Blog Archives

NOTICE on MANAGED LONG TERM CARE PLAN

On June 6, 2012, the N.Y. State Department of Health released on its website copies of the first mailing that will be sent to consumers affected by the mandatory MLTC initiative.

As revealed in an Advisory Group conference call on May 31, the State is not waiting for CMS approval of its waiver amendment before starting its communications to consumers.  This letter is purportedly being mailed this week to Manhattan recipients of Personal Care Services residing below Central Park.  Here is an excerpt from the letter:

This is an important notice from the Medicaid Program. We are writing because you get home care or other long-term care services. The way you get these services will change in the next several months. To keep receiving your services, you will be required to join a Managed Long Term Care Plan.

The requirement that you must join a Plan is subject to approval by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). You do not need to do anything at this time. This letter is to tell you what this change means to you and how it will happen.

The mailing includes a list of all MLTC plans, including MAP and PACE.  It also includes the toll-free number of the enrollment broker, NY Medicaid Choice, for consumers to call with questions about MLTC: 888-401-6582.

The mailing with be sent in English and Spanish and also includes a card in 18 languages instructing people to call the toll-free number for assistance in their language.

As far as we know, this does not change the previously proposed implementation timeline.

Valerie Bogart

Selfhelp Community Services

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HOW MEDICARE FAILS THE ELDERLY (nytimes.com)

By Jane Gross

(Published Oct. 15, 2011)

HERE is the dirty little secret of health care in America for the elderly, the one group we all assume has universal coverage thanks to the 1965 Medicare law: what Medicare paid for then is no longer what recipients need or want today.

No one then envisioned the stunning advances in medicine that now keep people alive into advanced old age, often with unintended and unwelcome consequences. Indeed, scientific reports have showed the dangers, not merely the pointlessness and expense, of much of the care Medicare is providing.

Of course, some may actually want everything medical science has to offer. But overwhelmingly, I’ve concluded in a decade of studying America’s elderly, it is fee-for-service doctors and Big Pharma who stand to gain the most, and adult children, with too much emotion and too little information, driving those decisions.

In the last year alone, and this list is far from complete, here is what researchers have found both useless and harmful, according to leading medical journals:

• Feeding tubes, which can cause infections, nausea and vomiting, rarely prolong life. People with dementia often react with agitation, including pulling out the tubes, and then are either sedated or restrained.

• Abdominal and gall bladder surgery and joint replacements, for those who rank poorly on a scale that measures frailty, lead to complications, repeat hospital stays and placement in nursing homes.

• Tight glycemic control for Type 2 diabetes, present in 1 of 4 people over 65, often requires 8 to 10 years before it helps prevent blindness, kidney disease or amputations. Without enough time to reap the benefits, the elderly endure needless dietary limits and needle sticks.

TO READ FULL ESSAY CLICK HERE –> How Medicare Fails the Elderly – NYTimes.com.

Ask Our Doc: Treat Your Feet

By Dr. Kevin B. Coleman

Doctor of Podiatric Medicine,  New York State licensure

When people shop for shoes based on style or brand and how they fit with their outfit, instead of how shoes fit their feet, they’re setting themselves up for foot pain and discomfort.  Ill-fitting shoes that are too large or too small, and footwear with poor arch support are the prime agitators for foot problems.

For care of foot pain and discomfort turn to podiatrists.  These health care professionals must be licensed by the State to provide medical and surgical management of the lower extremity–which includes foot, ankle and lower leg.  They have the ability to diagnose systemic diseases and treat lower extremity manifestations.

The most common problems many podiatrists treat are toe nail disorders, such as ingrown, fungal or elongated nails, and hyperkeratoses (corns and calluses caused by tight shoes).  If you see a growth or feel discomfort make an appointment with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis.  A visit usually includes an exam, a thorough assessment and treatment recommendations.

We are medically and surgically trained to help patients with these common foot problems.  Some of the reasons why people with such ailments seek assistance from a podiatrist are:

1]  Podiatrists are specially trained to trim corns and calluses.  When people try to cut their own calluses they run the risk of injuring themselves, which could lead to possible infection.  Having a professional do this can remove the chance of accidents.

2]  Some patients have inadequate vision or limited flexibility so they can’t reach their feet well enough to safely clip their nails, thus need a podiatrist to provide this service.

3]  Diabetes and poor circulation can also create the need for assistance from a podiatrist.

In between visits to your foot doctor, patients commonly use do-it-yourself pampering practices, such as warm water foot soaks, massage to help with foot discomfort and applying a favorite foot cream.

People with diabetes and/or poor circulation should have their feet evaluated every two months by a podiatrist.  Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance are commonly used to pay for podiatry services.  Next time, the Doc will offer steps to help diabetics walk in good health.

Walk lively, see your podiatrist regularly.

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Dr. Coleman has 25 years of experience, trained at New York College of Podiatric Medicine and is based in Brooklyn.  He can be reached at 231-846-8643 to address your questions and concerns.