IU Health North to conduct external review after late patient claims racism affected care

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Susan Moore gives an update on the treatment she received for COVID-19 at IU Health North in Carmel in a video posted to Facebook on Dec. 4. (Screenshot)

IU Health North will conduct an external review after a Black patient suffering from COVID-19 claimed race played a factor in what she deemed inadequate treatment at the Carmel hospital.

Dr. Susan Moore, 52, a licensed physician who succumbed to the disease Dec. 20 at a different Carmel hospital, posted a video on Facebook Dec. 4 in which she said her white doctor didn’t take her complaints seriously and declined to prescribe sufficient pain medication until a scan showed evidence of problems in her lungs.

“You have to show proof you have something wrong with you in order for you to get the medicine,” Moore said in the video. “I put forward and maintain if I was white, I wouldn’t have to go through that.”

In an additional social media post, Moore stated that she believed IU Health North discharged her too soon but that she was receiving “very compassionate care” at Ascension St. Vincent Carmel hospital.

Dennis Murphy, president and chief executive officer of IU Health, issued a lengthy statement addressing the issue four days after Moore’s death, and one day after the New York Times covered the story.

“I do not believe that we failed the technical aspects of the delivery of Dr. Moore’s care. I am concerned, however, that we may not have shown the level of compassion and respect we strive for in understanding what matters most to patients,” Murphy stated. “I am worried that our care team did not have the time due to the burden of this pandemic to hear and understand patient concerns and questions.”

Murphy said the hospital will conduct an external review of the case by a panel of health care and diversity experts to “address any potential treatment bias.”

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to provide assistance to Moore’s 19-year-old son and her parents, who both have dementia, according to the fundraising website. As of Jan. 4, the campaign had raised more than $181,000 to cover rent, moving and funeral expenses and other costs. Learn more at gofundme.com/f/dr-susan-moores-family-assistance.

View Moore’s video posted to Facebook at facebook.com/100003270157867/videos/3459156707536634/.

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