December 7, 2010 : While waiting for the VA Palo Alto to return my call I made a call to the local hospital in Gilroy, CA. After more than two days and numerous calls I finally reach the Doctor-In-Charge. I inform him I am the Power of Attorney for Dad’s Health Care (POA). I asked Dr. to call the VA Palo Alto to transfer Dad. This Dr. says, “The VA won’t take him.” I am like, “What?!” I am told again, “The VA won’t take him.”
I call VAPAHCS on December 8 with no success catching the Acute to Acute Transfer Liason. Same day, I call for the first time to the Patient Advocate Office, the Social Service Department, and attempt to leave my Dad’s primary care Doctor a voice mail. Meanwhile Gilroy is telling me Dad has to be moved, Medicare will no longer cover him, and make suggestions of skilled nursing facilities (snf). I decide on a well established facility in Los Gatos, CA and is part of the Good Samaritan Hospital. I was told this was an inpatient sub-acute stroke rehab on hospital grounds.
Transfer would proceed on December 9, 2010. I call my referral from VA Social Services and confirm Dad will have access to his VA doctors while I continue to work on getting him transferred. I am told at this time, it does not matter where he goes he will be able to see his doctor.
Sidebar – Major learning curve error here to impart on other unsuspecting Veterans…..yes, you have access but you will have to make arrangements to get to the VA Doctor. VA Doctors do not visit their patients at any off-site facilities. Even though I was speaking with a Social Worker. in the VA System, my experience in December and through today, NO full answer or explanation is given to ANY question. I had to learn and learn quickly to be specific on my informational requests.
When his primary care doctor’s nurse had not returned my call by December 10, 2010. I placed another call to Patient Advocacy Manager, Margaret Lawrence. Leaving a message with her co-worker, I had to speak with my dad’s primary and I had to speak to her. The Transfer Department is not returning my call.
To be continued….