Wednesday, April 1, 2015

respiratory review request----Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 1:42:38 PM Subject: Request for a review of respiratory services Hi, I am requesting a review of respiratory services at this facility. Can you provide me with the route by which this request can be facilitated please? Sincerely, Julie Ali

Because nothing is ever constant or sure, you have to work hard. The mummy blog is something I have worked on in spurts and slogs.
In the beginning there was the book.
And the book was interesting.
Then there were other books.
From children's books to social issues is a big leap.
Yet many children's books encapsulate social issues in a pared down form.

Social issues alter families.
When you encounter a problem and there are gaps in legislation or failures to follow current legislation this might raise interesting questions in your mind such as why is this sort of problem or gaps in legislation or failures in compliance tolerated by the government of Alberta?
The government of Alberta is entrusted with the creation of laws and the amendments of such laws when problems or gaps in their coding are found.
And yet we have had no sort of effort by the Tories who have formed our government for decades to do any sort of work to protect the rights of residents or to prevent the banning (silencing) of advocates.

There appears to be no sort of willingness to do any sort of work in this area as well.
This is all very curious as an issue and I will study it.

Many families are coming forward with their stories to the health advocates. They are hearing about our sort of problems of evictions and banning. Very few of these families come forward to the public for help because they are afraid their yapping will result in the sorts of punishments dealt out to my handicapped sister and myself. Eviction and banning should not be used to end the complaints of families with legitimate concerns.  I had no idea of the problems my sister was undergoing for four years of her stay at the Good Samaritan Extended Care at Millwoods. How would I know?  It was only with the irrefutable information provided by a BiPaP machine that I found out what was going on and even when I found this information I did not understand what the findings meant.
It took repeated adverse events and a great deal of pondering to understand the problem and to present the problem to John Cowell, Janet Davidson and the Carl Amrhein guy. What were the results of my complaints to the top dogs at AHS?
I don't know.
I want to know.
I want to know the paper trail for each of my complaints.
Did Janet Davidson refer my complaint about the successive adverse events to Facility Living?
What is the time line of their response?
And what was done?
I want to know what the end points of their investigation were.
Did they institute corrective training of staff?

Or is the request I made for a respiratory review in the closet of AHS?
Where is it?
And when will I get the results?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dear Janet Davidson, I understand that you have replaced John Cowell as the official administrator. I am bringing forward my concerns to you with reference to the respiratory services at the long term care facility where my sister resides (Good Samaritan Millwoods).

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "jyali" <jyali@
To: "official administrator" <>, "edmonton ellerslie" <>, "edmonton glenora" <>,, "Margo Goodhand (Edm Journal)" <>,, "edmonton whitemud" <>, "edmonton highlandsnorwood" <>, "edmonton rutherford" <>, "edmonton meadowlark" <>, "edmonton castledowns" <>, "calgary elbow" <>, "calgary greenway" <>, "calgary west" <>, "calgary acadia" <>, "calgary hays" <>, "west yellowhead" <>, "lethbridge west" <>, "draytonvalley devon" <>, "Erin Foster" <>, "stephen harper" <>, "james rajotte" <>, "thomas mulcair" <>, "justin trudeau" <>, "elizabeth may" <>,, "Office of The City Auditor" <>, "don iveson" <>, "Bryan Anderson" <>, "tony caterina" <>
Cc:, "Pam Purdy" <>, "Erin Foster" <>,, "Velvet Martin" <johnvel@>, "Diana Daunheimer" <dianadaun@>, "Stewart Shields" <>, "Jessica Ernst" <>, "Darren Boisvert" <>
Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2014 9:28:11 AM
Subject: respiratory services at Good Samaritan Extended Care Millwoods

Dear Janet Davidson,

I understand that you have replaced John Cowell as the official administrator.
I am bringing forward my concerns to you with reference to the respiratory services at the long term care facility where my sister resides (Good Samaritan Millwoods).

I have been doing data downloads of my sister's BiPap machine which was provided by the facility.
I have been doing daily observations of the use of the BiPap mask --coming in every night to ensure the mask was on.
But I had not thought to see if the BiPap machine was being put on by staff.
I am now doing this.

