Should a Hospital Have Tried to Take Guardianship of Injured Son Away From the Father?
A North Carolina father faced the threat of losing guardianship of his son for failing to receive Medicaid. Shannon Bream reported that the boy, Freddie Lempe, Jr. had been hospitalized with a severe brain injury for over a year after a car accident. He was dropped from Medicaid when he turned 18 years old and the cost of his care is reaching four million dollars.
WakeMed Hospital says the father, Fred Lempe, didn't do the necessary paperwork to get the Medicaid coverage reinstated and cites that as the reason why it wanted an outside guardian to step in. Local television stations are reporting that the Medicaid has recently been secured after a bitter battle brewed in the public eye.
Attorney David Gibbs said on America’s News HQ, “It’s shocking
that a hospital would be so arrogant to go and tell a single working class dad, that is trying to get the paperwork filled out, that we are going to remove you as guardian. What they’re really saying is we know better than a dad how to stand up for the son.”
Attorney Sharon Liko responded to the hospital’s actions, saying, “I think it’s a hospital trying to get paid. We’re not talking about pulling the plug or the hospital not wanting to give him services. I mean, he owes the hospital two to four million dollars. Who’s going to pay that? If Medicaid doesn’t pay it, guess what, we get to pay it or the taxpayers in North Carolina.”
Liko says the father needs to be responsible and fill out the paperwork, adding that “it’s business and hospitals have to stay in business.” If Lempe were to lose guardianship, Gibbs said he would lose the right to make decisions regarding his son’s treatment and care.
Gibbs said he has spoken to Lempe and called him a “diligent dad” who has been to tons of offices to try to get the situation worked out. While it appears that Medicaid has been granted and Lempe will retain guardianship, Gibbs says, “The sad part for me is that a hospital would say we know better than the family.”
What do you think of this story? Watch the full debate below and tell us what you think!