One day, over a year ago, my 95 year-old dear, sweet, mother-in-law Marie, was having leg pain so severe, that the aides in her personal care facility, called an ambulance. The record states that ,” patient has being (sic) stages of Dementia. The pt was in pain and would have muscle spasm causing her to jump in pain…” Now, the fact that she was ‘jumping’ at anything is quite remarkable, being 95 and all. So due to this and several other factors, the EMTs decided to take her to the local hospital. They called my husband, who was on the golf course that Saturday morning. They called me, and I was at my Wills for Heroes pro bono attorney event which I try to attend at least twice-a-year for first responders, where we do free wills and Powers of Attorney documents for first responders and their families ( and now you know why they need these documents!). After I saw a call from the Personal Care Unit and my sister-in-law, I realized something was up. I called my 83 year-old mother to high tail it over to the hospital, and sit with Marie, until my husband or I could get there. Yes, my go-to girl is my 83 year-old mother. She’s very peppy, as 80-somethings go, so she can high tail it to the hospital with the best of them. As it turns out, despite Marie’s constant wincing in pain and yelping, which she really never does, they couldn’t find anything really wrong and sent her back home.
Here’s the kicker. Medicare refused to pay for the ambulance transport. I have now appealed this twice. This is my beef with this. How is a 95 year-old DOCUMENTED dementia patient in personal care, who truly doesn’t even remember how to use a telephone, supposed to be financially responsible for an ambulance transport that she did not order, ask for, or was incapable of consenting to. Sure, the EMTs got her to sign a consent. Does that really count? I have no problem with all the good people who were taking excellent care of my mother-in-law. They were concerned, they called for medical assistance and, I have to assume the staff and the EMTs decided that for Marie’s safety and well-being, it was best to take her to the ER.
So, I’m sorry, but to try and saddle Marie with a bill for $797.20 is unconscionable. So what is the reasoning here? I’m sorry she wasn’t sick enough for you? In pain enough for you? Was at the mercy of her caregivers, trying to do the right thing, to take an ambulance ride? I’m still appealing, I refuse to let them win. and so well….sometimes you just have to laugh…..