Do You Want to Learn More About Caregiving?

Giving

Challenges in Caregiving: Giving Care, Taking Care, a caregiver training conference will be offered on Monday, June 3, 2013 at the Tukwila Community Center in Tukwila, Washington. The event is hosted by Aging and Disability Services Administration, Full Life Care and Pierce County Community Connections/Aging and Long Term Care along with the support of numerous community organizations. The conference is designed to provide current, practical skills and resources that community caregivers can use in their daily caregiving responsibilities. The conference is intended for:

• Family caregivers (spouses, adult children, parents of adults with disabilities, or other relatives)
• Home care workers and adult day services staff
• Adult family home or assisted living staff
• Social service or mental health professionals who work with family caregivers

The Early Registration fee (by May 15) for individual caregivers is $30. Scholarships are available for unpaid family caregivers. The Early Registration fee for agency-based caregivers is $50. Fees include workshops, lunch and resource exhibits. Registration forms will be available in April and space is limited – so don’t delay! For more information or to receive a full brochure and registration materials, please call 1-800-422-3263 or 360-725-2544.

~Professional Medical Corp.

Are Your Medical Bills Out of Control?

If you are like many America’s facing unexpected medical bills the task of sorting through invoices can be tedious.

Patients are frustrated to receive multiple bills, for such things as hospital services, with little to no explanations as to what the invoice includes.

None of this surprises Pat Palmer, the founder of Medical Billing Advocates of America. “We get feedback from consumers saying that providers are telling them ‘We can’t give you an itemized statement’ or ‘You should have asked for it before you left the hospital.'”

For those with confusing or huge hospital bills some experts’ advise patients to take the following steps.

Knowing your patient rights within a doctor’s office or hospital is the first step in avoiding financial disagreements. Make it clear that you are aware of your legal right to have such things as an itemizes invoice.

Get explanations in writing and take protests to the top. All communications with a provider should be in writing and if customer service departments are not helpful avoid them and write a letter to the chief financial officer.

Ask for help from you insurer. They have a responsibility to some degree to what happens between you and a contracted physician and can often be a great ally.

And finally seek help and file complaints if your bill is much higher then you expected or can afford. Organizations such as Medical Billing Advocates of America and Health Proponent can help you fight charges or lower your bill.

To learn more read HERE

~Professional Medical Corp.

DSHS Cuts and You

On July 1, 2009, DSHS will enact the second of three proposed changes to the Durable Medical Equipment and Supplies program (DME). Products in this category include Wheelchairs, Walkers, Bathroom Equipment, Incontinence Products, Oral Nutrition and others. On January 1, 2009, DSHS adopted the reimbursement cuts of 9.5% that Medicare did. This affected Power wheelchairs, Hospital Beds and supplies, Nutrition and Ambulatory products like walkers and canes and has put at risk the ability of providers to offer a choice of quality products. On July 1, 2009, DSHS has proposed the following cuts to their program: Eliminating coverage for Bathroom Equipment, Blood Pressure Monitors, Compression Hosiery, Oral Nutrition. In addition, they have dropped amounts of coverage for the following: Incontinence supplies, Gloves, and Diabetic supplies. At this time, DSHS is also considering sole source contracting for all of its Incontinence supplies- this will effectively put hundreds of providers and their employees out of business. If this is enacted, all DSHS clients can expect to see their choice of provider eliminated as well as a decrease in the quality of products and the choice of products that they currently receive. It is very unfortunate that these cuts will target our most vulnerable populations at a time of need.

It is our dream that every American will receive affordable, quality health care. However rising costs and declining reimbursements are forcing many providers to make a difficult choice. Likewise, even more limitations on supplies and lack of product choices put a heavy burden on clients.

We urge you to get involved with this issue and to voice your concerns.

Write to your Congressperson today. Click here to contact your Representative.

Walgreens to Withdraw 44 WA Pharmacies from Medicaid Program

On Monday, Walgreens announced that it will pull 44 of 111 WA pharmacies from the Medicaid program, while some of the remaining pharmacies will stop accepting new Medicaid patients for prescription services.
Many facilities cannot sustain the increasing costs of supplies and a drop in reimbursements, and are forced to make the difficult decision to stop serving Medicaid patients.

Drugstore company Walgreen Co said on Monday it would pull almost half its pharmacies in Washington state from the U.S. Medicaid program in protest against the state’s plan to cut reimbursements for drugs.

Cash-strapped Washington state plans to insist on cheaper, generic drugs for low-income Medicaid clients whenever available and equivalent to brand-name drugs, and is also cutting the rate of reimbursements on all drugs to pharmacies which supply them.
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HHS Launched Health Reform Site

HHS launches new website dedicated to health reform.

On March 5, 2009, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a Press Release announcing that it has launched a new website dedicated to health reform.

The new website contains a report entitled Americans Speak on Health Reform: Report on Health Care Community Discussions, which is a summary and analysis of reports from 3,276 health care community discussions and 30,603 participant surveys on health reform that took place in December 2008.

Source: Medicare Update