Follow
Share

A friend went to the local emergency room a couple of months ago for a fairly minor problem, and found himself referred to a nursing home "because you don't have any way to get home." He had been living independently and doing fine before this happened. The home administrator had him sign some paperwork that wasn't explained, put him on psychiatric medications, totally contraindicated and without his approval, that he said made him feel "stupid" (and which turned out to be Seroquel) and would not allow him to leave for a couple of weeks. They never bothered with the due process niceties of required physician signatures or judge's order. He developed a bladder infection and severe hypertension while he was there (220/120 documented) for which he received no treatment at all. He has no family, so the home apparently assumed he was helpless. This is a very small nursing home in a small town, and they have myriad business problems, including keeping the beds filled, keeping staff, Medicare and Medicaid has cut them off, etc. Their rating is straight 1's on the Medicare nursing home comparison website.

I finally persuaded my friend that that, despite what he was being told, he was free to go and we finally made a rather dramatic "escape" at night with one of the attendants trying to block my car saying "you can't leave." We drove to an emergency room facility in another town where he received excellent care, including clonidine to bring down the BP and IV antibiotics for the bladder infection. Now he is home and doing well. He is still receiving bills that date from after his release/escape for medications that were dispensed after he was already home, including some that were apparently billed to and paid for by third parties (Medicare or insurance fraud?).
I am up in arms and want to launch an investigation to gather as much info as possible, who is their insurer, who is their medical director, etc., and find out how they are staying in business when they are apparently a pariah in the profession. How do I go about this? I am sure much of what I need is public info, then can turn what I find out over to an attorney for further documentation. How do I go about this? What resources are available. I already called our states ombudsman, but since he was already gone by the time they began their investigation, I doubt there was much investigation done at that point, since my main complaint had been him being kept against his will, but I have found out much, much more since then and need to know where all it can be reported.
What do I do?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
File complaints with the medical board against the physicians involved, contact the Office of Long Term Care, and the Medicaid and Medicare fraud hotlines. Let the Better Business Bureau know. Keep a good file of the evidence. Hell, if he was taken across state lines, call the FBI, but if not, and the the local police are not interested, consider a malpractice suit or at least get a lawyer to write a letter of intent to file against the people trying to bill for this medical kidnapping for profit scheme. Yes, there were physicians involved, because Seroquel is not available without a prescription. They are paying some lowlife or burnout of a doc a few $$ to keep heads in their beds.

Thank God he had a friend like you, and I sincerely hope you can kick some butt. Something like this went on in the brain injury post-acute rehab world many years ago and I was privileged to be part of the effort to stop it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Have your friend make an appointment with an Elder Law attorney to see what could be done, if anything. Usually the first visit with an attorney, the first half hour is free. Have your friend, or you, call around to see who would help him.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

p.s. would also be interested in what all they might try to do to defend themselves.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.