Rehab facility sent 71-year-old dementia patient home in cab, family says

A rehabilitation facility in Charlotte, N.C., allegedly placed an elderly dementia patient in a taxi upon his discharge and sent him to his son's locked and empty home, where he then wandered off, according to Fox 46 Charlotte

After suffering from a stroke, Alexander Rose, 71, went to Mecklenburg Health and Rehabilitation Center for long-term care. Less than a month later, the facility notified Mr. Rose's son that his father's care was not fully covered under Medicare. Instead of waiting 45 days for Mr. Rose's son to apply for Medicaid, Mecklenburg Health allegedly insisted on sending his father home, family members told Fox 46 Charlotte. 

Mr. Rose signed his own discharge papers, though his son is his legal guardian. Mr. Rose told Fox 46 Charlotte he didn't know what he was signing or where he was going. A family friend found him four hours after he was dropped off at his son's house. Mr. Rose's son said his father, who is diabetic, was also sent home without any medication, Fox 46 Charlotte reports.

CMS typically requires healthcare facilities to give a 30-day notice before discharge and coordinate transportation plans with the patient or guardian. The Rose family issued a complaint with CMS, which officials forwarded to the State Survey Agency "to review," according to Fox 46 Charlotte.

Cassandra Dority, an administrator at Mecklenburg Health, declined to comment on specifics of the case due to patient privacy laws, but said the Rose family's claims are "inaccurate."

"As a trusted healthcare provider, we arrange safe and appropriate discharges according to the guidance of an interdisciplinary team of physicians and other trained clinicians, and federal and state regulations," she told Fox 46 Charlotte. "When a patient is competent and capable of returning to his or her prior home setting, we have a responsibility to honor his or her wishes."

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