Thursday, February 24, 2011

Killer Hospital in St. Joseph, Michigan

In Benton Harbor, the everyday vernacular for Lakeland Hospital has been "Killer Hospital" for eight or so years.

Sensationalism is not what we're after here, only truth. It is in this spirit we post another group of BH residents' experiences at Lakeland.

The BH community is well aware of what people go through at Lakeland; these unfortunate events should not remain concealed.

We are awaiting word from Lakeland that the hospital is using part of their enormous profits to hire an outside investigation of these allegations. It is well beyond the point at which an inside investigation would be appropriate.

1. Mr. Sawyer, age 20, was given incorrect diagnosis and medication. He died in the hospital. His family stated that white nurses were very disrespectful and forced the family out of the hospital after the death.

2. L. Anderson accompanied her mother to Lakeland to have a toe removed. The doctor mistakenly took off half of another toe as well. The patient was extremely upset. Smiling and laughing, the nurses joked about this patient having only three and a half toes.

3. Derrick Atkins had a kidney transplant in Chicago. Back home he wasn't feeling well so his wife Debra took him to Lakeland. His previous surgery was obvious to medical staff, but Debra reminded them anyways that her husband now required special medication. Incorrect medication was given to him. His wife took him to Chicago where doctors stated that Lakeland should have known better. He died in the Chicago hospital. Debra stated that Lakeland nurses and the doctor were unprofessional and rude.

4. Ora G. had a blood clot and was in a serious and dangerous health situation when she was taken to the Lakeland Intensive Care Unit. She was in pain and calling for help when a nurse arrived and said, "Don't you know we have other patients? I'll get to you when I can."

Information for Lakeland Hospital:

All patients have the right to freedom of choice of providers. Discharged planners/case managers have legal and ethical obligations to honor this right.

All patients have a common law right based upon court decisions to control the care provided to them, including who renders it. Thus, when patients, regardless of payer source or type of care, voluntarily express preferences for providers, their choices must be honored.

Federal statutes of the Medicare and Medicaid programs guarantee Medicare beneficaries and Medicaid recipients the right to freedom of choice of providers. When Medicare and Medicaid patients voluntarily express a preference for a home health agency, these choice must be honored. [Lakeland does not honor these choices.]

The balanced budget act of 1997 requires hospitals to develop a list of home health agencies and meet the following criteria: 1-Are Medicare certified,
2- Provide service in geographic areas where patients reside, and ask to be on the list.