Here is a summary of my observations to date:

1) 2010--First BIPAP machine breaks down. Facility refuses to replace it.
I go yapping to the government at all levels.
My sister is a disabled adult with multiple difficulties on AISH.
Why the heck would she pay for a machine that costs upwards of $4,000?
After yapping day and night, the machine that is replaced by Aids to Daily Living when my sister was at home is finally replaced by the facility after government of Alberta intervention.
Please note this---this BiPap machine was replaced only after I contacted the government of Alberta.
There should be a record of this complaint on file as I believe facilities are required to  keep documentation of all patient /patient family concerns.
I will request this record when I bring forth a formal request for review.

2) March 12, 2014
I discover the BiPap mask that my sister was using was non-functional. The letter I requested from Vitalaire to describe the condition of the mask is as follows:


Julie brought (my sister) here to VitalAire for a mask fitting. The Quattro Large mask needed replacing as the cushion was very worn, this was a larg Quattro full Face Mask. We tried a Quattro Medium mask whcih fits much better.
She replaced her hose as it was 3 short hoses pieced together not ideal as you are aware.
Provided a one way valve (Pressure valve) that must be attached to the humidifier as per Manufacturer's instruction for Safety to prevent the flow of oxygen into the the BiPap to reduce risk of fire if unit sparks.

We were not able to download her unit to check her compliance or effectiveness of treatment as there wasn't a data card in place.

The power adapter was plugged directly into the BiPap unit bypassing the humidifier. She was not receiving any humidification.
The adapter was plugged into the wrong outlet as per Respironics needs to be in the middle outlet. hen I tried to correct this I noted the end was cracked and unable to insert it to the correct outlet.

I know you are short of RRT help at this time if there is anything we can do to offer assistance please call.


Susan Carlyle
Registered Respiratory Therapist
Senior Therapist Vitalaire
The former facility manager Mr. William Taylor who had been yapping for months along with the social worker, Sandy Burnham that they didn't have a clue who had to replace the machine--now find it in themselves to pay me for the mask purchase.
I guess they didn't want me to mail the health minister the bill.
I raise my concerns about the non-functional machine and Mr. Taylor is suitably apologetic and miraculously calls in Vitalaire (and hopefully pays them) to replace the machine and arrange the machine settings.
This incident indicates to me that when administration has been found out  they will do their jobs.

3) June 6, 2014

I discover that the machine has only been on for 5 days out of 60 days.
No one offers me any explanation for this matter.

I have a letter from Vitalaire questioning this matter:

RE: ---

The download of her BiPAP machine shows she has only used it 5 / 60 days. Did she just get this BIPAP machine?  She should be using it every night. The download is good and the BIPAP is working well when sh ehas it on.

It also shows a high leak. It looks to me like she takes off the mask and then it blows into her pillow for a few hours before someone shuts it off. For example, on the night of 05/06/2014 the BiPAP was on and blowing for 20hr 46 min but was only good for 11 hrs 49 mins.

Please call me if you have any further questions.


Laurie Walsh RRT

This is the first incident of the machine being off for 55 days.
Only I am interested in this matter.
I decide to come in every night to ensure the mask is on.
I don't think to see if the machine is on at this time.

3)  July 23, 2014

The UAH 5E3 discharges my sister with the settings on the BiPAP machine changed.
No one changes the setting.
Instead, it is only when I request a meeting with the respiratory therapist is it indicated to me that there needs to be a setting change.
Instead of getting Vitalaire in to do this work and paying for it, they didn't bother to do anything.
I meet with the respiratory therapist and Erin Foster on August 5, 2014 when they inform me that there is a setting change to be done.
I had to take the machine in on August 6, 2014 to do the job of the facility for them.
Why did they endanger my sister's health?
Is it incompetence?
I asked this of Erin Foster the next few days.
I told her she needed to make a request to call in Vitalaire and that this needed to be done promptly as there were liability issues when setting changes are not made to the BIPAP machine by the facility.
This machine belongs to the Good Sam.
They are responsible for it.
They need to pay for any setting changes or maintenance issues associated with the machine.

When I talk to Erin about this matter on the day I take the machine in she asks me what I want to do.
What I want to do?
Should this not be a matter of administration knowing what to do?
Why do I have to tell them the protocols?
The UAH cannot change settings of facility machines.
The Aids to Daily Living people cannot do this; they only do this for folks at home.
The Good Samaritan must call in Vitalaire to change the settings.
Instead they get me to do this because then they do not have to pay Vitalaire.
Such a scam.

4) July 28, 2014
The data download indicates only 1 day when the machine was off.

I am informed of the high leak problem.
The universal headgear was worn.
I got it replaced for $51.99.

