Fortunately because I'm the boss, I get to visit Mom a couple of times per week.
And it's my duty, really, since I'm trustee and Dad entrusted me with making sure Mom is well taken care of after his death.
A few weeks ago I got a call from the lead nurse at Mom's facility seeking authorization to send Mom to the hospital. In a rapid turn of events, Mom had developed pneumonia, nearly overnight.
At 90 years of age, pneumonia is usually fatal - the frail immune system of someone that age generally is not able to overcome such an attack.
I authorized transportation to the local hospital (an excellent facility by the way, just a few miles from Mom's residence) via ambulance, where she was admitted and promptly treated.
I had visited Mom at the hospital the next day. Mom looked terrible. She was clearly weak, on oxygen, tubes and wires all over her ... but she had Mom spirit. When she saw me she raised her weak arm to wave me into the room and smiled pleasingly.
|Mom - radiant!|
The charge nurse gave me her status and treatment plan. She also advised that they had ALREADY begun various therapies: rehabilitative, occupational, pneumatic, etc. I was surprised at the early intervention of therapeutic modalities but the nurse explained that it was important for a quick recovery, particularly with elderly people.
She was released from the hospital after only two nights. I thought after the next visit with Mom at her residence following hospital release that The Time was near. Mom was in a wheelchair, on oxygen, coughing up phlegm, her lungs still sounding under water, eating a pureed diet.
The head nurse at Mom's residence advised that they would be particularly aggressive with therapies, and would have her walking shortly and off oxygen in a few day. I was skeptical, but hopeful.
All of this happened about a month ago.
Yesterday, however, Mom looked and sounded wonderful, back to her "normal" pre-pneumonia dementia-based life: no coughing, no phlegm, no oxygen, regular food and appetite, good color in her skin, and back up to "normal" ambulatory status (with a walker).
I was completely astounded that not only did she beat pneumonia at age 90, when most people would have died, but that her recovery was so complete and quick.
I'm convinced that this miraculous event was due mostly from prompt and proper medical response.
The staff at her residence noted immediately disease symptoms, and nearly as immediately sought and obtained medical intervention.
The hospital not only treated the pneumonia, but introduced immediately therapeutic modalities for early rehabilitation.
You know why this happened? Because I was the Utilization Review authority with the responsibility and obligation to ensure prompt medical attention within the authority provided by estate documents - the requests were not subject to secondary review, were not subject to additional layers of decision adjustment, were not part of a financial process.
There were no perverse motivations interfering with my decision making process.
Unlike workers' compensation, where the "no fault" doctrine has been perverted to "no responsibility" through years of "reform" agendas perpetrated by vendors (and I use that term broadly to include carriers, TPAs, physicians, attorneys, bill review, utilization review, etc.) rather than the only original parties to the "no fault" bargaining table: employers and their workers.
Workers' compensation CAN perform similarly to how Mom got her treatment - but all of the vendors need to get off the trough and frankly the only way to make that happen is to remove them from the "no fault" protection of comp.
Mom got well because people were responsible. She wasn't ready to die yet.
I appreciate that.