Long Term Care Heroes and Villains

Long Term Care Heroes and Villains

Try not to only pay attention to the bad apples when it comes to healthcare compliance. Many times the headlines we read are negative and ridden with scandal and abuse. While these events need to receive their due diligence and be shared for awareness and continual improvement, always consider the hardworking men and women who make your day bright.

Today on the blog, let’s take a look at some contrasting stories of the good and the bad because let’s face it, this is the challenge we face each day.

Let’s start with the bad news first. Most people and companies in healthcare today care about the services and quality of care provided…but unfortunately, some do not. There are bad actors in every sector, but when you read about cases like this, it just makes you mad and sad.

According to a recent release from the U.S. Department of Justice, for the Eastern District of Missouri, John Mac Sells of St. Peters, Missouri, was sentenced this month to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay $667,201 in restitution.

Sells stole the funds provided by Medicaid which he was to use to provide care for elderly and disabled residents at Benchmark. Due directly to Sells’ diversion of funds to his own use, the residents did not receive medication, sufficient meals, and necessary dietary supplements. Patients endured hardships of extremely poor living conditions, malnutrition, and lacking access to essential pharmaceuticals because of non-payment.

To make matters worse, while these substandard conditions existed at Benchmark, Sells used the stolen Medicaid funds to support his lifestyle, including spending $184,889 at adult entertainment and strip clubs, $11,566 at this country club, $14,614 for pet care, and $4,513 at casinos.

Bad actors like this should not only be ashamed of themselves, but

never allowed back into the healthcare system as a provider.

Here’s the thing, while people like John Mac Sells exist in healthcare so do people like Roberta who was mentioned in a recent article in Gary Tetz’s column in McKnight’s Long Term Care News. The Robertas of the world are perfectly fine living in the tension of long term care and ensuring that everyone feels important and in good hands. In the article, the author praises Roberta for remaining steadfast, empathetic, and focused in a very chaotic and emotional environment.

But just when all hope seemed lost, onto that dystopian horrorscape appeared Roberta, a true angel of compassion and force for good. She wandered the room, looking at paperwork and gently herding people into the right lines. She was knowledgeable and clear, funny but firm. She proactively identified and solved problems at the back of the line before they magnified themselves at the counter.”

“Every great long-term care facility has that kind of person — or numerous. Someone who understands what people are going through, and what they fear. Someone who won’t take it personally when they lash out. Someone who helps shift the energy in any challenging situation. Someone with the almost magical ability to help residents and families endure the journey through some of life’s most difficult and unavoidable transitions.

Someone like Roberta.

It’s people like her that we can admire each day – the ones who can be an encouragement and comforter in the most challenging and bleak of situations. In such an industry as long term care, resilience and strength abound but are often not properly given the credit they deserve. The people that show up everyday and who are able to exhibit a positive outlook no matter the circumstance are to be admired and respected. Don’t forget the good apples like Roberta.

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