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Former Red Wings player Vladimir Konstantinov soon to lose care for car-crash injuries

Former Red Wings hockey star Vladimir Konstantinov was severely injured six days after his team's Stanley Cup Win in 1997
Tracy Samilton
Michigan Radio
Former Red Wings hockey star Vladimir Konstantinov was severely injured six days after his team's Stanley Cup Win in 1997

Vladimir Konstantinov's fame is not protecting him from the impact of Michigan's auto no-fault law.

The former Red Wings star, catastrophically injured in a car crash just six days after his team's 1997 Stanley Cup win, could lose his 24/7 home care soon.

Konstantinov has a severe brain injury that requires round-the-clock care for all of his daily needs and to keep him safe.

The no-fault law cuts payments to home care and other care providers for crash survivors by nearly half.

Konstantinov's agency, Acadia, said the fee cuts have caused a $1.5 million shortfall in revenue for Konstantinov and the 30 other crash survivors it cares for. Essentially, that means it is providing nearly half of the care for free.

Acadia officials said they may need to discharge all their patients soon, including Konstantin, unless the law is fixed.

Barry Cargill is CEO of the Michigan Home Care and Hospice Association. He said Acadia is not alone: 96 companies that care for car crash survivors have already discharged their patients or gone out of business entirely.

"It's a terrible situation for the families and the patients that are having to go through this," Cargill said. "We know there are at least 18,000 who are affected by this — and they're affected because the home care that they need to stay in their homes is being taken away from them."

Cargill said there is bipartisan support in both the state House and Senate for bills that would amend the no fault law — but Republican leaders need to approve scheduling a hearing for them.

Cargill said he's pleased the Michigan Health and Hospital Association has decided to add its voice to those calling for the law to be amended.

On Thursday, Adam Carlson, a Vice President with MHA, sent a memo to the members of the State Legislature, asking for immediate legislative action to resolve the crisis.

Numerous cases have occurred of patients being transferred to hospitals who did not otherwise need hospitalization because of a lack of long term post-acute care providers to care for them in their home or an appropriate facility. In addition, it has become increasingly difficult to transfer patients to post-acute settings as the number of providers and staff has diminished. Both of these circumstances is putting unsustainable pressure on hospitals that don’t have the beds or staff to care for patients who shouldn’t be in the hospital.
Adam Carlson, Vice President, Michigan Health and Hospital Association

Meanwhile, the Insurance Alliance of Michigan continues to insist that the law is working as intended, and no changes should be made.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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