14 year old Marie Freyre was suffering from seizures and cerebral palsy. After being denied home health care by the Agency for Health Care Administration, Marie was forced to go to a nursing home in Miami, 5 hours away from her Tampa home. A judge had previously ordered that Marie be returned to her mother to be cared for, but the Agency for Health Care Administration refused to pay for this manner of care. During Marie’s transport to Miami, she was not given food, water, or her seizure medications. Such poor treatment, in her fragile condition, led to Marie’s death 2 days later.
Up until recently, Marie was able to have stabilized care from her mother. Being forced into unfamiliar and incompetent hands ultimately led to her wrongful death. Her case highlights a growing conflict between Florida healthcare regulators and the U.S. Department of Justice. In spite of a binding court order, health care providers has the callous audacity to refuse to comply with federal laws. Large healthcare corporations should not be allowed to break a judge’s official ruling. The Agency for Health Care Administration needs to be held responsible to such a degree that they do not continue to look at the bottom line, rather than what is best for a patient.