My husband's Home Health Agency abruptly quit (because they could) when he was hospitalized and needed surgery. They had threatened and otherwise intimidated us for months before this; tried to dump him on two other companies; cut off or delayed needed medical supplies; sent a notice saying they would discharge if any of the workers from their company who were working on his case became unavailable for any reason; lied about Medicare rules, lack of staff,had a rule about only providing supplies every other Friday, then failed to supply needed items and said it would have to be delivered in the next order two weeks after that.
Would not provide needed and necessary medical supplies for use at home until we had to purchase, then they used our supplies and billed Medicare for them as well. They did not resupply or refund for these items needed when their own employees came to our home to care for my husband. Rescheduled or laid off or fired staffers that were working out well in our home for no apparent reason, then would send others who clearly did not want to be here. They started this final campaign the beginning of 2009 when I told them I would be having surgery that would render me unable to bear weight on my foot for 3-6 months. I guess they were afraid that I would ask for night service for my husband as well. They should have been able to provide this, as they were only doing 12 hours/week and Medicare allows as much as 28. A new company came in when my husband was discharged from the hospital, but they are now quitting, only four months later. Pretty much the same problems with them as the last company. (No, we will not "give" you this; no, you do not "need" that, no, we will not send two sizes of gloves; and, the ever-popular "if that person becomes unable to continue this assignment, we will discharge". We are at a loss what to do. No company willingly takes a quad. As soon as employees come to our home, we bond. The workers are never the problem. The administrators are always guarded, reluctant to actually ackbnowledge the need for the urinary supplies, sometimes very specific ones, or the procedures ordered by the doctor. We always have to train new people to do quad care in general, but this is not the biggest problem. Administrators are the problem. They cite nonexistent Medicare rules, will not learn about their responsibilities to their patient and supply accordingly, often leaving those "details" to office clerks who are not clinical, therefore lack the knowledge to comprehend the need, the absolute urgency for the items to be supplied, then regard me as some sort of unreasonable inmate with no place in the mix. Our doctor his given up, pretty much says "good luck with that" when it comes to calling around for another company to carry out the doctor's orders. These companies do as they like and discharge without reason, except that they would have to be more responsible and just follow the doctor's orders and provide necessary medical supplies. Yes, a quad's needs are very large, and the time schedule must fit his schedule.
He is in bed by 9, and cannot be left in bed late in the morning. He cannot eat, drink, in bed, has a choking and swallowing problem, so must be up early to drink water, eat, have medication. Needs a bed bath, range of motion, and must be placed in his power chair and groomed. During all this he is very good-natured, is not abusive or deman-ding, appreciates their efforts. It is like he is being punished for this freak accident, as tho he has a choice, is trying to get away with something. Calling agencies on our own is always difficult. I cannot talk to administrators to describe the detailed care he needs. Intake personnel are often not clinical, and will say they can to the job and start tomorrow, then a couple of days later I receive a message that the company cannot staff, or there is no one available at that time. The last time, something like 26 companies were called, and they all stuck together on this. He almost didn't get discharged from the hospital, they threatened to put him in a facility, where he definitely does not belong. Sorry for going on and on. This is so humiliating and depressing. And scary.