MEDICAID WOES: It was announced late last summer that Nevada's Disabled Waiver Program was financially troubled. The program was implemented in February 1990 and offers disabled residents a chance to live at home and receive services by a homemaker, CNA, or skilled nurse. The program funds 75% of the cost it would normally pay for institutional care. The number of hours and type of caregiver provided depends on the level of care a person needs. The maximum number of hours for a severely disabled person who is ventilator dependent is 47 hours per week of skilled care provided by an RN or LPN only. Nevada does not allow a personal care aide to care for a vent user.
However, one of the health care issues which will be addressed in the 1995 Nevada legislature, will be to let disabled people on Medicaid hire their own personal attendants who aren't registered nurses. Many of us who are disabled depend on waiver services and other Medicaid programs to fund the cost of skilled and\or PCA programs. It is especially crucial for those of us who are vent users to remain at home and continue to receive a high level of care to meet our needs. Medicaid cut backs are a continuing threat to our independence and will force many of us into nursing homes where our level of care will be greatly reduced. Legally it is against the law for anyone to have to accept a lower level of care. We must know what our rights are and continue to fight for them. Nevada's Disabled Waiver Program as well as waiver programs throughout the country are in jeopardy because the federal guidelines for home health care were changed last summer and programs could be destroyed if these new guidelines are not adhered to. The exact details of the new federal guidelines are not being revealed to Medicaid recipients but the underlying problem seems to be that each Medicaid recipient must not exceed the 75 per cent cost of care limit. In the state of Nevada, some Medicaid recipients were exceeding that limitation without ramifications because prior guidelines stated that as long as costs were not exceeded as a total group, the program was not endangered. It is imperative that home care programs be maintained without imposing cuts in hours or restrictions on caregivers. I urge every disabled person to voice their opinion by writing to their congressmen, senators and representatives.
For a complimentary issue, write "Living SMArt," June Price, Editor, 3576 S. 43rd Street., #32, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53220-1550
Learning Objectives for Positive Pressure Ventilation in the Home. The National Center for Home Mechanical Ventilation offers a 39-page listing of potential educational objectives to aid respiratory care professionals in customizing ventilator user and caregiver education. Available for $5 postpaid from the National Center for Home Mechanical Ventilation, 1400 Jackson Street., Room J105a, Denver, CO 80206.
A Guide to Wheelchair Selection: How to Use the ANSI/RESNA Wheelchair Standards to Buy a Wheelchair. Peter Axelson, Jean Minkel, Denise Chesney. Paralyzed Veterans of America. 202/872-1300. $9.50 plus $2.50 shipping and handling. 1994.
DEN (Disabilities Electronic Network) 171 Atlantic Street Hackensack, New Jersey 07601 (201) 342-69840 Access number (800) 222-3273 DIALJAN (Job Accommodation Network) President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities West Virginia Research & Training Cntr. One Dunbar, WV 25064 (800) 624-8284 Access number (800) 342-5526
New Horizons Winter 1995