Saturday, November 8, 2008

Our Prescription for Change

So, the election is over. Whether you are delighted or not about the outcome, let’s get focused on one of the major issues facing our nation, health care. We see a particular set of concerns through our lens here at Capabilities. We see families facing some of the biggest and scariest challenges of their lives. When physical illness or injury arrives on your doorstep, or when finally you realize the effects of aging are catching up with your parents, or yourself, the world changes. We have written a lot about that "deer in the headlights" look that comes over us when we are confronted with this type of change.

What will the new President do? What will the new administration do to address the difficulties so many families face? We cannot pretend to know the answer to the many questions of how to help families facing illness, injury and the impact of aging. We do know what does not work well now.

Take Medicare, for example. As a Medicare provider, Capabilities works with folks to address needs for durable medical equipment, DME, as its called. The types of equipment and amounts covered shrinks all the time. The process is onerous, causing many to give up. We have written in this blog before about Medicare. In the coming weeks, we will review again some of the key requirements for Medicare coverage for such products as wheelchairs, power equipment, lift chairs and patient beds. Suffice it to say here that for folks who have worked long and hard and have an expectation of receiving help through Medicare after age 65, the laments are many and the list, long on complaints.

We have built Capabilities to respond to individuals, not to insurance companies. However, we do our fair share of intervening. We are happy to do so for our customers, although we clearly see the writing on the wall.

We urge everyone to bring your voice to the table of our newly elected government. As our leaders think, discuss and imagine the future, your voices need to be there. You have ideas and concerns. If you are part of a family facing enormous change because of illness, injury or aging, no one can describe more vividly the impact it is having on your life, your lifestyle and your family. Tell us your stories and we will do our best to pass them on, too.

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