KENTWOOD, Mich. (April 11, 2014) – A frustrated patient reached out to FOX 17 Problem Solvers after she says she never got her medical test results and was unable to track down the doctor who performed the tests.
For nearly two months, Beverly Artlip and her daughter Kim Steffes have been waiting for test results. On Thursday, two days after FOX 17 Problem Solvers got involvd, we made contact with Dr. Paul DeWeese and those results were finally delivered.
Dr. DeWeese is the owner of NBO Medical with offices in Lansing, Flint, Brighton, Grand Rapids, and one in Florida. All of his offices are currently closed.
“I started these clinics in June of 2011,” Dr. DeWeese, a former State Representative, said during an interview at his office in Lansing.
He said the closure affected 70 employees and 400 to 500 patients. According to Dr. DeWeese his practice is a casualty of government intervention. He said a lot of his patients are on Medicare and the funding for treatments performed at his office has been cut.
“In January, without notice, without discussion, without dialogue, there was a 40% reduction in our reimbursement,” the doctor said.
Dr. DeWeese said he worked all last year without a salary just to pay employees and pay the rent. He said the cut in funding directly resulted in the closing of all five offices in just three months.
When the offices closed he said his priority was his patients.
“You have an ethical obligation to your patients to make sure they know. Make sure they are given the medical records so people can be assured of their medical records,” Dr. DeWeese said.
One of those patients was Artlip who went to Dr. DeWeese in February for testing. For the past two months Artlip has been trying to get those records from him.
Her daughter, Steffes, contacted FOX 17 Problem Solvers and after we placed call after call, getting around answering machines that said offices were still open, we were able to get Artlip the test results in two days.
“Without you guys (FOX 17) we would still be exactly where we were, not being able to connect with anybody,” said Steffes.
Dr. DeWeese said it was an innocent mistake, “You try to keep all the balls in the air right? It’s really important to keep patients focus right up front. Obviously if someone wants their medical records they deserve their medical records.”
When the results came, Artlip said her physician saw something that required further evaluation, an MRI on her back. A procedure she said could have been scheduled sooner with test results in hand.
“Then to find out it might be a little something more pressing,” said Steffes. “It’s a little irritating if it becomes a real condition that could become increasingly worse. This is the spine.”
With the problem of missing test results solved, they are now worried for patients in a similar position.
“I’m glad you guys were there but I’m sorry we had to go that far to get help,” said Artlip.
As for Dr. DeWeese, he said now that all five of his offices are closed he is looking for a new job in the medical field but is doubtful that he will ever run his own practice again.