Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Warning to all Veteran residents, past and present of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

Guys: post this to the blogspot page and the Facebook page ASAP, as it is very very important. 
(ok, here it is).
22 March 2017

Warning to Veterans. Pass this info on to all Residents of the Michigan Veterans home, past and current. Especially if they are in the domiciliary unit.

It is well known that the homes administration, both present and past has some serious issues still not being addressed by the Board of Managers, the administration or anyone.

Part of this issue is the way mail is handled.

Part of this issue is the way the home handles medical billing issues, and getting the correct paperwork to the VA so the VA will cover medical bills for veterans who have VA care.

If you are a current resident or former resident, you =NEED= to check your credit history this month. Look for outstanding bills not paid. They may be listed in the section that covers collections agency reports.

As a former Dom unit member, who had VA care before I went to the home, I just found something that angers me to no end. The home itself does not pay for medical expenses. As a Non Income person, classified as a homeless veteran, I was given a place to stay at the home. “A bed” as they call it. I was never given a copy of my acceptance contract, nor do I have one to this day. I was never informed as to my responsibilities were, nor what I would be responsible for in the future, if I left the home.

We now know they claimed it cost over 5k per month to have a veteran in the Dom unit, and more for other units. However the residents get charged a percentage of that amount. What was not told to them, is that the amount they do not pay, is allowed to accumulate, and a state lien is put on them in case they ever have any future earnings or money that the state can take. NONE of us in Dom unit were told this. There are guys who now owe the state hundreds of thousands of dollars. They have been forced into remaining poor for the rest of their lives because they were not informed of this and could not make proper choices.

Also what was not told to us, is that if the home sent us out to get medical care outside the home, we would be responsible for the bills.

I just learned about that fact today, some 5 years after Sara Dunne kicked me out of the home.

Now for those of us with VA care. That means we have to notify the VA, and get approval, even under emergency conditions. But we were not told that.

The homes doctors at the Veterans Home can send a copy of the bill to the VA with a note attached that the care given by outside sources was emergency treatment, and the VA will cover it.. but the doctors that USED to work at the home refused to do so, leaving the veteran to have to pay for things out of pocket.

This is what happened to me. 1 month after a quad bypass given to me in the VA hospital in Ann Arbor, I came down with post-operative Pneumonia. And I was sent to spectrum ER. I think the VA was notified of this and paid most of the bills. But one remained unpaid. I found this out by looking at my credit report, and found an unpaid bill being reported by a collections agency from 5 years ago.

I called the agency up and found out the date – Aug 8, 2011. 30 days after my surgery. That’s when Dr. Bates sent me to the ER when I told Nurse Kathy that I had a dizzy spell standing up from my bed. And I never got a copy of ANY of the bills for that ER visit.

This is because all mail is intercepted by the home and the staff goes thru it, and is supposed to process it properly. Many times they did not.

This also explains why when a friend Jerry L broke his wrist in a fall on an icy sidewalk, the home sent him to the ER and refused to pay the bill. Since Jerry did not have VA care at the time, he probably has a bunch of unpaid medical bills on his credit history that he doesn’t even know are his responsibility. And now the home has all but erased any evidence that the accident even took place.

I consider this to be victimization of the resident veterans because we were not properly informed and this has had consequences. We were not informed of the bills, nor given a copy of them, nor were we informed we were responsible for them. How can we act on something we do not know about?

We have been damaged by the homes administration’s failure to properly process paperwork, to inform us, and to give us copies of bills and notices that we needed to be aware of. I am wondering if this is grounds for a class action lawsuit.

- Gregory M, former Rankin 3 resident.

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