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Tom Galli

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I’ve been raging against scam cancer cures for almost 2 decades. Now I learn there is an expanding for-profit hospice industry that is transforming hospice care into a world of fraud and incompetent “care”.

Please read this November 28, 2022 expose in The New Yorker Magazine titled For-Profit Hustle.

This forum exists to provide information and comfort to those diagnosed with lung cancer. When facing slim odds at the end of my treatment rope, I was comforted knowing a reputable and caring hospice provider would ease my end-of-life struggles. That was nearly 20 years ago. Things have dramatically changed, and this change is frightening!

Here are excerpts from the expose.

  • Hospice care is sold as alternative medical care.
  • For profit hospice providers bribe physicians to bring new patients.
  • Social media is mined to identify and enroll phantom patients. You might be surprised to find yourself enrolled in hospice!
  • False Claims Act settlements resemble a protection racket: hospice executives keep their jobs, companies keep billing Medicare, whistle-blowers and their lawyers get a cut, and Justin Department attorneys cash in by moving to defend companies they once prosecuted.
  • Hospice fraud trial judges are on the take!
  • Turnkey-ready hospice business in Montana, Texas and Tennessee are on sale, now!

How do we know a for-profit hospice provider is legitimate? After reading this expose, I don’t. Be very, very careful investigating a hospice provider. Find out who is the medical director. Ask every member of your medical team if they know the hospice provider and medical director. Ask if there are complaints. Run away from someone selling hospice care.

Be careful out there!

Stay the course.

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Tom,

Discouraging to read this.  As someone whose wife is presently in hospice it can give you chills.  In my case the care has been wonderful and the company checked out well before they were brought in (recommended by other Alzheimer's Caregivers).  The care has been excellent and support to the family the same.  I'm lucky, but I can only imagine what some families must go through with these "sham companies".  This can be the hardest period of a family's life and to learn that so many scammers and charlatans are taking advantage of it is really disheartening and it pisses me off.

Thanks for sharing.

Lou

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Everyone should be made aware that these scammers are out there. We should let everyone know to do the necessary checks prior to picking a hospice for your loved one (like Lou has done). How can any entity even consider trying to take advantage of a family that is seeking end of like care. It's criminal!!

 

Thanks for alerting us all to this Tom!!

 

Best,

Ro

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Yes, concerning indeed! Thank you for sharing, Tom. 

In my experience, most hospice companies provide high quality, compassionate care for patients nearing the end of life. Absolutely do your homework should you or someone you know consider transitioning to comfort care. Our team is available for support and can assist in vetting any provider that may be in question.

Please don't hesitate to reach out as needed, mobile 312.639.4529 or KGriffith@Lungevity.org.

kmr  

 

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Read that report; it was excellent. And, for me, the timing was perfect. As a stage IV NSCLC, I was taken by total surprise recently while having 3 tumors at back in abdomen radiated: severe unbearable searing stabbing debilitating bone pain (turned out there was more cancer at L-4 that no one knew about). I digress. My younger sister came to the rescue (I'd been driving myself but suddenly could not move). While doing her research, I noticed something interesting. VNS (visiting nurses), my primary care doc, and a few others were pushing my sister to use hospice (rather than some other in-home care groups, private or non-profit), saying it's not for the dying anymore. 

I was shocked. It was like they were parroting a new ad campaign. "They've bought into it," I told her later, noting the NYorker cover story that I'd asked her to read. Still having not read the report, my sis asked my current med onc re: using hospice. My onc nurse looked at me, then back to her, horrified, and told my sister that, as it has been for many years, hospice is for those who are dying. 

Or is it?

It is so disappointing to see these sorts of things happen. It nhappens everywhere and, I suppose, I am not surprised, but as someone above mentioned, I have looked forward to that organization help me transition into the next stage of life. I pray they will still be there, as I remember them. I used hospice for one week for the end of my Dad's life at home (he was 94; dementia)  and they were caring, reliable, and everything I expected. But I see things are changing -- and changing fast. I think we're OK so far out where I am away from the cities, but I do feel we have an obligation to put this info out there, as the NYorker and you, now, have done.

Thanks fo sharing, Trish in CT

 

 

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