Welcome!

News Feed Item

Medicare Delay In Providing A Wheelchair Confines Disabled New Jersey Man To Bed For Weeks

IRVINGTON, N.J., Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An Irvington, N.J., man has been confined to a bed in a tiny, efficiency apartment for more than a month while waiting for Medicare to provide a suitable wheelchair. A local medical equipment provider, who would like to help Leonce Pierre-Lewis, calls the situation "deplorable," said the American Association for Homecare.

Herb Paserman, of Jerry's Drug and Surgical in Bayonne, N.J., said that the wheelchair procurement process has been a "nightmare" for his former client.

"This has been very difficult," said Pierre-Lewis. "I have fallen several times. If I try to use the old, broken wheelchair I keep slipping off. This is very bad for me."

Paserman said that because of a Medicare bidding program, he can no longer provide equipment for Pierre-Lewis. The new process has caused delays in Pierre-Lewis receiving the right wheelchair, a situation that many Medicare patients have faced trying to fill prescriptions for critical home medical equipment.

"The facts about this helpless human being's experience are a testament to how far our nation has fallen from its promise of hope and dignity for the disabled," said Paserman, a rehabilitation specialist.

Paserman said that a few years ago Pierre-Lewis fell down a staircase while installing an air conditioner and has been disabled with spinal, hip, and leg injuries. He was hospitalized and then sent to a long-term care facility for several years.

"When I met him, he desperately needed a wheelchair that would free him from his bed imprisonment," said Paserman. "After months of work, I finally got him a custom model that freed him to travel through the facility. Life was looking better and he prepared to be discharged to a small apartment. This decision proved to be the beginning of his nightmare."

Paserman said that Pierre-Lewis' room in an Irvington apartment building has no furniture, not even a meal table—just a hospital bed, commode, TV, and phone. Despite his limited mobility, Pierre-Lewis was ruled ineligible for a Medicaid waiver program that would have provided modest furniture and other necessities. But things really took a turn for the worst when his wheelchair broke down.

"The small welds that held the arm supports had ruptured from years of heavy use," Paserman said. "Now he could not grab onto the arms to safely transfer from the bed to the chair. Our technician made six service calls at no charge, trying to fix the problem with no success. Not even the new factory parts we ordered could render the chair safe. Its time was up."

But, Paserman said, he and Pierre-Lewis hoped that since he had been discharged from the facility, he would be eligible to get a wheelchair from Medicare. Under the agency's bidding program, only suppliers that win bids can service Medicare patients in their area. Since Paserman's company hadn't won the wheelchair bid, he couldn't provide a new chair.

Pierre-Lewis began contacting bid-winning suppliers serving Irvington. But, there were delays due to paperwork snafus involving medical notes required from Pierre-Lewis' doctor.

Finally, over the course of three weeks, Pierre-Lewis received wheelchairs from first one and then another bid-winning supplier, but each time the chairs were unsafe for him. He weighs over 300 pounds and needs a chair that can accommodate his weight. Both chairs had the "wrong dimensions," said Paserman, and he couldn't use them safely.  Now, Pierre-Lewis has been told that it will be several months before a supplier can provide a wheelchair that fits his needs.

"Thanks to a visiting health aide, he is not starving, but he hasn't moved six feet from his bed," Paserman said. "What's so frustrating is that before the bidding program, patients could quickly receive the equipment they needed. Leonce would have had that new wheelchair the same day. I would have visited the doctor's office, pressed them to provide the necessary documents, and we would have provided the proper chair for his weight. He wouldn't be suffering like this."

Consumer advocates, home medical equipment suppliers, and economists are concerned that senior citizens and people living with disabilities are not receiving critical medical equipment, such as hospital beds, wheelchairs, oxygen, and diabetic testing supplies because of Medicare's badly flawed bidding program.

Since the program was implemented in 2011, the American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) has received reports from more than 2,600 Medicare patients who have had difficulty finding local equipment and service suppliers, suffered through delays in obtaining equipment, or were receiving a lower level of service than they needed.

Tom Ryan, president of AAHomecare, said the Medicare bidding program is jeopardizing the health and quality of life of patients.

"AAHomecare is working with CMS and Congress to make improvements in the program so that patients, such as Pierre-Lewis, can receive the medical equipment and services prescribed by their doctors," Ryan said. "These are some of the most vulnerable people in America."

The American Association for Homecare represents providers of home medical or durable medical equipment and services who serve the needs of millions of Americans who require prescribed oxygen therapy, wheelchairs, enteral feeding, and other medical equipment, services, and supplies at home. Visit www.aahomecare.org.

SOURCE American Association for Homecare

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Now has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
Updating DevOps to the latest production data slows down your development cycle. Probably it is due to slow, inefficient conventional storage and associated copy data management practices. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, in Product and Solution at Tintri, will talk about DevOps and cloud-focused storage to update hundreds of child VMs (different flavors) with updates from a master VM in minutes, saving hours or even days in each development cycle. He will also...
Extreme Computing is the ability to leverage highly performant infrastructure and software to accelerate Big Data, machine learning, HPC, and Enterprise applications. High IOPS Storage, low-latency networks, in-memory databases, GPUs and other parallel accelerators are being used to achieve faster results and help businesses make better decisions. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at NVIDIA, focused on some of the unique ways extreme computing is...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that WineSOFT will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Based in Seoul and Irvine, WineSOFT is an innovative software house focusing on internet infrastructure solutions. The venture started as a bootstrap start-up in 2010 by focusing on making the internet faster and more powerful. WineSOFT’s knowledge is based on the expertise of TCP/IP, VPN, SSL, peer-to-peer, mob...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dataloop.IO, an innovator in cloud IT-monitoring whose products help organizations save time and money, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dataloop.IO is an emerging software company on the cutting edge of major IT-infrastructure trends including cloud computing and microservices. The company, founded in the UK but now based in San Fran...
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it m...
The financial services market is one of the most data-driven industries in the world, yet it’s bogged down by legacy CPU technologies that simply can’t keep up with the task of querying and visualizing billions of records. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Jared Parker, Director of Financial Services at Kinetica, will discuss how the advent of advanced in-database analytics on the GPU makes it possible to run sophisticated data science workloads on the same database that is housing the rich inf...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.