I provided a copy of the bill to the Good Sam.
This has not yet been reimbursed to me.
My sister is on AISH.
She is already paying most of her AISH to this facility.
They need to pay for the respiratory supplies without me bringing this to you or the government of Alberta.
If they want me to forward the bill to you for dispute, I will do this.

5) August 6, 2014
Download shows she was on the machine every single day.
I had been coming to the facility every night.

6) August 27, 2014
I take my sister to Dr. Taher for a consult.
He sets up an echocardiogram for August 23, 2014 at 2:20 pm.
I will be picking her up today for this echocardiogram.

7) September 23, 2014

Again the repeat of the problem from June, 2014.
There are 17 days when the machine was not on.
Only 13 days when the machine was on.
What is going on here?
I send multiple e-mails. I put these e-mails at the bottom of this e-mail to you.

I have been coming every day to the facility but I did not check if staff were putting on the machine properly.
There is a two step on business.
I have begun to watch staff put the machine on at night.
Between September 22-September 26, 2014 I will stay for two hours each night and confirm the machine is working for this period of time. This will show up as a dark area on the data card download.
If the staff are not putting the machine on properly this will show up as a white area on the data card.
I have talked to some staff.
They do not have respiratory orientation.
All staff in contact with my sister's machine should have orientation.
I mean I didn't know that there was a two step start process.
How can I be sure that all staff know this as well?

I am going to be writing to you as time permits to indicate to you that there are safety issues at this facility.
I am the only one interested in this matter.
When I talked to Erin Foster yesterday she indicated that she doesn't have the time to deal with this matter.
Who will then deal with it?
How do I request a review of respiratory services at this facility?

Just this morning, I phone Sathya at the Good Samaritan and requested that my sister be ready for the echocardiogram.
There is only one oxygen canister; Pedro borrowed one canister from Bob so we can take two on the trip. The other canisters are being serviced.
This begs the question--why is it only now that such review is being done?
What happened between 2010-2014 at this facility?
Were the repeated hospitalizations of my sister due to the failure of staff to put the BIPAP machine on?
Was the decline in health due to machine problems?
Who can tell me what the solution of this mess is?
Will I have to do the investigation from start to finish to explain to Albertans that this is the sort of respiratory care you get in the Third World of AHS?

Julie Ali

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "jyali" <jyali@
To:, "edmonton ellerslie" <>, "edmonton glenora" <>, "AHS Corp" <>,, "Office of The City Auditor" <>
Cc: "Erin Foster" <>, "Pam Purdy" <>,, "Margo Goodhand (Edm Journal)" <>,, "edmonton whitemud" <>, "edmonton highlandsnorwood" <>, "edmonton rutherford" <>, "edmonton meadowlark" <>, "edmonton castledowns" <>, "calgary elbow" <>, "calgary greenway" <>, "calgary west" <>, "calgary acadia" <>, "calgary hays" <>, "west yellowhead" <>, "lethbridge west" <>, "draytonvalley devon" <>, "fortmcmurray conklin" <>, "stephen harper" <>, "james rajotte" <>, "thomas mulcair" <>, "justin trudeau" <>, "elizabeth may" <>, "Velvet Martin" <johnvel@t>, "Diana Daunheimer" <dianadaun@>, "Stewart Shields" <>, "Jessica Ernst" <>, "Darren Boisvert" <>, "don iveson" <>, "Bryan Anderson" <>, "tony caterina" <>
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 1:29:34 PM
Subject: Data Card Download September 24, 2014-----------There are ongoing problems at this place. Erin told me she hasn't got the time to check into it. Who has the time? Will it be me?--

Dear Mr. Terlson,

I have just received the results of the data card download from August 25 to September 23, 2014.
For 17 days --between September 6 to September 22, 2014 the BiPap machine was not put on.
These results are very odd.
I have been at the Good Sam. every single night.
I watched the staff put on the mask.
But it never occurred to me to watch them put on the machine and make sure it was on.
What is going on here?
I want to know.
There needs to be proper follow up of patient family concerns which I do not get at this facility.

These results warrant review by the respiratory therapist and hard questions with reference to the operation of the BiPap machine by staff.
According to the data, the machine was put on from August 25, 2014 to September 5, 2014.
Between September 6 to September 22, 2013 the machine was not on.
This means when I came in to see the mask being put on --the mask was on my sister but the machine was off.
It is a dangerous business for a machine to be off and the mask on because my sister can die of carbon dioxide narcosis.
Today, the machine was on. I arrived at my sister's room to see Corinne shutting off the machine; I have a data card reading for today.

