to give someone the run·around
to act in a way which makes it difficult for someone to do something, for example by refusing to tell them things they need to know.
My friend Dan knows he has obstructive sleep apnea and is trying to use CPAP properly to treat his condition before it treats him to (i) at worst, an untimely death, or (ii) at best, a diminished quality of life. Amazingly, that puts Dan in about the 95th percentile of all people who have Sleep Apnea --- Dan is a superstar of Sleep Apnea simply because he knows he has it, and is continuing to seek treatment. What's more, Dan has friends and family who share the disorder and check up and encourage him on his progress; he has a highly skilled doctor in New York City, where he lives, well trained in Sleep medicine; he has one of the best CPAP machines on the market, the ResMed S8II; and he has a DME that monitors his compliance with the most cutting edge technology there is -- the ResMed ResTraxx monitor, which beams his compliance data to his DME on a daily basis so the DME can alert Dan to any problems, and make adjustments to his therapy. With all these things going for him, Dan is sure to get the care he deserves, right? Wrong.
Dan has been feeling very tired lately, so he left a voice mail for his DME last week to ask whether what they were seeing with his data was normal. No response. Dan is a persistent guy, though, so he called back this week and left another message, this time leaving his fax number and a request for a fax copy of his compliance data so that he could try to interpret it himself. Days go by . . . yesterday, though, he received the fax copy of his report with a cover page note: "looks like you are doing well." Confused because he feels so crappy, Dan poured through the report to see how he could possibly be doing well. At first glance, the report did look good -- the summary page didn't flag any sessions as particularly alarming. It was only when he went to the detail page did he realize that things were as bad as he had thought --- AHIs in the teens and the 20s, the mask coming on and off throughout the night.
How could it be that he got the "all clear" from the DME with such terrible results? Turns out, the DME sets up its monitoring of the data so that as long as the machine is being used for 4 hours or more a night, no red flags are raised. Well, Dan was using the machine more than 4 hours most nights. Problem was that during those 4 hours, he was slowly choking to death. This is the reason he went on CPAP in the first place!
Even though Dan is slowly suffocating himself with the DME's blessing, the DME is rewarded by Dan's insurance company, which, before it cuts a check to the DME, checks only that Dan is still using the machine. I suspect that's why in this case, Dan has gotten the runaround.