Thursday, September 07, 2006

Carlyle’s LifeCare Again Absent from News Regarding New Orleans Hospital Deaths

In addition to their free pass in the White House Lessons Learned Report, LifeCare Hospitals warranted not one mention in the AP article on criminal charges. Legal proceedings resulted from LifeCare’s self reporting of the incident according to legal documents. Within one month of buying the company, The Carlyle Group had a full blown crisis on their hands. Blow it they did.

Three healthcare professionals have been charged with second degree murder. Legal affidavits reveal some puzzling information. First, there is no evidence of a LifeCare physician responsible for the care of their patients. Did Dr. Pou have a contract with LifeCare? Was she credentialed to care for their patients? If not, why didn’t the company have a physician as part of their hurricane staffing team?

Second, two of the nurses assisting Dr. Pou were not even LifeCare employees. How did they get access to the LifeCare Unit? The company had an obligation to provide care for these patients via their doctors and nurses. Allowing others access is a failure of the company’s duty to their patients. With a LifeCare Assistant Administrator onsite and aware of the plan, how does Dr. Pou allegedly get to round up all the LifeCare employees to take them off the unit?

Something stinks about this whole thing. It looks like LifeCare is trying to abdicate any responsibility by blaming it on three Memorial Hospital clinicians. LifeCare staff clearly failed these patients, just as first responders failed the hospital overall. Neither got much attention in the White House’s Lessons Learned report.

Carlyle’s LifeCare got not one mention in the Bush post mortem despite their 24 patient deaths. They also avoided mention in today’s AP article on the criminal charges. Does it pay to be politically connected, to have a Pennsylvania Avenue address, to own major media companies, and to be schooled in blame the other guy? Carlyle has all of the above, and it shows by its not showing.

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