So if there is data from the beginning and end points of this data card download period why is there a period of 17 days where the machine was off?
Is this a matter of staff not knowing how to put on the BiPap machine?
Are all staff trained in the use of the BiPap machine?
Do they know when the machine is off?
I mean just putting on a mask isn't the end of the deal.

Do I have to check everything?
What is going on at this facility?
I have left the data card download with Omeka.
 I trust the management will review it and take appropriate corrective steps.
This type of documentation is evidence that the facility  is not meeting the standards of care.

I have requested Erin Foster note down my concerns and contact the respiratory therapist.
At this time I have put my sister on the Bipap machine (the nurse --I believe her name was Omeka did this for me.)
I checked that the BiPap machine was on by getting Omeka to remove the hose to confirm the machine was running. This is what Vitalaire staff showed me to do and it might be  a good check for staff to do and write down in their nursing notes so that if this gap in services happens again they will have documentation saying that they did check the machine was working every single day.

I am also concerned about staff without any respiratory training being on staff.
Why don't they all have training?
I asked Omeka if she had any respiratory training and she said no.
Why is it that she is doing respiratory work without any sort of training?

I asked Barb at the front to e-mail Lilia since I have not been given the courtesy of her e-mail address.
I trust she will check into this liability issue.

There are ongoing problems at this place.
Erin told me she hasn't got the time to check into it.
Who has the time?
Will it be me?

Julie Ali

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "jyali" <jyali@
To: "AHS Corp" <>, "edmonton ellerslie" <>, "edmonton glenora" <>
Cc:, "Pam Purdy" <>, "Erin Foster" <>
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 1:42:38 PM
Subject: Request for a review of respiratory services

I am requesting a review of respiratory services at this facility.
Can you provide me with the route by which this request can be facilitated please?

Julie Ali


From: "jyali" <jyali@
To: "Pam Purdy" <>
Cc:, "Erin Foster" <>, "AHS Corp" <>, "edmonton ellerslie" <>, "edmonton glenora" <>,
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 11:20:28 PM
Subject: Re: meeting with respiratory therapist

I have been to the Good Sam and stayed from 8-10:50 pm. I note that it is a two step process to ensure the BiPap machine is on.
The first press of the on button has a message come on to indicate that the data card is present.
Then you have to press again to start the program.
I went through this process with Brian.
I also got him to check flow by removing the tubing so that we know that the machine is working.
I wonder if all staff know about the two step start mechanism for the BiPap machine.
I note that the nurse this morning has had no respiratory orientation; I mentioned this matter to Erin.
I think it might be valuable for Lilia to do an inservice so all staff know how to start my sister's machine.
If they only press the button once, the machine is not working.

I will keep checking at nights.
I will do the downloads.
But it makes me wonder why I have to be the unpaid staff for the Good Sam and why trouble shooting is not being done.
Can you indicate to me when Lilia will have a look at the data card download? It is entirely different from last month's download when the machine was on and there were no gap periods.
The contact has been provided to Vitalaire.

I note that when I bring concerns to the Good Sam staff, it is not good enough to say that I am not on nights as a response.
I expect that this problem is followed up.
This is the second occurrence of the same problem of the machine not being on.
Could this problem be due to staff not knowing how to turn on a BiPap machine properly?
I want to know if all staff that can turn on this machine have received orientation in the machine.
Lilia should be training them all.
I don't believe it should be my job to train staff do you?

Julie Ali
From: "Pam Purdy" <>
To: "jyali" <jyali@
Cc: "Shawn Terlson" <>, "Erin Foster" <>, "AHS Corp" <>, "edmonton ellerslie" <>, "edmonton glenora" <>, "Tracey Buffam" <>
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 3:26:20 PM
Subject: RE: meeting with respiratory therapist


I will ask her to be in attendance, and if she cannot attend I will try to make other arrangements.


Pamela Spracklin-Purdy
Site Administrator
Millwoods Care Center and Wedman House and Village
Edmonton, AB

From: jyali [mailto:jyali@]
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 1:46 PM
To: Pam Purdy
Cc: Shawn Terlson; Erin Foster; AHS Corp;
Subject: meeting with respiratory therapist

I am requesting that the respiratory therapist Lilia be available at the meeting on Octuber 3, 2013 at 3 pm.
If she cannot make this appointment, please set up another date for this meeting.
I would prefer if Pam were present with Lilia if this is possible.
Thank you.
Julie Ali

From: "Pam Purdy" <>
To: "jyali" <jyali@>
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2014 9:11:37 PM
Subject: Out of Office: These are some of the questions I am thinking about right now. I will add to this list as I get closer to Friday October 3, 2014.


