Posted in Ethics, Patient Rights, Recovery, Substance Abuse Treatment, Support, The Write Way

Discrimination Loud and Clear

I have an issue that I would like to bounce off of any readers for the purpose of feedback. I have a close friend who is on a methadone maintenance program. I will refer to this person  as Patient X  to comply with confidentiality laws. Patient X transferred from one clinic to another because of a move from one location to another. Before the physical transfer tFB_IMG_1459567793374 (1)ook place, Patient X’s medical records were faxed to the new medical facility. When Patient X went to the intake appointment at the new facility, Patient X was informed that this new clinic was a private clinic and the facility did not accept Patient X’s insurance, which is Medicare (part A and B coverage). Through some negligent action of the clinic, patient X has discovered that this was untrue. This new clinic indeed takes Medicare and all Medicare patients are receiving refund checks for May, June, and July; and do not have to make anymore payments to the clinic for August and September until Medicaid picks up the bill in October. Apparently this clinic is making a switch from accepting Medicare to now accepting Medicaid. Patient X is understandably upset because when Patient X became a new patient at this facility, no changes in insurance had been made and the facility accepted Patient X’s insurance at the patient’s intake. Patient X brought this the attention of staff and counselors and requested the facility file a Medicare claim from March 8, 2016 (the date of patient’s intake) to now. The clinic refused to help Patient X and will not make it right. Patient X was told that if continued service was desired then Patient X will continue to pay cash and not make waves. The nearest facility that provides maintenance is over 60 miles away in any direction. Patient X has reported this to Medicare, but other than filing a claim on the patient’s own behalf, what is the recourse of Patient X? Is this legal? Can a medical facility pick and choose who they accept Medicare from? What should Patient X do? I think Patient X has been grossly discriminated against. How can someone in recovery trust the medical professionals that are supposed to be helping the patient, and instead have lied and violated the patient’s rights to equal and ethical treatment? What sould patient X do?