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Tip of the Week: Medicare Changes

Do you know anyone who has been turned down for home nursing care and other services through Medicare?  Commonly Medicare would turn down coverage for clients because there were no obvious improvements.  In March an article published in The New York Times explained that after a class action lawsuit, Medicare has been forced to update their policy manual, to erase any indication that “improvement in necessary to receive coverage for skilled care.”

While Medicare was required to notify health care providers, bill processors, auditors, Medicare advantage plans, the800-MEDICARE information line and appeals judges, were not prompted to notify beneficiaries.  In other words, this may be the first time you’re hearing of this change!  Margaret Murphy, associate director at the center for Medicare advocacy states “It allows people to remain a little healthier for a longer time and stay a bit more independent”.  It also takes some pressure off families who are scrambling to take care of their loved ones. 

While for home health coverage, Doctors orders for intermittent care are mandatory these services, must also be provided by a skilled professional.  This “sea change” may have a vast impact on seniors who want to avoid institutional care.  Beneficiaries receiving skilled services are also eligible for home health care aids to assist with activities of daily living.  If you are looking for home health care for a loved one and they are covered by Medicare talk to your doctor about what can be provided for them!  To read more on this article visit http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/25/a-quiet-sea-change-in-medicare/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

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