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Medicare Procurement Program Creates Extreme Hardships for Patients without Options, Says AAHomecare
Date:10/24/2013

choose to have her at home," says Joseph's daughter, Tina Metts, "because the closest nursing home that allows for ventilators is three hours away. There are no home help agencies in our area that work with ventilator patients. Everything is out of pocket, so he stays home with her 24 hours a day. The cost of care is so burdensome. We can't get any help, they're using their life savings, and he's sick, too."

Meanwhile, Joseph's sisters, who are also diabetic, have had the same trouble getting their supplies that Joseph has had, which leads Tina to believe the problem is widespread. "The sad thing," she says, "is that the people we're supposed to be taking care of, our seniors, don't make a very loud voice, so they're getting treated wrong. It's sad. Thankfully we have a family and can lean on each other, but I'm pretty sure there are lots of people out there that don't have that luxury."

***

Victor Williams, 61, of Turrell, Ark., used to be a train conductor, but for the past 20 years he's mostly been homebound. A back injury in 1983 forced him to stop working, and despite five surgeries and regular cortisone shots in his joints, he's never made a full recovery. He started using a power wheelchair ten years ago and found it extremely helpful, but for the past two years it's been breaking down.

Despite originally being promised a replacement chair on January 1, 2013, he's now been told that he's not eligible. His new supplier, he says, told him he doesn't need one. "When the chair's not working," Victor says, "I don't go anywhere…It's how I get around in my house."

Since the chair doesn't work about a third of the time he tries to use it, he's started using an "old, raggedy" manual wheelchair, which is hard to maneuver due to his chronic back and joint pain. There's no one helping Victor at home. "I'm depressed all the time," he said. "I'm
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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