goes,so why cant AMERICA,one of the richest countries, do the same? It's enough to make your head spin.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2007 at 10:59PM
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Believe me! Other countries DO NOT have better health care than we do here. Ask anyone who needs some sort of non emergency surgery who lives in Canada, or France or certainly Mexico!
Apparantly you contracted with a private home care agency....and they have a perfect right to refuse to serve her. Call the Dr who set it up and see what can be done.
Who is paying for it? Is she on medicaid? Title 19 or whatever it may be called where you live? A state program for health care for those making under a certain amount?
Private agencies don't like to deal with a large amount of clients who are on state aid as they don't get paid very much to care for them. They usually limit their clients of that sort to maybe 20%, as other wise they would go broke and not be able to pay their nurses.
There also maybe liability issues, since she left the hospital against Dr's wishes.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 2, 2007 at 12:29PM
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She is not on any state aid for healthcare. She has insurance. We did find out since my last post that according to the Patients Bill of Rights, since they decided to discontinue her services with them, they had to find a place that offered the same services. The place they found for her does not come to our county and they are 1 hour away.

It's nice to know (sarcastic) that if someone is in desperate need of home health care or nursing home care, they might not be able to get it. The doctor refuses to get involved.

I don't agree that Canada has worse health care as us. I am Canadian and have family living in various provinces and I feel that we wait here for appointments as long as they do there for non-emergency appointments. But here, you'd better have a job so you can get insurance without a prediagnosed condition. There, they will treat you at a doctor's office. No questions asked. If I had a choice, I'd take Canada's care over ours anytime.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2007 at 6:33PM
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Home health care is privately owned and yes leaving AMA probably screwed you where that is concerned. I am amazed that the doctor who later took her case on did not do more to find and agency that will take her. If not him them then the pulmonologist that saw her would certainly have a relationship with a home health agency. Also, your insurance may have refused to pay for home health. It doesn't have to be medicaid to be terrible. Blue Cross screws people too.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 7:43AM
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