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View Diary: Being Poor and Dying is for real. I need your advice in life and death situation (69 comments)

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  •  This is both hard and easy to believe. (12+ / 0-)

    Our health care system is so sick, I hardly recognize it anymore.

    Your sister was right to get an application for Medicaid started. If Tony is not going to be able to walk according to the doctors, she should also start a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application. In severe cases such as this, the decision can be made quickly and include Medicare benefits to start immediately.

    This does depend on whether he worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes. If he hasn't, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes).

    The hospital social workers and financial reps should be aware of this. Combination of overworked and bad attitude. The links are to the US Gov pages for overall information, application forms and other help. Most people are told to hire someone to assist with the application because all but the most obvious cases are denied the first round. Tony should qualify on the obvious and urgent.

    Your sister will need to locate a local Social Security office and get an appointment to file the claim with a representative. She may have to send some of the information before, or provide it over the phone. The power of attorney document may be enough to do this.

    POA is not a financial responsibility for new debt. It allows her to handle his personal resources (cash, bank accounts) if it is recognized as legal by the institutions involved. As his parent, she may also qualify since there is no other person to act on his behalf. Some states or counties may require a guardian to be appointed at government expense. They can be as helpful to the POAs as the person they are assigned to protect.

    The hospital financial department should be working with her on this. County department where she is applying for Medicaid should also have assistance, even if it is just getting the Social Security appointment urgently instead of waiting for weeks or longer.

    As far as only keeping him for a week. In order to transfer him, it has to be to an institution that can provide the level of care he needs. The institution has to accept him, knowing what he has by way of insurance and what he is probably eligible for. This may actually help her. Another facility may well recognize what he will be eligible for once the paperwork is done. (Another reason it is dumb the hospital isn't helping more.) As has been pointed out, she has no obligation to sign for care she cannot possibly pay for.

    I know this is a difficult subject for many. There should be  people in the hospital to help her with the decisions regarding end of life care if she or Tony have not already made them. Her own religious mentors certainly would be available. She needs to have as clear an idea of his prognosis as possible and consider how much care he would want. Aggressive life saving measures that might end up with him needing a ventilator. A permanent feeding tube into his stomach. The hospital has probably initiated this with the Five Wishes paperwork for Advance Directives. Tony is no longer able to make the decisions but his mother can.

    {{{{{{{{{Ole Texan}}}}}}}}}}}} This is so tough on families that are far away. Had a lot of those patients when I lived in Alaska. Hope this has helped. I'm not in Texas and some of this stuff varies a lot between states, but if there is a question you need help with, Kosmail me. I've been an RN since '77 including critical care, home care and case management. Even stuff I don't know, I can probably give you an idea where to find answers.

    Ginny
     

    "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

    by Ginny in CO on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 03:56:07 PM PST

    •  Ginny in CO, you are so kind (5+ / 0-)

      to share such needed information. Yes my sister told me that a medicaid case worker was putting Tony` application on a fast track. Unfortunately the weekend came between and now it will be until Monday when my sister can continue her push for Medicaid for Tony.

      You have provided such wealth of sound advice that I cannot find words to explain how you specifically overwhelmed me to the point of sadness. It is indeed so easy to see how our health care system suffers. And I say this not only due to my nephew`s condition, cause I have seen countless diaries right here on Daily Kos that proves, health care has become a game of football for politicians, to kick back and forth to see who is the meanest of them all.

      Your words have a lot of sound meaning Ginny. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Even like I said earlier, not knowing Tony personally does not diminish this sadness I feel knowing how my sister is taking this. I will indeed look you up if my sister needs further information on how to proceed.

      thank you

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:41:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I loved my job and miss it. There is so (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        glorificus

        much reward in helping people through these painful experiences. I mentored a lot of students, especially in home care. One was a gal about 30. She had become a CPA and was earning a six figure salary when the cold, impersonal routine became unbearable.

        After a lot of contemplation she decided on nursing. She was a senior at the best nursing school in Denver (as far as I am concerned). She was a natural, took to home care - which is the best for really being able to help people - like a pro.

        So I am glad to help where I can. The system is a maze that even those of us who know it fairly well get lost in!

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:22:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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