There seems to be a common misconception in our country regarding the reception of home health services.First of all, too many people needing home health are under the impression that if they are to receive home health services, they must accept the ongoing or company assigned to them by the discharging hospital or referring physician. This is not only a common myth, but it is also very illegal.The fact is, if you are needing home health services, all you need is a physician’s order for home health services to satisfy Medicare.Many physicians are affiliated with rehabilitation companies or home health companies and try to lead you to believe you must take what they give you. Patients are many time too timid to ask for something different.Nothing could be further from the truth!When you receive an order for home health services, you can request a specific home health company. In fact, you can even request specific therapists, nurses, or any other facet of home health service or therapy that you like. The discharging hospital or referring physicians are obligated to accommodate your wishes, within reason.Too many medical groups have created the impression that you have to take what they recommend. This is because many of them have some kind of vested interest in you receiving what they prescribe.Some physicians have even told patients that if they didn’t accept the home health company or therapist they specified, they would not write the order.Again, this is illegal and Medicare would be very interested in finding out this information.Moreover, Medicare is very interested in hospitals or physicians who are only looking after their own interests. Medicare would like to be contacted whenever a physician insists upon you using a certain home health company, rehabilitation group, or medical supply company.This is called a conflict of interest and again, is very illegal. The reason for this is because many of the physicians referring these services, receive “kickbacks” in the form of financial amenities, or other bonuses. Many times, a physician doesn’t own the company. However, they may own the building the home health company or rehabilitation company works from. When they refer patients for home health services or rehabilitation services, the company receives reimbursement from Medicare. In turn the physician will charge is company outrageous rent fees, and is able to collect by referring patients. This is an indirect form of receiving kickbacks, and again, is illegal.How To Avoid Being VictimizedYou must first be knowledgeable with Medicare laws and regulations. You must also inform your physician that you know the Medicare laws, regulations, and more importantly, your rights as a patient.Never accept a home health company from your physician if you don’t feel completely comfortable with their services. Even if you receive a referral to receive home health services from a specific company and find that you’re not happy with this company, you have the right to change companies. Furthermore, if you find that the nurses or therapists are not to your liking, you can change nurses or therapists. Many home health companies display behavior that is not consistent with the best interest of the patient. The nurses or nurse liaison, or therapists, may be rude, money driven, or power-hungry, or all of the above. What you need to do is inform the home health company that you wish to change companies and that you are informing your physician of this information.Next, contact your physician and request a different home health company, nurse, or therapist. Most of the time, your physician will be cooperative. However if you need to be more insistent, you can inform your physician or the referring nurse, that you are well aware of the Medicare laws and regulations. Let them know that you will indeed file a complaint regarding this matter if your wishes are not respected.Filing A Complaint With MedicareIt is always a good idea to let the physician know that you are knowledgeable of your rights, along with Medicare rules and regulations. If your physician is stubborn, or resists your wishes, it is your right, and obligation, for other patients, to file a Medicare complaint.To file a Medicare complaint all you need to do is go to the Medicare government web site and inform them of the complaint. You can also contact Medicare through a contact hotline on the telephone to communicate with them. The Medicare hotline is 1-800-447-8477. You can contact Medicare and get more information regarding home health care and your rights at via their website at http://www.medicare.gov/HHCompare/Home.aspRemember, you not have to take the home health company that is assigned to you. It is your right to receive the home health company, the nurse, and the home health therapist of your choice. It is your right to change home health care companies if you are not completely satisfied.
According to U.S. Census figures, more than 12 percent of the people in Missouri have no health insurance coverage at all, and that number is growing as more and more companies begin phasing out group health coverage for their workers.If you work for a company which offers group health insurance you might do well to join their plan as quickly as possible. Group plans are forced by law to include individuals with pre-existing conditions and to include people who smoke and use tobacco products. If you are fired or laid off you have many rights concerning health insurance that you do not have if you buy your own health insurance.But today more and more people are forced to look for their own health coverage. If you are in this category you know how expensive health coverage is – but there are things you can do to save money and get discount health insurance right here in Missouri.First, give up smoking and all tobacco products. You’ve been meaning to for years – now’s the time. Non-smokers pay a lot less for health insurance. If you’re obese you’ve got to bite the bullet and finally lose that extra weight. It’s hard to drop those pounds, but it can be done, and the thought of all that money you’re going to save on your health insurance premiums may help you on your way.If you are having problems affording health care perhaps it’s time for you to simply look at health insurance from a different perspective. In the past people have looked to health insurance to pay (or help pay) for every doctor’s visit, and every other small health cost. But what if you change your perspective and look at health insurance as a safety net against wiping out your savings and taking your home in the case of a catastrophic illness or accident.Looked at in this way, purchasing health insurance with a high deductible makes excellent sense financially. It means that you will be responsible for the majority of your run-of-the-mill health problems, but if a truly catastrophic problem arises, then your health insurance will take over, protecting your major assets.And the higher your deductible the lower your monthly premiums.Finally, get online and compare various health policies and their prices at a variety of insurance companies. Play around with the form, trying out various deductibles until you find a combination that makes sense for you. Accept the fact that there will be trade-offs when purchasing health insurance, and unless you are wealthy, compromises will undoubtedly have to be made.Unfortunately, if you really want to save the most money and get truly discount health insurance you will have to run all of your figures over at least 3 different health insurance websites since no one website makes comparisons against every insurance company.This means you’ll have to block out some time to make your comparisons, but the time you spend doing that today will pay off for years to come through lower health insurance premiums month after month after month.
