The season has started here in Florida


Folks are coming down in record numbers. As I continue to work in the clinic 3 days a week, we are getting daily emails about our hospitals being overwhelmed.

And there’s another problem…

this summer our hospital system let 700 nurses, providers, and technicians go. Times were bad and layoffs had to start. The problem is — we need them back and we can’t get them.

So why am I telling you all this?

Because these layoffs may have happened in your area, too. You may be seeing a pick-up in COVID-19 as well. We will start shutting the visitors out. Please get your loved one’s medical records in order and please know their wishes and have them bring their records with them.

We see folks come down to Florida every year either without their records or

there proper legal healthcare documents required in the state of Florida. We cannot honor anything from another state.

It’s Party time down here!

If you are a distant caregiver, think about your loved one when they come down here…They want to see their friends. They are eating out together. Activities are in the full swing again. A lot of these RV parks are close together. Masks are not being worn at the pools, especially during cocktail hour. As our numbers pick up it will overwhelm our hospital system faster because of lack of staff. 

We DO have the equipment, but everything will shut down again. What does that mean? Even if you fly down you cannot see your loved one.

3 steps to take now…

Step #1

Make sure when your loved ones sign up for Medicare this year that they take a plan which allows them to go out of network. Do not let them get these PPO and HMOs (Advantage plans) and come down here. They get so mad at us when we can’t help them in the clinic. They have to find their own referrals. They can only go to certain doctors who are booked up for months…

What a mess!

Have them see a Medicare specialist who can truly work through every health condition, every medication, and every unknown they may have. Believe it or not, your loved ones get sick down here. I wonder, “Do they tell you?”. 

Step #2

Make sure the healthcare directives can be honored in whatever state your loved ones winter in. We have families so distraught over this. But we cannot change the laws. If there are no legal documents in place, the doctor will decide what happens next. If you decide to take your loved one back with you, they have to be healthy enough to travel.  

Step #3

Get yourself a human watch company. Similar to Home Watch. These companies offer nurses and Patient Advocates who check in with your loved one from time to time to see how they are doing. If your loved one goes to the hospital, they go with them and will keep you informed as to exactly what is happening. Especially if we close our doors to visitors. 

Quick true story…

When a patient fell and needed to go to the emergency room. The doctors wanted to run up a huge bill and keep the poor confused patient in the hospital when the patient wanted to go home. The patient had dementia for 15 years and was frightened. 

Arrive… the patient advocate. She called the health care surrogate back up north and together they got mom home that night without any CT scans and MRIs or labs. She was able to get stitched up and home. The Patient Advocate watched over her for the distant caregivers. 

I love my patients but…

I’ve told you my average age patient is 86 years old. Well, this weekend it happened again!

The cutest 81 year old patient came in after falling at home.

She had a black eye and skin tears. 

I asked her if she was going to tell her children

who lived up north.

She just stared at me and shook her head, “NO!”

I just smiled…

What are you gonna with these folks but love them! 

About the Author

Do you feel frustrated with your medical care? Do doctors spend 5 minutes with you, push you out of the office, with you wondering what's going to happen? Does your insurance deny paying? You're not alone. I'm frustrated, too. This is a growing trend in healthcare. Having seen pre-insurance medicine (yes, my dad was an old country doctor), I grew up watching him spend time with his patients, giving them the best care he had to offer. I saw families trust him to help them through hospitalizations and the next crisis. As a patient advocate, my job is to see that you get the right diagnosis, the right treatment plans, and the right supplies and education to make good decisions about your health. More importantly, I will teach you the tricks of the healthcare trade. We need more healthcare consumer protection, especially for chronic illnesses like diabetes. This is what I am passionate about. I make it happen every day with thousands of patients who now know what I know about beating the healthcare system and getting the best patient care...Patient Best.

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