A woman called St. Joes upset that we had billed Medicare for a recent ED visit that she did not believe took place. We confirmed that we had documentation of the visit, asked a few questions about the potential of identity theft, confirmed their other visits were accurate, etc. and ended up asking Kathy Newby to follow up with her. Kathy spoke with her and thought the signature in question may not be a match with an earlier signature and shared this woman's concern.
This woman and her husband came in to meet with Kathy in person. The woman was certain she had not been at St. Joes on the dates billed. Kathy did her usual due diligence in reviewing the visit, showing the scanned ID, signatures and insurance cards etc. At some point the woman broke down in tears and acknowledged she had been having issues with her memory and how frightening this was becoming for her.
She realized that this was her signature; she had been here but she didn't remember it. It was a moment of truth between the husband and wife. Kathy spent over an hour with them supporting them and offering advice on establishing good medical care; finding a PCP, enlisting assistance from a home health program to review and look at her meds. Kathy realized the patient was taking some meds which were not appropriate given her history. As Kathy discussed this with the patient and her husband, the woman realized she had forgotten what her physician had told her regarding her medications.
Kathy took the time to offer both emotional and nursing support to this woman and her husband during a very emotional realization for them. As Kathy said "my nurse brain kicked into gear" when I realized what was happening. I believe the time Kathy spent with this couple was a turning point for them. And while their life may never be the same, they left with a plan to deal with it.