Saturday, September 12, 2015

Medicaid: Being At The Mercy Of The System

Before the experience with Mom, I looked at receiving Medicaid as a Senior as the last resort but a “safety net” when absolutely necessary

Now, I realize once on Medicaid, as a Senior, your life is truly at the mercy of those who administer the program: facilities, State agencies and departments. And, unfortunately, as many who have the services at younger ages will tell you, it’s degrading, dehumanizing and often provides far less than you’re told when you agree to entering the process.

With generations in their 90’s and beyond, 80’s and even 60’s through 70’s who went through financial downturns of decades, wars and confrontations, and even economic times and lack of ability of programs and plans, our society faces continuing challenges maintaining quality of life and independent abilities as most States and the Federal Government state they advocate and support.

The Answer: Effective use of current State laws, rules and regulations AND the powers that be, the regulating authorities, realize the importance of not only advocating and promoting but of regulating through enforcement of specific corrections that mean the most to facilities – loss of income, loss of new residents.

Transparency: an online list of all facilities by State joining together the many State Authorities under one “banner” with EVERY SINGLE REPORT GENERATED available to click through – AND NOT JUST THE SUMMATION OF FINDINGS.

Quick and Clear Reference:  A checklist of complaints by area, number of people/times reported and outcomes.

Deaths by facility, by month, male/female, age at time of death, number of years spent in that facility; total number of years spent in facilities by type

Number of cases of pneumonia per facility by month; male/female
Number of falls by person and reasons provided for falls in record of facility
Number of cuts, bruises, abrasions or any other skin compromise per month per facility

We keep hearing how falls and infections are rampant in the elderly but we don't hear the details of the sources of these challenges.

Let’s see an accounting by the State Departments of Health, those who oversee the nation’s welfare in long term care facilities in a format and easily accessible with updates at least on a yearly basis if not on a quarterly.

We’re in the computer age. Colllecting data is easier. Mandate facilites report by computer, don’t just say you’ll take paper. If they’re not using computers for their work, how can we believe these businesses are well managed and well run? Computer entries can be tracked far easier than adjustments to “written” reports. Move Forward, DHSS!

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