Thursday, November 20, 2008

Medicare wants me to report Duke Hospital

I am very conflicted.

Duke Home Health tells me that Medicare will not pay for dad's antibiotics. I am administering antibiotics through my father's chest port catheter every 8 hours. Dad will have to pay about $10 a day for the medicine (after his secondary commercial insurance).

Medicare spoke with me about the denial today. The Medicare officials inquired why dad needed the medication. And I explained the saga of the August 2008 Duke hospitalization and how the infection in the foot was missed.

Medicare gave me the name and telephone number of the agency in North Carolina that investigates quality of care issues. They asked me to make he complaint and commence the investigation against Duke Hospital.

Despite my irritation and strong position that Duke Hospital lacks proper communication and cooperation with the Duke Clinic physicians and despite my disdain for the "hospitalist model," I really respect and appreciate the Duke Clinic physicians and surgeons.

So I contacted the resource managers who arranged the discharge, the supervising Duke Hospital nurse and even the orthopedic resident. I asked them to help me resolve the systemic issues and reassure me that my dad would be safe at Duke Hospital. I thought that such a reassurance would make the Medicare investigation a moot point.

Duke Hospital just ignores me.

I hate the thought of reporting Duke Hospital to the Medicare quality inspection group.

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