I will be out of the office on Sept. 22.  If this is a concern that cannot wait until my return, please contact Erin Foster at 780-298-0754.
Thanks so much!


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Eviction and Banning from the Good Samaritan Extended Care at Millwoods---March 31, 2015---Day 41----seeking legislative follow up

We went to my sister who was very hot in the room. The walks were done.Then we left the Grey Nuns Hospital. A great wind came up and gusts of dust flew everywhere.
The burning hot morning and afternoon vanished in the tidal waves of a lost sunny day; clouds appeared like snapping dogs at the heels of the sun. We had rain.
When we got home, I had to serve a decrepit supper of sausages, mashed potatoes and limp green beans.
I spent a major part of today reviewing paper.  Legislation paper that is.
There are a whole pile of laws governing the evictions of folks and no one is obeying these laws. Usually this sort of stuff is hidden; folks are too scared to say boo to the government. I mean it's not an easy thing when you are a senior or a handicapped person to even understand why you are being dumped like a sack of potatoes at the local emergency of a hospital. It's something that would amaze and confuse ordinary citizens who are not subject to such poor behaviour on the part of landlords because the residential tenancies act forbids such sort of inappropriate actions on the part of landlords.
Statutes of Alberta, 2004
Chapter R-17.1
 Current as of February 20, 2015

Requirements respecting eviction 
34.1 A civil enforcement agency has authority to evict an 
occupant from residential premises 
 (a) only in accordance with an order for recovery of possession, 
 (b) unless the court orders otherwise, only after the civil 
enforcement agency is satisfied that 
 (i) the order has been served on the tenant or overholding 
tenant or, where section 33 applies, the person living in 
the premises and the tenant, and 
 (ii) an affidavit of service has been filed in the Court of 
Queen’s Bench by the person who has the order for 
recovery of possession. 
2011 c14 s25 

But of course, the resident in the nursing home is not covered by this law and so can be dumped with any excuse being given. In our case, there was one excuse on dumping and another excuse later.
The nursing act has some guidance in its regulations but no one appears to follow these regulations.
I guess because they don't bother to follow them and because no family has asked them to follow these regulations.
What about the LTC provider?
I mean they are bound by their master service agreement presumably to follow the nursing act and its regulations; in any case they are supposed to follow these pieces of legislation.
The curious thing for me is that the LTC provider is supposed to follow the nursing act and its regulations but they don't or in our case, don't appear to have followed them. If the LTC provider  decides to transfer or in this case evict, they are supposed to allow the resident the right to ask for a reassessment and appeal.  But of course, if they don't want to go through this hassle of following the laws of the land, they dump the patient off at the emergency where AHS takes over to pressure families to "move forward" which seems to be ignore the regulations and do what is not in the best interests of the resident in this case.
It's all bewildering to me.

Why doesn't AHS follow the regulations that they are supposed to get the LTC providers to follow? Maybe they don't have any policies about these regulations for reassessment and appeal?
In the case of my handicapped sister, the Facility Living folks have been blank as newly made pieces of paper about the right for a reassessment by the district board and the appeal.
It's pretty interesting to me that this particular section of Continuing Care at the AHS place doesn't know about this relevant section of the regulations or if they do know about these regulations, simply don't tell the victims of the evictions/transfers. I mean, in my mind, they should be the ones sprouting off about the rights of the residents. But they seem to be mysterious about rights for some strange reason.  They are also mysterious about records. Why? Who knows? In my mind, inappropriate transfers should form a column of red in their financials but they don't even seem to know anything about the numbers of inappropriate transfers.  They don't even seem to keep any records apparently of the numbers of citizens who are dumped like my sister was or even of the numbers of transfers from LTC facilities to the AHS facilities. This seems a tad irregular in my mind. If we are taking on the costs of such transfers and evictions then they should be noted as financial expenses somewhere in the AHS financial records. Where are these inappropriate transfers tabulated? I am curious.
When I am curious I do an investigation.
These evictions would in my mind show up in the financial statements. It seems that it would show up as a growth column in the financials of AHS.
Maybe this is something the Auditor General could review--after I find out just how many inappropriate transfers occur in Alberta and how much this is all costing the taxpayers to subsidize the cherry picking habits of LTC providers.  I mean where is the accounting of all these extra costs to the health care system that no one speaks about?

