By Georgianna Reilly, LMSW- SJS Staff Writer
The New York Times discusses a recent national class action law suit against Medicare in this article. Past Medicare regulations only covered nursing and therapy services for those who could show a likelihood of medical or functional improvement via the treatment. This left many individuals with chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Stroke, Parkinsons, Brain Injury Etc. without the means to cover in home treatments which would sustain their current condition which often had no likelihood to improve. The new proposal would:
“pay for such services if they are needed to “maintain the patient’s current condition or prevent or slow further deterioration,” regardless of whether the patient’s condition is expected to improve.”
This new regulation equalizes the medical access of many elderly and disabled individuals currently receiving services through Medicaid. As the population ages these services will be needed more and more, allowing individuals to access services that will help them attempt to maintain their quality of life while suffering from conditions which make this difficult. While it will likely cost the government more, it is a step in the right direction of health care access equality. I wonder though, how these changes will be impacted if Romney was to take office.
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As a social worker who has tried to help seniors get better treatment and access this makes me very happy!