BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (WXYZ) — It is a story you saw first on 7 Action News in September. We told you how a change in law was putting the future of a Detroit sports hero, who helped bring home the Stanley Cup for the Detroit Red Wings, at risk.
Vladimir Konstantinov suffered a catastrophic injury in a limo crash in the days after the Stanley Cup win in 1997. He now lives with a traumatic brain injury and requires around-the-clock care. That care has been paid for by Michigan’s Auto No-Fault Insurance. His attorney says he has very little savings. He and his family have planned for the insurance coverage to always be there.
On Tuesday, the company that provides care to Konstantinov held a press conference attended by Vlady. They shared that they are losing money providing him life-sustaining care and pleaded for an end to what they call a political power play.
“We have cared for Vlady for 20 years, and to see that we might have to make this hard decision to cut him free and just hope and pray he can find something.. it is not a good place to be in,” said Theresa Ruedisueli of Arcadia Home Care & Staffing.
Theresa Ruedisueli says Arcadia Home Care & Staffing now has $1.5 million worth of work billed for about 30 patients injured in catastrophic car accidents that insurance companies are refusing to pay for. The reason? A law that went into effect in July, as the company dealt with inflation and a pandemic pressured health care labor shortage, cut reimbursement rates by 45%.
Lawmakers said it aimed to end price gouging. Ruedisueli says because her company was not gouging, it now is losing money providing care.
Arcadia’s intake coordinator Julie Nye says if the company discharges auto crash patients, there is nowhere to send them.
“They have nowhere to go. There is nowhere to take care of them,” said Nye.
Some patients have been discharged to hospitals. Others have been sent from their homes to nursing homes.
“If we were to vote on this today, legislators would support it overwhelmingly,” said Barry Cargill, CEO of the Michigan Home Care and Hospice Association.
He says right now most legislators approve of proposed bills getting rid of the across-the-board cut. House Bill 5698 is one bill proposed that aims to fix the situation. Cargill says leaders in the House and Insurance Committee Chairs in the House and Senate aren’t moving them forward.
“We have to have something that works. A 45% cut just doesn’t work. It doesn’t take into account the labor crises right now or the cost of doing business,” said Ruedisueli.