First Dianne, again let me thank you for your indulgence.
For those of you who may have been following the story of the hospital abuse of my wife and her subsequent death, and with some 11 pages and nearly 20,000 views of my prior thread -- Not sure I'd normally post this... I know there are some, we have been working diligently to obtain some justice and closure. The road has been difficult as Medicare and its inspection contractor, Virginia Department of Health, have consistently put up regulatory roadblocks even going so far as altering documents and restricting Freedom of Information (FOIA) access. Vis a vis, the regulators, the Associated Press has been of great help in removing a few bricks out of the roadblock by running a couple of stories which were picked up by many media outlets across the country and even some across the sea. first story and second story
Over the past 14 months, another agency, VHQC, conducted a review of the thousands of medical record pages from the hospital. This review consisted only of reading the records and interviewing the hospital for its version. The review does not allow for input from outsiders such as the family or the rehab facilities to which the hospital transferred her. A public advocacy journalist group, ProPublica in conjunction with PBS’s Frontline program released today an interactive internet piece on hazardous hospitals A portion of Sharon’s (my wife) story is featured in the “Deny and Defend” section. At the end of that section, click on the “Click for one patient’s story” icon. A hyperlink in the Case Study writeup will take you to the VHQC report – an 18 page report with indictments of care not meeting minimum standards plus a 19th page with the Hospital CEO’s response that Sharon got great care.
We are not done and we are aware of at least two additional stories that may be published. As with those before, we have neither assurance of publication nor any advance knowledge of how the story will be told. It is now more than 18 months since I was able to bring Sharon home for her final weeks. I miss her greatly and the obstinacy and cover up we’ve encountered since is an insult and disgraceful.
It is inconceivable to me that with the $billions spent by CMS (Medicare) on its own administration, on hospital, physician and drug claims, on agencies it charters for investigations etc., that there is no accountability or sanctions levied on negligent or even criminal care providers or on its own regulatory system. One has to wonder if all those taxpayer and medicare premium dollars are just plain wasted. We are working with various US Congressmen and Senators but it is difficult to keep their attention. If any of you wish to forward this posting to your Federal representatives & and Senators, please feel free.
Dale and all, thank you so much for your sentiments and to all that have sent me PMs of support over the past 15 months!!!!! And John, the frustration level is not too high. I think we're doing pretty well in the publicity area and bad publicity is not good for the hospital etal. We have Medicare and its contractors caught in a web of lies. The media is very interested in the denial of FOIA law based on a federal bureaucrat's say so. The media doesn't seem to think that a government employee makes law much less overturns law all by herself. They think suspension of FOIA is a very slippery slope for them.
Other media besides the AP is also interested in the part of the story that caused the agencies to cover up and that is the abuse at the hands of the doctors/hospital and expect a television story soon - during sweeps week. Fingers crossed. Since the first story was released by the AP on the first of October, we have heard from others about deaths in that hospital that occurred after our complaints to Medicare - deaths caused by the same items that we alleged and requested to be fixed.
Someone, and I don't know who, started a petition about Medicare's interference with state FOIA laws with regards to Sharon. If any on this forum would wish to sign it or to 're link' to others, I'd be most appreciative.
And Dianne, thank you for the courtesy extended to an old full timer in allowing this thread to live.