Beaumont, TX – 2019
David was 37 and lived in Maryland. Originally from Texas, his mom Sally, age 76, still lived there in Beaumont. She was in good health and like most seniors took a few prescriptions. One Sunday night as she was preparing for bed, she suddenly felt dizzy and was shaky, so much so that she reluctantly called 911. Soon the ambulance came, she was taken to the ER and so began her perilous healthcare journey.
During intake, the nursing assistant asked her to provide her med list. In a fragile state and mumbling, Sally told her what she could remember about her prescriptions and dosages. So far, par for the course. Somewhere between her memory, the confusion, and the intake notes, one of Sally’s meds was recorded as a dosage of .5 as opposed to her proper dose of .05, a small clerical note that almost cost Sally her life.
Undetected, the clerical error had Sally in horrible health the next two days. Her vital signs plummeted and the doctors could not find out what was wrong with her. David came from Maryland and he too was at a loss for what was happening to his normally healthy mother. Finally, he demanded to look and her prescriptions and fortunately he had her med list and discovered the discrepancy. Her health stabilized and David was looking to bring her home.
Not so fast.
The doctors wanted to transition Sally to skilled nursing which David thought her insurance would cover. There was one huge problem, Medicare states that you have to be admitted as an inpatient for 3 days before you can use your skilled nursing benefit. Now, David was the one who was dizzy. Confused, he then wanted to take her home where she could watch her. The doctors refused, David dug in his heels, but they still insisted. A social worker was called in to mediate and threatened to David that Texas law dictates that if he didn’t grant his approval, he could face state charges. He relented and ultimately had to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket because Sally couldn’t t use her insurance. The financial burden almost caused him bankruptcy.
At JB Medicare and health we have seen how easily meds can get misprescribed. Tell the senior in your life to keep an updated drug list, keep a copy on the refrigerator and give an accurate copy to loved ones. The drug list could be a lifesaver and no one, senior or not, should be without one. If you ever need assistance with creating one or would like to hear more testimonials please call us. Simple planning can prevent the nightmare that Sally and David went through .
The moral of the story in case you didn’t get it…GET YOUR PARENTS TO MAKE A DRUG LIST!!!