UPDATED: Patients Looking For Records After Medical Office Closes Unexpectedly
KENTWOOD, Mich. (April 8, 2014) – A West Michigan woman said she never received results to important medical tests, but she did get the bill. Her questions prompted a call to FOX 17 Problem Solvers to see if we could help track down the records after they tried for two months with no answers.
Beverly Artlip said she waited for these results so she can start her treatment. Artlip said she tried tracking down the doctor by phone, in person, even had her primary doctor try to get her test results with no luck.
Kim Steffes doesn’t want her mom, Beverly, to suffer.
“They call it Neuropathy,” said Steffes speaking of her mom’s condition. “She loses feeling in her feet or her legs get really sore when she walks.”
In order to start treatment on her condition, her mom needed some extensive testing.
“It was three or four hours of testing,” she said.
The tests were done at NBO Medical in Grand Rapids. NBO is owned by Dr. Paul DeWeese who also has offices in Lansing, Flint, Brighton, and one in Bonita Springs, Florida.
“At the end of the appointment they said they would get back to us with treatment options, in a week to ten days or two weeks,” said Steffes. “So we waited and we waited and we waited.”
At first, the phone calls started off promising. A call to the Grand Rapids office was met with a message that said, “We are currently open but assisting other customers or are away from the desk.”
Without the ability to leave a message there was little hope for a call back.
“It’s now been over a month and we thought that we would have treatments going, something to give her some relief,” said Steffes.
Despite not receiving the results, an insurance statement showed she had paid for the tests.
“If we can’t find him but they found him to pay him I mean, come on,” Artlip said.
FOX 17 was able to find a message from Dr. DeWeese regarding NBO Medical. It stated Dr. DeWeese was closing the Lansing office effective at the end of March.
At the end of the message a new phone number offered them some hope.
Steffes left a message on Dr. DeWeese’s phone. With her problem on the record, they feel a little closer to getting an answer.
“I’m glad you found something,” said Artlip.
Still, we wanted to know, where is Dr. DeWeese and why are the offices closing with little to no notice?
We arrived at the NBO office in Grand Rapids just after 4:00pm on Tuesday and found an empty parking lot. The message on the machine indicates the office is open until five.
Peering in the locked front door, the office was cleaned out. An employee working for a neighboring office said the NBO closed weeks ago.
After a failed attempt to reach the doctor by phone and at his home in the Lansing area we were able to speak with Dr. DeWeese’s office manager.
We were informed the Grand Rapids office, along with the Lansing office, closed due to funding changes as a result of the Affordable Care Act. When asked about the issues with phone messages and the lack of apparent information displayed at the office in Grand Rapids, we were told letters were sent to patients and primary care physicians informing them of the decision to close. The manager said in the case of Beverly Artlip something must have “fallen through the cracks.”
We were assured by the manager that someone would be in contact with Artlip and her daughter on Wednesday, April 9th.
UPDATE: (April 9, 2014) Dr. DeWeese called FOX 17 Wednesday afternoon. He assured us that one of his staff members made contact with Artlip and her daughter then faxed over the test results to her primary physician. Dr. DeWeese also agreed to an interview with FOX17 on April 11th.
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