I am also curious about the fact that some of the LTC facilities audited by AHS seem to overcharge for some of their residents.

One-third of nursing homes "over-coding" to get bigger share of $930M pie

Published on: December 12, 2014
Last Updated: December 12, 2014 8:13 AM MDT
One-third of Alberta’s nursing homes are inflating their assessments of resident needs and qualifying for a larger but unwarranted slice of the $930-million pie for ailing seniors care, according to audits by the province’s health authority.
While an expert who has studied Alberta Health Services’ new funding model for long-term care believes the financial reviews show some operators are exploiting the system, authority officials say they have no plans to recover money from 28 problem facilities because they don’t believe the mistakes were deliberate.
“It’s not a matter of sites trying to boost up their funding in order to put more profit in their pants,” AHS program officer David O’Brien said.
“It just doesn’t make sense that this would be overt attempts…they’re just an honest error.”
With previous contracts, the authority had been paying facilities as little as $100 a day and as much as $425 a day to care for patients with similar needs.
Under a formula the authority implemented three years ago,  AHS now allocates funding to nursing homes based on an operator’s own assessment of how much care each resident needs.
But it wasn’t until last September that the authority set up a small team of experienced health-care workers to check the accuracy of the assessments submitted by facilities.
Of the province’s 170 nursing homes, 81 have been reviewed so far. At the 29 facilities where the team found problems, one was “under-coding” the care patients required while the other 28 were all  “over-coding” resident needs.
Jason Sutherland, a University of British Columbia researcher who helped produce a study for AHS last year on its new funding model , said the numbers are a clear sign that some nursing homes are “gaming the system” in a bid to get more dollars.
“This is not a random distribution and that suggests there is a deliberate attempt to over-code,” Sutherland said.
“It boggles my mind that any jurisdiction would introduce activity-based funding and not have a rigorous surveillance system and penalties in place to deter this behaviour.”
When Ontario introduced a similar model at its nursing homes five years ago, for example, Sutherland said the province saw the proportion of residents assessed with special rehabilitation needs quadruple in three short years.
“Everyone all of a sudden was getting into the highest rehabilitation category that had the highest weights which attracted the most money,” he said.
“They had such severe and systematic over-coding by a number of operators that they had to modify the classification system to reduce the financial incentive to over-code.”
Sutherland’s 2013 study for AHS suggests something similar is happening in Alberta.
He found there was a consistent spike in the average assessed need of residents at nursing homes around the province during the third quarter, the crucial 90-day-period that AHS uses to determine a facility’s funding for the coming year.
“When this happens in the United States, facility administrators have ended up going to jail, but in Canada we seem reluctant to even claw back the money,” Sutherland said.
“Honest operators are being shortchanged in Alberta and that could impact the quality of care their residents receive.”
Of the nursing homes found to have problems, 17 were operated by AHS, six were non-profits and six were privately owned. O’Brien refused to identify the facilities because he said the credibility and competency of their case managers would be called into question.
Prior to beginning the audit initiative last year, AHS had established a policy to recover money if over-coding was detected. But O’Brien said the authority has not done so because the “single-digit increases” in funding that resulted were “insignificant” and the money was all used to look after residents.
“We look at it from a high level perspective and our interests are in providing good quality care and in having operators who are financially viable and sustainable,” he said.
“As long as we’re satisfied…that the clients are well looked after, that their environments are safe and (the facilities ) spent the money we gave them on providing that care, then what exactly is the benefit of going and clawing back $20 here and $15 there?”
Officials with the Alberta Continuing Care Association, the lobby group that represents nursing home operators in the province, declined to comment on the audit findings.

