Questions raised over Bakersfield medical supply company

Questions raised over Bakersfield medical supply company »Play Video
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A family wants answers, saying they waited months for much-needed medical supplies.

For 12 years, they've been getting oxygen and breathing equipment from Right HealthCare. Now they wonder if the company is still in business.

It's the same office that was the target of an FBI raid last October.

Debra Meadors says the last time they got supplies from Right HealthCare was January, and her husband badly needs things like a new breathing mask. "It's all stretched out so the air is escaping from around his mouth and his eyes," she said. "And the hoses have bacteria so he's getting a lung infection."

She tried to call the Right HealthCare office, but the phones weren't working. So Meadors went to the office on Tuesday. She said two women were inside, one wouldn't answer any questions. The other one said a little.

"She said, 'Hon -- we don't have any supplies, and we're not going to order any supplies,'" Meadors says she was told. When she pressed to find out why no orders were being made, Meadors says the woman said the company therapist "had left the country."

On Wednesday, Eyewitness News went to the Right HealthCare office on West Columbus Avenue. A sign on the door provided a cell phone number for patients to call and a man inside identified himself as a "service person."

Asked if the company was going out of business the man said, "I'm not sure, to be honest." The man said he couldn't give a reporter the owners' phone number, but said they would call back.

On October 26 last year, the office was raided by a number of FBI agents. Eyewitness News and people in neighboring businesses saw agents checking in the office, and going through delivery vans and storage areas. An FBI spokeswoman would only say there was search warrant activity. A reporter's call to the FBI on Wednesday has not been returned yet.

The service technician in the office on Wednesday said the company is facing changes because they've lost MediCare contracts. He said that's due to a different contract bidding process with Medicare that kicks in on July 1.

But, Meador's husband is not on Medicare, he has private insurance. And, Debra Meadors is convinced that their insurance has continued to pay Right HealthCare during the time they haven't received any supplies. "They're still billing my insurance as of last month," Meadors said.

Meadors has heard Right HealthCare has lost other contracts, not just Medicare.

But, on Wednesday Brijmohan Aulkakh walked up to the office with a breathing machine, saying he was there to get another one for his sister. Aulkakh said he came on Tuesday, but the office was closed. So he called on Wednesday and was told he could come in anytime before noon.

Aulkakh said he was told the company would continue to provide service.

The man at Right HealthCare said he called the Meadors family later on Wednesday and assured them the company would still have the supplies they need. He told Eyewitness News Mrs. Meadors misunderstood what she was told by the women in the office. He also said Larry Meadors' insurance pays for new supplies every six months, so the company had not missed any service.

But, Debra Meadors says her husband has used these supplies for 12 years, and he needs replacements every three months. She's convinced Right HealthCare missed them in March and again in June.

"He needs it today," Meadors said. "That's why I went there yesterday." She will go to a different provider, and she thinks Right HealthCare is probably going out of business. She thinks the company should let patients know, and she's upset at the thought the company continued to bill her husband's insurance.

"All I know is that should be honest about it," Meadors said. "And not keep billing people, and let people know."