JA19 web - Page 34

J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 9
Kent was the new boss. Phil will tell you that I never
meddle in what they do at InsiderAdvantage Georgia or
James, partially because Phil and the team are doing such
a magnicent job in growing our company.
But my ownership does occasionally have its privileges. That is particularly true when it comes to my own
mother— and when I want to write a column about her.
My mom might hold the state record for writing
checks to political candidates. She is always a lovely
lady— beautiful with dark hair, a thin frame and always
dressed as if she walked out of a Saks Fifth Avenue catalogue (which she basically did).
After my father passed away in 2015 she
developed memory problems which led to
her to being cared for at home by four wonderful caregivers who we love dearly.
Things were rocking along ne until
right after Easter of this year. Then it struck.
Much of her colon wiped out. Her only
choices being a brutal surgery or a lifetime of
Jell-O and water supplemented by intravenous nutrients.
Despite that prognosis, things at rst
looked hopeful. The home healthcare company
she was assigned to arrived and seemed
halfway competent. They had to be taught how to do a
few things, ordered completely unusable supplies (all
paid for by Medicare I am sure), but hey, that’s healthcare in the ATL, right?
They even managed to come once or twice to help
her get out of the hospital bed we put in place for her in
the family room of her beloved home.
So, who would have thought that a follow-up visit to
scan her abdomen would leave her lost in the hellish
system of healthcare in Georgia?
After getting to the hospital’s off campus imaging
center by medical transport (arriving ahead of time)
mom was parked in a hallway and waited . . . and waited
. . . and waited. By the time someone nally realized the
agony she was in, the entire waiting room was empty.
They nally imaged the poor soul strapped to a moveable
bed, their last patient.
That excursion led immediately to another admittance to the hospital (where in both instances the care
was superb). Then came the discharge.
Most so-called “social workers” in hospitals move like
snails and have the brains of a chicken. Because the patient
is on the way out they are a mandatory afterthought.
But she left her second hospitalization with the
belief that the same barely competent group would be
there to draw her blood, check her for potential infections and bed sores and try to get her moving. That
never happened.
For two weeks my mother lay in her hospital bed in
the family room of her house, her muscles weakening,
her spirit declining. Three attempts at securing home
health all failed. The rst bunch did nally send a nurse,
seven days after she was discharged. He stayed all of ve
minutes. And days later, still no follow-up.
I won’t bore readers with all the details but trying
to secure home health after that was harder than a
Republican winning Dodge County in 1990. It
seems that even if you are incapable of physically moving, our new Medicare laws mandate
that you see your primary physician to hold
on to your home healthcare.
Of course, that was not explained to us
and we all know what lobby in D.C. made
sure that such a requirement be put in place.
For two weeks our team struggled to nd
any way to get this suffering woman any home
health care. Phone calls were not returned, voicemails
were lled up and every time we thought we had secured
help from a new group it fell through.
Were it not for the attentiveness of U.S. Sen. Johnny
Isakson in Washington and Piedmont’s brilliant VP of
external affairs Thomas Worthy, my mom would still be
rotting away with no help.
But not all Georgians know such leaders or know
how to get help.
We need some serious revisions to the red tape
that ties up home health services in our nation. We
need new laws that rid us of some franchised companies that should not be in the business. And we need
our politicians to quit talking about Russia or stolen
votes and start talking about the biggest mess we have
in America . . . a broken healthcare system.
Matt Towery is the founder and chairman of InsiderAdvantage
Georgia and James.
J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 9


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