It is mind boggling to me that they never had a team to check the coding practices of the LTC providers.
Why the heck not?
And why aren't they asking for our money back when we have been overcharged?
What are we running here? The good ship Lollipop?
The auditor general of Alberta needs to audit the auditors at the AHS place for their work of these LTC facilities to make sure we aren't being over charged even more than these records admit to.
In my mind, the surveillance of the financials of the LTC facilities is pathetic and needs to be tightened up.
If the folks at the Good Samaritan Society were getting money for a respiratory therapist for five years and yet patients only saw a respiratory therapist for 3 out of 5 years, well then where did the funding go?
What about the respiratory supplies/equipment?
Who has audited the books to make sure that the money spent by these facilities is being used for their stated purposes?
The auditor general of Alberta needs to do a review of non-profit and for-profit organizations that receive public monies to see that our public dollars are being spent accurately.
I don't think that the AHS auditors can be relied on entirely since they aren't even asking for our money back when the organizations over-coded their clients and basically spent money they were not entitled to. In any other situation this would be considered fraud in my opinion and the police would be called in.
But when it is the public that is being ripped off everyone pooh poohs the matter of fraud. This is Alberta where the public is ripped off but no one is jailed. It is different in the USA where the free market is recognized for its abuses and laws are in place to deal with criminal activity of this sort:

“When this happens in the United States, facility administrators have ended up going to jail, but in Canada we seem reluctant to even claw back the money,” Sutherland said.

 In my mind, a criminal intent doesn't need to be present if an act occurs to remove cash from the public purse in a mistake ---in my mind, if it was a mistake, then return the cash to the public purse. When citizens make mistakes with reference to their taxes, I don't believe that Revenue Canada does what AHS does and forgives us for mistakes. We pay up. And with interest.

They won't even release the information on the delinquent facilities because I guess it might make the administrators appear to be a tad at fault.

I think they should release the information on the overcoding facilities. Maybe they would be more careful with the financials when they have public scrutiny rather than the more forgiving AHS scrutiny which appears to be that the public can be screwed but lets not make the facilities that over-code look bad to that same public.  Heck they do look bad anyway and they still need to return the cash that they were not entitled to.

Of the nursing homes found to have problems, 17 were operated by AHS, six were non-profits and six were privately owned. O’Brien refused to identify the facilities because he said the credibility and competency of their case managers would be called into question.

I wonder if the auditor general of Alberta audits the auditors at AHS?
This is yet another area that I am interested in.
Is AHS an entity that is independent of any sort of citizen investigation?
What is the structure of AHS?
Where is the book of policies that are followed by AHS?
Is this policy book a public document and if not, why not?
I mean we pay for the entire group of folks working at AHS and yet we get hardly any sort of information about the AHS, what it is in terms of its people and departments; we can't even find a phone list of the people who work there.
Why is it we can get a phone list for all government departments and employees but we cannot get the same sort of list for AHS employees?
Why the secrecy and the failure to provide phone numbers and e-mail addresses?
All these questions and no answers.
Most of all the problem of my baby sister.
The problem of my handicapped sister's eviction from the Good Samaritan Extended Care at Millwoods and the failures of AHS to provide the reassessment and appeal process to us has given rise to other interesting questions that I want answered.
The AHS group is not a private industry.
It is a public entity.
And it is time for there to be transparency and accountability to the public they supposedly serve.

I am seeking legislative follow up in the form of the reassessment and appeal process.
It may be that we are the only family in Alberta to have ever asked for the laws of the land to be followed.
If so we will set the precedent for cases of evictions/ banning.

Then we will work on getting the legislative gaps filled.
There should never be such disrespectful evictions of vulnerable handicapped residents from the LTC provider.
If they occur, the contracts --the master service agreements should specify consequences ---right up to the terminations of such contracts.
Why would the public want to do business with providers who don't care enough for their residents that they chuck them out when they want to for no legitimate reason and then ban their families so as to censor further commentary from them?
Why would the public tolerate the expenses of acute care beds used to house these improperly treated residents while their own rooms lie empty?
Why isn't the resident who is appealing her eviction/banning/ transfer housed in her own room until such reassessment and appeal is completed?
Why is the public paying for the failures of the LTC organization with the full cooperation of AHS?
Isn't there any other way in a civil society for such problems to be dealt with prior to these sorts of punitive acts?
Or is this the way the government of Alberta wants to treat families?
In my mind the government of Alberta is not being family friendly or responsive to the needs of vulnerable handicapped citizens.
When will the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta stand up for families as the NDP lead by Rachel Notley is doing?
When will Mr. Mandel do his job as my MLA and help our family?

Maybe we have to vote anything but Conservative to get the help for our families that the NDP are only too willing to provide but that the Conservatives have failed to provide.


