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June 30, 2008

Issues with Medicare and Medicaid

Medicare’s spending cuts

I disagree with spending cuts Medicare keeps making with respect to physician reimbursement (6/27, A-1, “KC area braces for new Medicare bid program; In order to cut costs, lower rates will be paid to medical equipment suppliers as of Tuesday”). Doctors have been squeezed to the point that they are refusing to take new Medicare patients, and the quality of care to the elderly will certainly suffer in the long run.

However, I believe the Advanced Medical DME portion of their program is long overdue for a trim. I’ve been using a CPAP machine for more than a year and find the price being reimbursed to my supplier is grossly inflated.

Harley Metcalfe’s claim of the “incredible amount of time” to train patients is pure hogwash. I had far more trouble learning how to operate my microwave oven.

Nancy Thompson
Jefferson City

Medicaid and Disabilities Act

There are increasingly fewer providers that accept Medicaid for personal care services. The trend is to self-direct your supports, but finding agencies that supply trained certified nurse’s aides in various parts of this city is very limited.

Many organizations take only take private-pay clients at the rate of $18 to $25 per hour, making this type of service out of our reach, although the need is great for families that care for elderly parents or have a disabled member of their household.

A local organization commented that “Medicaid requires us to abide by too many rules, for example, our building has to be handicapped accessible.”

The Americans with Disabilities Act is interpreted narrowly, denying protection to people Congress intended the law to cover. Ask your lawmakers to restore the promise of the ADA. We all have a voice. Let them hear yours.

Paula Shepherd
Kansas City



This is what happens with socialized medicine where the costs of administration and governence are higher than the services themselves. The Director of HHS at the Federal level is a striaght shooter and he broke it down to Congress about their bogus pudgets and unreal numbers. BAsically he said things like building leases, office furniture, vehciles and entertainment budgets are NOT supposed to be covered by Medicaid and he cut much of that our of the provisioning. They ranted and raved about it. I have a permanently disabled family member on Medicaid and it is real pain trying to find decent physicians that will accept Medicaid.

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