How can health insurance help you out? Being an investment, it is imperative that people prioritize this expense along with many other financial responsibilities. Health insurance coverage should be there to support you and your family in times when you need immediate health care. Think of it as a nest egg where you can get funds from to pay for the various costs of medical treatment, hospitalization, medication, and more.There are various types of health insurance plans that you can obtain, and there is an equally innumerable number of firms that offer such services. It can be a little challenging to choose one that is right for your budget, as well as tailor made to suit your health needs. Note that you don’t have to spend a fortune to be able to get insurance coverage. There are ways by which you can earn discounts and save, while at the same time receiving quality and reliable services from your insurance provider. All it takes is the right knowledge to be able to evaluate your health insurance priorities and lock down your choice of provider.In line with this, this article presents some interesting statistics that you might want to keep in mind regarding health insurance plans in the United States. Knowing these important notes will help you make a wise decision with regards to choosing a plan for you and your family. Mentioned here is also vital news regarding the direction that the health insurance system in the US is headed.How many people in the United States are without health insurance? Regardless of how important it is to be covered, there is a significant percentage of the population who has no resources to obtain their needed health policies. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports, about 45 million people in the US have no health insurance. And that translates to roughly 15 percent of the population. The Hispanics have the most number of uninsured children and adults, which is about 32 percent of the total Hispanic population. On the other hand, 19 percent of the total African American population does not have health insurance, and around 10 percent of all whites are uninsured as well.If you are interested to know, there are specific states that contribute the most to the uninsured adult statistics in the country. If nearly 20 percent of Americans aged 19 to 64 have no form of health insurance, which states significantly add to that number? To be more precise, Texas and New Mexico have almost a third of the total aged 19 to 64 population uninsured. On the other end of the spectrum, Massachusetts has the least number of uninsured adults in that age group, with only about 10 percent accounted by the Kaiser Health Foundation statistics.How many children in the US are without any form of health insurance? This age group is considered as the minor group, comprised of children aged 18 and below. The CDC stated in a 2007 report that about 10 percent of the total minor population does not have health insurance. That means that there are 7 million children out there who may not be able to get afforded medical treatment. Which states have the most number of uninsured children? The Kaiser Health Foundation accounts that Texas ranks at the top of the list, with about 22 percent of the ages 0 to 18 population having no health insurance. Massachusetts is still the state with the least number of uninsured children, with only about 5 percent having no coverage.In terms of the performance of insurance companies in the country, which are the ones that write the most number of health policies? As of the year 2007, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners reports ten of the largest insurance firms in the US, with respect to their market shares. Topping that list with approximately 12 percent of the market share is the UnitedHealth Group. Second is WellPoint, Inc, having almost 10 percent of the market share. The third largest with 7.7 percent market share is the Kaiser Family Foundation. Blue Cross, which is among the oldest health insurance providers in the country, ranks ninth, with a market share of 1.7 percent.On a final note, what does the American government intend to do in response to the ever growing health insurance needs of the country? Among the highest priorities of the new Obama administration is to focus on revamping and further developing the health insurance system in the US. About $150 billion is expected to be allotted for provision of more accessible and more affordable health insurance options for the population. In line with the recession which led to the loss of over 7 million jobs, $25 billion will be used to cover for nearly 65 percent of health insurance premiums for these employees.To be able to answer to the health needs of children, it is expected that 5 million kids will be granted health insurance, as $87 billion will be for funding state health insurance programs, including the SCHIP or State Children’s Health Insurance, which assists minors from low income families as well. The rest of the funding will be for modernization of medical facilities, including access to records, as well as research for diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and heart conditions.