Letter to the editor: Rachel Notley budget tour to hit Fort McMurray

Rachel Notley
Saturday, February 7, 2015 9:27:04 MST AM
NDP leader Rachel Notley addresses supporters during the NDP's provincial council at the Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015. Codie McLachlan/Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency
NDP leader Rachel Notley addresses supporters during the NDP's provincial council at the Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015. Codie McLachlan/Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency
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As Alberta’s economy becomes more volatile due to falling oil prices, and as the PC government prepares to present a slash-and-burn budget before a snap election, my caucus and I are travelling across this great province to listen to the needs and priorities of all Albertans.
We have already visited Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Calgary and Red Deer and will soon visit Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray. We are talking about how we can strengthen communities and services, and ensure people from all areas of the province, and from all walks of life, have their voices heard. We’ll wrap up our tour in Edmonton in March before the budget is released to the public.
We know that the current economic climate is a big concern for all Albertans, and will have a great impact on everyone’s day-to-day lives. That’s why it’s crucial for Alberta’s NDP to listen to community leaders, economic development groups, not-for-profits, Indigenous organizations and workers to hear what their priorities are for the upcoming budget.
For far too long, this PC government has been reckless and taken high oil prices for granted, and failed to do any long-term planning for when oil prices would inevitably drop. All of us – not just Tory insiders – should benefit from the resources of Alberta. The government has neglected to deliver services people count on, like hospitals, schools and seniors care. Instead, they squandered our resource wealth in the good times and lost opportunities to make life better for today’s Alberta.
We know that the economic downturn requires tough choices. But it’s time that everyone faced the brunt of these hard times, not just working and middle-class families. Just because times are bad doesn’t mean the PCs should be making Albertans pay the price. Fairness comes first.
Together, we can set the right direction for the province – a direction that protects our future, invests in our kids and seniors, and strengthens our families and communities.
I’m excited for this opportunity to travel the province and speak with Albertans about their priorities for the future of this province.
If you can’t make it to our tour stops, we still want to hear your concerns. Email or join in the conversation on
Rachel Notley
Leader, Alberta’s NDP

About Rachel

Rachel Notley, Leader of Alberta's NDP Opposition, MLA Edmonton-Strathcona
Rachel Notley, Leader of Alberta's NDP Opposition, MLA Edmonton-Strathcona
Rachel Notley was elected as the leader of the Alberta New Democrats on October 18, 2014. Since 2008, Rachel has served as the MLA for Edmonton-Strathcona, and is known as a strong, effective voice in the Legislature. She was re-elected in 2012, with the highest share of the vote of any MLA in the province.

Raised in Fairview Alberta, Rachel Notley is the oldest child of Grant and Sandra Notley. Her father, Grant, led the Alberta New Democrats from 1968 to 1984. Rachel has said that her father’s tireless effort to build the party taught her the importance of hard work, and she shares his vision of building a better, fairer province for all Albertans.

Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Alberta, and a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. Before entering politics, Rachel worked for a variety of labour unions in Alberta and British Columbia and served as a ministerial advisor to British Columbia’s Attorney General in the 1990s.

Rachel Notley has distinguished herself as a powerful voice for fairness, for better public health care and education for Alberta families, and for protecting vulnerable Albertans.

She currently lives in Edmonton’s Old Strathcona neighbourhood with her husband and two teenage children.
- See more at:

Making Alberta's Prosperity Work for Everyone

Because Alberta Belongs to You. The Alberta NDP Plan to make Alberta's Prosperity Work for Everyone
Alberta’s NDP is the only modern alternative, and the only party capable of defeating the PCs.
Under Rachel Notley, the Alberta NDP will stand up for
  • Better public health care
  • Equality for all students in our public schools
  • Affordability for all Alberta families
  • Investment in the infrastructure needed to promote a vibrant Alberta
  • End child poverty and stop homelessness in Alberta
  • A fresh approach to government in Alberta

1. Before the last election, the
Conservatives promised that if
elected they would build 800 new
long term care spaces.
 They have built zero.
 Instead, they have looked to the 
private sector to create ‘assisted 
living’ spaces. Assisted living is 
a much lower level of care for a 
much higher price to the patient 
and their family. So inadequate 
is the service that most doctors 
won’t release seniors from 
hospitals unless there is a proper 
long term care space for them 
to go to. This means the hospital 
beds are used up (at great 
expense to the taxpayer) and wait 
times increase across the system.
 Brian Mason and the Alberta NDP
have been relentless advocates
of building more long term care
beds in the province. These beds
provide the care seniors need, at
a cost their families can afford,
while reducing wait times in
hospitals and emergency rooms.
The Conservatives have ignored
those calls and kept building beds
no one wants or can afford. ✿