Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Still Needs Care, but Where?

Larry Brazil has been a patient at University Community Hospital for nearly 1,000 days.

He has racked up a hospital bill — in addition to his doctors' fees — of more than $1.7 million, his family says.

His mind is alert, but he can't walk or talk and must use a ventilator to breathe 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

But soon the 77-year-old retired printer and dump truck driver will be discharged under a court order, ending the hospital's unprecedented two-year effort to move him and taking his family into uncertain territory as they attempt to care for him at home.

Lengthy stays and million-dollar hospital bills are not unheard of. But Brazil's case raises serious questions about health care access and costs. How can one patient remain in the hospital for so long — likely at taxpayers' expense — at a time when millions of others struggle to get health care?

And why is it so difficult for families like the Brazils to find good options for long-term care outside the hospital?

Brazil's case "is an anomaly, but it's an expensive anomaly," said Jay Wolfson, an expert on health policy at the University of South Florida.

Full Article and Source:
Patient Runs Out of Hospital Time but Options are Slim


Anonymous said...

This is a very sad sorrowful way to spend the ending phase of one's life no one knows what is in our future no crystal ball will help us plan or avoid a situation like this. My heart hurts for this man and his family.

Anonymous said...

Is this family interested in bringing Mr. Brazil home?

Home care is less expensive by far.

StandUp said...

I am sorry to say that Larry Brazil is a clear and easy candidate for guardianship.

I hope his family finds a place for him and soon. I am sure they don't realize he's in such risk.

Bella said...

Did he need 1,000 days of care? And if not, why is the hospital waiting until now to try to evict him? Were they hoping he'd die first and their trouble would go away?

Anonymous said...

What a terrible worry for the Brazil family.

Mr. Brazil has done his job -- he's obviously got a strong will to live. Now, his family has to find a place for him.

Home is best but I understand not all people can handle home care.

Anonymous said...

What about the hospital Social Workers? Have they been looking for a place for him?

Isn't that their job?