Sunday, May 30, 2010

Aging in Place

Aging! It just happens. Suddenly Congress has taken notice of this. Is it a problem? The Senate appears to think aging is and so do I.

The Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing aptly called “Aging in Place.” I am not sure if their efforts will lead to any new legislation to work with this population, which has been slowly growing very grey. However, Iare very pleased because Ifeel this is where they can certainly do some good.

Aging means that more people are enrolling for Social Security and Medicare. The Senate is seeking a means of “lowering Medicare costs.” How much being spent and wasted is of concern to both the payers and the recipients? Available dollars are rapidly diminishing.

I would like to offer some ideas to help bring the costs down. One recommendation can be licensing DME/HME providers. To participate, a provider must show they are health care professionals and are familiar with all the legislations in place. Accreditation is a good start. I feel that all DME/HME providers should be licensed. When a dealer is caught doing something illegal, the license can be suspended or revoked. The amount of money this would cost is many times less that the fraud and abuse which is sucking out lots of dollars.

If you can, speak to the HLA at your Senator’s office in DC and request they will send you all the pertinent information they can. Use this in your discussions with other health care professionals, since all facing the same restrictions.

1 comment:

  1. While I agree with you that we should take care of our aging population, I think it raises an interesting ethical question. I am sure you're aware of the potential problems with social security. The fact that the "baby boomer" generation will most likely bleed Social Security. So, how is it ethically legitimate to live off the work of a younger generation who will not reap the reward of their own work. Let me be clear, I am not against social security at all. I think there are numerous economic, ethical, and practical reasons for it to exist. However, the current system we have is broken. I guess the point I am driving at is new legislation that would give, lets say Portable Oxygen directly trades off with other possible services. To remedy this zero-sum trade off, I guess we can raise taxes, but that does not seem politically popular. With the coming mid-terms, it is increasingly unlikely any incumbent wants to do anything risky. What are your thoughts Shelly? Do you think its ethically just a younger generation is paying for an older generation and the same favor can never be reciprocated?


Share your thoughts with Shelly!