40 more patients seriously injured in car crash lose medical care

Another home care agency is closing its doors to patients who are involved in car accidents. That leaves another 40 severely disabled people scrambling to find the medical care they need to live.

After the 2019 no-fault law nearly halved payments for catastrophic injury care, Bob Mlynarek said he and his co-owners spent more than $1 million of their own savings to keep their business going, 1st Call Home Healthcare, open, hoping the law would be fixed.

Mlynarek attended weekly rallies in the state capitol with survivors, and he met lawmaker after lawmaker, urging them to make no-fault changes to the law before it was too late.

Now, for his company and his former patients, it’s too late. 1st Call Home Healthcare was forced to release the patients on June 30.

With almost no nursing homes in Michigan able to accept such high-needs patients, Mlynarek said there are only two difficult options for these patients.

“Either the hospital or the family will try to take care of them on their own,” he said. “But these are patients who have daily medical needs – intermittent catheterizations, bowel programs, tube feeding, trachea care. And they don’t have the knowledge and training to do that kind of care. They have to leave their job to do it. So now you have people losing their jobs and their incomes. It’s a shame.”

Other agencies are also expected to close this month. More than 1,500 patients have lost medically necessary care and at least seven have died after losing that care. More than 97 businesses have either fired their road accident patients or shut down completely.

The insurance industry and Republican leaders in the House and Senate have generally ignored or downplayed the law’s impact on survivors and their families.

House Speaker Jason Wentworth said earlier this year that “it’s time to move on” from efforts to change the law, and he indicated he would not allow any bills aimed at to correct the law to be put to the vote.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said last year he was awaiting data on the law’s results, but in recent months, as evidence of the law’s effects has piled up, he is remained silent on the matter.

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