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this won't bring your mother back (that one is in writing, from one of the
organizations responsible for helping us get her out). And our letters were always
professional, filled with citations to legal authority, and with reference to
included medical records. The reporter would get instant responses.
People
called him back. they were polite to him. the same exact people. Things we had
been asking for for months would be addressed in hours. Same deal with the
congressman's office. the person in reference was tagged for a response and
dropped the group within 24 hours, without providing a response. i have worked
through many other questions with federal and state agencies. Usually, I find
regulators to go out of their way to be nice. Usually, the higher up you go, the
more responsive people are. Not so with the medical community. A while ago, you
wrote about all the nice doctors etc. Keep in mind you might get treated
differently because you are a reporter.""Hi Debra Van Putten, you're absolutely
right that reporters are treated differently than patients. It's not right, but
it's the reality. That's one of the fundamental reasons that we created this
Facebook group -- to bring attention to the injustices suffered by patients, bring
attention to the issue of patient harm and give patients a voice. This also
underscores the importance of engaging the media on these stories. It's sad that
sometimes it takes media attention to get medical providers to do the right thing,
but it's common. I am certainly aware that reporters are not treated the way
patients are and would guess that other journalists know this, too.""Actually, I am
going to amend that. About a year before mom's death, mom changed part D providers
and there was a problem with one prescription. We tried 1-800 medicare and that was
useless, but we contacted the same person who we contacted later. In that
instance, there was a problem with the computer programming with a subcontractor
that could not be easily remedied. It was discovered, an interim fix was
implemented and dad never had a problem with getting that med again. So, Medicare
is capable of managing its contractor and subcontractors. It's just hospital
oversight is the third rail.""when I was able to talk to someone from the Regional
Office in Philadelphia, the officer responsible for Mom's investigation said to me
that I shouldn't be complaining because after all I was a Republican (my
contribution history is shown on HuffPo) and after all I was in favor of small
government and this is small government. And then she told me i could hire an
attorney, call my congressman or talk to a reporter, it didn't matter, this
hospital would be held accountable over her dead body. I understand how the world
works. But it really seems to be that it is one step too far when government
employees are crystal clear that justice is for sale to the highest bidder.""So, we
called our congressman and called a reporter.""the congressman's office made the
Regional Administrator talk to us. She claimed that she thought mom being starved
was ""new information' and was promptly disabused of that. She promised to make
this her ""top priority."" That was May 31. Radio silence except for the letters
we get when we complain to Sebeliius. We're up for our third run at the
administrative editor today on a news story. The story keeps getting longer every
time it gets kicked down with more questions, so we guardedly have our fingers
crossed. Prayers are always welcome. We had seven findings of immediate jeopardy
at the state level, and that is the only
report in the official state files. The only version of the report in the records
at CMS has those findings mostly scrubbed with no action being taken. Don't know
who changed the findings, but I sure have my beliefs."And medicare sure was
perturbed that we got both versions of the report. How that happened was priority
one for them coming off of the phone conference.We (and the reporter) filed Freedom
of Infornation Requests both with the state that did the investigation and with
Medicare. This describes the Medicare FOIA process:
http://www.cms.gov/center/freedom-of-information-act-center.html. The state agency
should have a similar request page.QIO is not subject to FOIA. That is the really
bad thing about this system is that it is set up to bury any negative finding.
"there are basically three entities that do reviews. The Joint Commission, QIOs and
State Survey Agencies. The Joint Commission publishes no information (even while
flogging patients that they need to take charge and promoting patient involvement)