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COTA Thoughts

I’m Back!

Published December 13, 2012 4:43 PM by Tim Banish

Greetings everyone! I have returned to my blog now that my job status has changed again. My short foray into teaching went fine but I could not deal with the politics. Class rules were established as directed by my superiors, but often as they were enforced there were exceptions made by the same superiors. Respect and professionalism are things you can't teach, I found. Maybe I'll talk about this more in a future blog.

Anyway I'm back working part time (by my choice) in long term care (LTC). I keep joking I'm only looking for the best place for me when I retire, which isn't too far in the future. Actually most of my career has been in LTC, and it's the place where I feel most comfortable and useful. At this point of my career I find my experience and age helps me relate to that population better.

Back to the blog: As many changes are happening in Medicare, Medicaid, private insurances and the new healthcare bill many of my future blogs will center on these changes. America's senior citizens are being affected by higher co-pays, less coverage, over regulated plans and increased monthly rates. At the same time they are struggling with current high inflation rates and little or no increases in their Social Security or pension plans. When you receive a set amount of spending money every month, and prices increase, usually other things have to get cut out or reduced in order to afford necessities.

This has been an issue I've dealt with for years. Back in the early 90's I had a home health patient who was widowed. Her husband ran a farm and never worked a typical job, so there was no retirement package or Social Security. She did receive a monthly widower's payment from the government though, a whopping $268. Between her utilities and food, most of that was spent before she was able to purchase her medicine. To compensate for this, she would actually buy food one month and buy her medicine the next month. To make her medicine last two months she would cut the pills in half. Not the best idea, but that is what she was forced to do in order to maintain her life and health with what she had.

These days I see too many people who arrive at the nursing home way too sick to tolerate therapy. Some places will recognize this and will cut therapy, but other places will continue on until all their days are used up. I also see the people who have private insurance or HMO plans that get cut and sent home way too soon. Just recently had a person that their HMO cut and sent home as much as we tried to indicate the person was not ready. One night at home and the next day had to be 911'd back to the hospital. I know ambulance rides are expensive these days, and my feeling is that this HMO wasted a lot of money because they would not listen to the caretakers. I see way too much of this happening lately, money wasted because most HMO's have set rules concerning patient progress or the number of days they will cover.

I could go on for pages talking about this, but since a blog is supposed to be short I'll cut it off for now. There will be many more opportunities to blog about this subject.

           Until next time, hope all your "Thoughts" are Good-

Tim

posted by Tim Banish

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