Red winger Vladimir Konstantinov could lose care due to law change

(WXYZ) – He was one of the best defensemen in the NHL. They called him the “Vladiator”. Vladimir Konstantinov’s aggressive play helped the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup for the first time in 42 years in 1997.

‘Dirty’ cuts in car crash survivors force families to close treatment gaps

“This mug is the mug for you guys. Thank you, ”he said as he stood with his team on the ice.

Six days later, the limousine he was driving as he celebrated the victory crashed in Birmingham. Konstantinov and team masseur Sergei Mnatsakonov suffered life-changing injuries. Konstantinov went from lifting a Stanley Cup over his head to a coma for two long months, facing death.

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“We hope and pray that our teammate Vlady and Natsa will recover and that things will go well,” said Steve Yzerman, captain of the Red Wings team at the time, during a press conference at the hospital.

“I was with Vlady when he was in Beaumont in a coma. I saw him say his first words after the coma. I saw him do his first physiotherapy after the coma. And seeing it then and seeing it now is a miracle, ”said Jim Bellanca, Vlady’s friend and lawyer.

“He’s amazing,” said Linda Krumm, Konstantinov’s medical case manager, who looked after him shortly after his injury.

Krumm coordinates the caregivers who help him eat, dress and go out in the community. He needs round-the-clock care due to the impact of his traumatic brain injury.

Konstantinov’s care team defended his privacy, not allowing press teams into his Oakland County apartment over the years, despite requests for interviews, but now something has changed.

“I don’t think he will survive. This is how I feel strongly, ”said Bellanca.

In 2019, lawmakers passed a law to reduce insurance rates. It was a big bill. One provision reduced reimbursement for catastrophically injured people – like Konstantinov by 45%. It entered into force on July 1. This means that under state law, money paid by the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association for things like physiotherapy, attendant care, nursing, and medical supplies is reduced by 45%.

“Currently, we have not been paid for any billed claims after the changes have been implemented. We have changed the codes under which claims are billed and are waiting to see what refund rate is paid to us. In addition to late payments, we are concerned that we will be paid at a rate that will not support our business, ”said Darby Anderson, executive vice president and chief strategy officer of Arcadia Home Care, the company that provides service. on call 24 hours a day. take care of Vladimir Konstantinov in a statement.

She says reducing the amount paid to 55% of previous rates will likely force the company to cut caregiver wages to around the minimum wage.

“This rate is little more than Michigan’s minimum wage rate, which will not cover the taxes, benefits and administrative costs of running the business. This rate is also significantly lower than the rates paid by state Medicaid, which may be a violation of federal Medicaid regulations. We hope this can be resolved urgently as we, and many other state providers, cannot afford any payment or significantly reduced payment, ”the statement continued.

“His care is 24 hours a day. It’s not just a random amount. It’s prescribed by his physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor, ”Krumm said.

“He has a very small amount of money,” Bellanca said, explaining that Konstantinov cannot afford to pay to make up for the potential loss of coverage.

The Michigan Catastrophic Care Fund is something every insured Michigan driver has contributed to for years. It provides care to around eighteen thousand people who have suffered devastating injuries. Its recent statement from June 2020 shows it has $ 23.4 billion and approximately $ 21 billion in liabilities to pay over the coming years. Fund managers tell WXYZ that the amount of money in the fund has increased over the past year, thanks to investments.

“And the thought that they’re going to literally deprive thousands of people of the care that they’ve built their lives on and been successful on, for me as a human being, as a lawyer, now retired from active practice. It is abominable. The money is there, ”Bellanca said.

So what will happen to the billions of dollars that drivers have paid over the years if they are not spent helping people with catastrophic injuries?

Inside the no-fault reform bill passed by the Republican House and Senate and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is a law ordering the state to reimburse insurers if it exceeds 120% of liabilities. He says the reimbursement to insurers will help them give a discount to drivers.

“I find it hard to believe that they are going to give it back to us and, frankly, I don’t want it if it means people like Vlady will no longer receive the care they need to survive,” Bellanca said.

Krumm says Konstantinov might not be able to continue living in his house due to the law. He once lived in a nursing and rehab home and that raises concerns.

“It was difficult to control. He was going wild. Vlady is a strong willed person. You could see it on the ice, ”said Bellanca.

“What’s going to happen to him? Is he going to end up in a nursing home? Will he end up in storage somewhere instead of thriving and living a wonderful life and being healthy?” Krumm asked.

“He’s losing his humanity and there’s no excuse for it,” Bellanca said.

Some bills are proposed to undo the 45% reduction. One of them is House Bill 4486 submitted by State Representative Doug Wozniak (R-Shelby Township).

2021-HIB-4486 through WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd

If you have an opinion on what you want to see happen, contact your representatives and the governor’s office.

About John Tuttle

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