Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

Medicare Patient Alert – Hospitalization Status And Medicare Coverage

 Your Medicare Hospital Observation Status Can Cost You Big Bucks

According to a study by gerontologists at Brown University in Providence, R.I, the number of Medicare patients who enter the hospital for observation has gone up even though Medicare enrollment and hospital admissions declined slightly. Three researchers from Brown University examined how frequently patients are placed on “observation status,” meaning that they are getting treatment in a hospital but are not admitted.

The trend is of great concern to the physician community, wrote AMA Executive Vice President and CEO James L. Madara, MD, in an Aug. 31 comment letter to CMS, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

“Those who need skilled nursing facility care face a coverage denial that triggers a substantial and unanticipated financial burden that may force them to forgo the skilled …

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A Caregivers Bittersweet Season with Jane Gross

This is a very good interview with Jane Gross, author of A Bittersweet Season, Caring For Our Aging Parents…And Ourselves, available on our shelfari-top shelf.  In this interview, Ms. Gross shares some of her wisdom from her time as a family caregiver. It is always so good to learn from those who have made this journey before us.  Please listen and comment below.

Technorati Tags: A Bittersweet Season, assisted living, end of life care, end of life decisions, family caregiver, geriatric care manager, Jan Gross, medicaid planning, Medicare, siblings caring for parents

Caregiver Alert: Insurance Company Customer (Dis)Service

Deconstructing our Health Insurance Company’s Stand on Health Care Reform

Right now Bill and I are up to our ears in what seems like dozens of picky bookkeeping details that have flooded our desks.  Not only is it tax time, but Bill’s recent retirement means changes in our automatic banking procedures and our savings plan.  We are also challenged by the need to learn the ins and outs of new medical coverage from Medicare and from the VA.

Much of this is proceeding reasonably smoothly.  Where the trouble lies right now is mainly with our old health insurance company.  Most years we have no trouble at all with them.  Our health care providers’ billing offices know their business, and we have learned the ways of filing for out-of-network expenses with a minimum of frustration.

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More Transition, We Are Our Own Caregivers, and Some Loose Ends

Belgian Horses Like at Four Mile

I am swamped.  I thought retirement was supposed to usher in one’s leisure years.  I suppose it didn’t help my overload that I immediately went back to work.  I am at Four Mile Historic Park here in Denver four hours a day most days.  I assist big yellow busloads of elementary school-age children engage in various activities to give them a taste of what was like to live in the 1859-1880 period.  It is great fun working with the children and a lot of work setting up and cleaning up after they leave.  I love it, but there is a lot to learn and a lot to do.  I leave worn out.

I also have a life, or so Carol tells me.  Today I was an hour …

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The Department of Veteran’s Affairs and Me

Our Veterans

I am a cold war Army Veteran.  I served three years, two of them in Germany.  I had a lot of training and a decent job in Germany.  It seems that armies cannot do what they do without making a lot of noise.  We fired rifles, threw hand grenades, fired machine guns, and made all this noise without any hearing protection.  I also operated big trucks and big diesel electric generators.  Now I don’t hear so well.

While in Florida visiting Frank, my late father-in law, who was a WWII Purple Heart veteran, we helped him get hooked up with the VA for some of his health care needs.  He had been receiving disability compensation for his war wound since 1946, but had never used the VA for any other services.

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Scratch a New Aquaintance and Find–A Caregiver!

I’ve read the stats.  I know that there are 44,000,000 caregivers of aging parents and other relatives over the age of 50 out there.  And I know this number is growing every day.  But I’m still surprised when some weeks it seems like everyone I meet is a caregiver.

Recently we met with an insurance agent to go over the options for Medicare Supplemental and Medicare Advantage plans as Bill approaches retirement.  A couple of hours into the meeting we found we were all sharing stories about each of our experiences with our parents and in-laws and their declining health and increasing needs.  A few days later as I left my massage therapist’s office, I became involved in a conversation with her next client who was discussing her fears about her nonagenarian grandmother’s care.

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