ALL THOSE WHO ARE ON MEDICARE...


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For those of you who are on Medicare, our wonderful Senate & House of REpresentatives, did not pass a budget, and so MEDICARE is capping physical & occupational therapy at $1740 per year!!

This can be changed, if all of us contact our Senators and Congress people -- please call yours ASAP !

I just got off the phone with Senator Lautenberg's office in New Jersey.

Dorrie

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've got to say that I'm very disappointed in the lack of response to this new law capping therapy at $1740 per year as passed in the Budget Act of 2005

Please, I am urging all of you, especially those on Medicare, to fight for More therapy, and NO CAPS. Please call your Senators and Congressmen, and tell them how You Need Therapy to be Extended, not Cut-off! I especially would love for those with Republican representatives to be pro-active since they're the ones who are limiting the therapy -- VP Cheney, I was told, cast the deciding vote on this one.

Dorrie

 

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dorrie, on the first day that I read your post about the decrease in therapy cost and saw Jean's post on where to find addressess, I went straight to one of the web pages of TN senators and wrote a calm but with a little bit of nasty letter. Then I had planned to go to the rest of the varments web site and write them as well then my I had computer problems and just got it back running yesterday so I plan to finish the job. What makes me soooo mad about these people is they did not hesitate to give themselves a raise several months ago, plus they and their families never have to worry about their "care" or the quality of it!I still haven't heard from the Senator, which I really don't expect to, but that's okay cause my writing isn't done....rose

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Steph,

The Budget Act of 2005 affects the amount of therapy a person gets -- nothing to do with MEDICARE Part D

 

Thank you, Rosejill, for helping.

I think changing legislation is something we can all do

 

Dorrie

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This is what is happening now with the Budget Act of 2005, and the $1740 cap for therapy instituted by Medicare....

On February 1st, Congress will be voting on a bill called, The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005

This bill will include EXCEPTIONS for those who need more than the $1740 therapy cap. Of course the doctor's office will have the arduous task of filling out medically necessary forms. While I would prefer there be no cap at all, at least this Deficit Reduction Act will allow some Medicare recepients to receive more therapy than the $1740 worth which is the law at this moment. So please, call your Representatives in Congress, and ask that they pass the DEFICIT REDUCTION ACT of 2005

 

Thank you in advance to all those who help

 

Dorrie

 

 

Here is a link to a website that will give you more info, and a letter to copy to your representatives:

http://www.apta.org/AM/Template.cfm?Sectio...ContentID=18639

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

THANK you to all those who called or wrote to your representatives about repealing the Medicare Therapy Cap -- it was repealed last night. That is to say, that a doctor can override the $1740 cap if it is deemed medically necessary. This exemption policy is only in effect for 2006 This whole process will start up again in 2007. Well, I am grateful for this small victory. So again thank you to everyone.

Dorrie

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just got off the phone with an occupational therapist lobbyist. Apparently, we are not quite out of the woods yet with this $1740 cap. Even though President Bush repealed the cap if it is medically necessary, Medicare has not issued guidelines as to what is necessary. They will be allowing some ailments to automatically continue, that is to say, if someone has hip replacement, for example, automatically the cap will not apply to them. But, in any event, these guidelines will not be issued until mid March. I am urging everyone to please call their Congressmen and Senators. Please ask them to include stroke patients in those patients who are automatically excluded from the cap.....

Thank you to all those who call,

Dorrie

 

PS It is particularly important for people to call with REPUBLICAN senators and congressmen, because they are the ones who have consistantly introducing the Therapy Cap (since 1997) !!

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My personal opinion of strokers not being treated as well as hip replacement patients is because the Stroke Association is a part of the Heart Association. If they would be on their own and not a "second cousin", we would be considered. How can a stroke be compared with a hip replacement? Once the hip patient receives therapy and is "back in business" their life pretty much goes back to normal; but, someone eho has had a stroke needs, months and tears to gain anything like things were before, in most cases. Same with parking. If someone has had even a small heart attack, there are several options that a Dr. can choose for that person. With a stroke you need to be pretty bad off in order to get one if the Dr. follows the rules. Again 2nd cousin.

 

We need to be on our own and do our own fighting, not have "big brother" (The Heart Association) toss us a crumb!

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Dorrie,

 

I think you would agree, the whole Medicare system needs a little better leadership. It's reminding me so much of Homeland security and FEMA.

A government employee is one of the hardest people to outright fire, no matter the circumstances.

 

How can you implement a program like this drug program, and over half the elderly don't understand what is going on. Even the President can't explain it. The pharmacy folks are going crazy not knowing if and when they will be paid, since they are really trying to give meds to the people who need them, hoping to get paid when it's all straighten out.

 

Phyllis,

I agree with you, until stroke is in a class by itself, and not a sub to the Heart assn., we will continue to be a struggling group. With 750,000 strokes in the US alone each year, I feel hospitals should have doctors on staff like heart doctors, who can diagnose stroke patients just like heart patients or cancer patients.

 

I had a rare chance three weeks ago to talk with a congressman while he was here discussing VA care for the wounded Iraq soilders returning to Ft Hood. I got noticed in the hallway limping along and he stopped me to ask many questions about my care. I laid it on him about stroke patients in the ER, then survivors and the medical attention they required to maintain some sort of life.

 

One big item was that cost projections were done based on higher ranking officers salaries, while most of the wounded soldiers were lower ranking soldiers making far less money than a general officer like Colen Powell and others.

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I love the fact that Senators and Congressmen make Medicare and Social Security decisions that do not affect them at all. These lawmakers do not pay into or draw from the system, yet they're always happy to cut services from everyone else. This $1740 cap is a way for them to save money (so they think). But what I keep on telling them is that it is cheaper to give a patient therapy, than not to. Without therapy, many patients do not have the drive to do exercises on their own, and become wards of the state! I know that therapy for my mother is more than just physical improvement, it is mental improvement! It gives her hope, and a purpose....

Dorrie

 

PS Phyllis, I do agree with you and the American Heart Association. It kind of amazes me that stroke is lumped with heart disease, since it is considered a brain injury.

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Phyllis,

 

Here's another way to look at the issue of a separate organization for strokes......... A LOT of the things that go wrong with the cardiovascular system are a direct cause of strokes. Therefore in many ways it makes sense to have the heart and stroke associations connected. Other wise money given to two separate organizations would be wasted on dulpicated reseach, trials, lobbyists, advocacy, fund raising, etc. If there were two separate organizations there there were be more overlapping.

 

Jean

 

P.S. Check out this page titled 'what we're doing' from the American Stroke Ass. http://www.strokeassociation.org/presenter...identifier=1055

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