It’s that time of year…..the time of the Mom and Pop – Drops!!!! You know, when the family with big holiday plans doesn’t want to care for their elderly Mom or Pop. So where do they end up, the ER to be evaluated for ‘not looking good’ or ‘back pain present but unchanged for months’, expecting a hospital admission for an evaluation. Of course, when you tell them that there is no acute reason for admission they become angry saying ‘they can’t care for them’ and refuse to take them home. Hense, in they come….on our dime!!! And we want to know why Medicare is bankrupt? To make it worse, it turns out there won’t be anyone around to receive the patient home or care for them until after the holiday, and of course, they refuse placement into a longer care nursing facility.
The fact that there is no recourse is just another example of how the system is broken. The attitude on the part of many families, that this is an acceptable use of the system, is just another example of entitlement.
I remember staffing the VA Medical Center ER during winter holidays. Poor veterans would be sent by taxi and left at the ER ambulance bay with suitcase in hand. When their evaluation was completed and they were deemed able to be discharged home, we’d either get no response from the family, or worse, they’d tell us that there would be no one home and that the door would be LOCKED if we sent the patient home by cab. Welcome to the VA Medical Center for the holidays!! So very sad…….!!!
There is so much wrong with this picture!!! From the government allowing this to occur with zero repercussion or cost to the patient or family, to the attitude of the family toward their loved ones, to the system’s inability to facilitate the return of the patient to their home.
In reality, if there was any cost to the patient or their family, these issues would cease immediately. Unfortunately that is deemed unacceptable by those in charge of the system. The problem will just continue to become worse until there is some accountability and sense of responsibility instilled into the system. Sadly, this is also a societal problem, further illustrating the sense of entitlement pervasive in our society today. No wonder the healthcare system is broken and bankrupt. And, there seems to be little resolve to fix it!!!