National Stork Association Virtual Lobby Days until June 29
Posted Jun 25 2012 12:00am
The National Stroke Association is asking for people to sign a petition by June 29 to support laws that will help stroke survivors, co-survivors, and those who care for them. They are supporting 4 pieces of legislation.
1. Repeal the caps on Medicare therapy services, and continue the extension process until that occurs.
The Medicare caps limited the amount of rehabilitation services that people dependent on Medicare could receive. Patients were limited to $1200 a year for both speech therapy and physical therapy. Can you imagine having to choose between walking and talking?
Private insurance followed the example of the government, and also limited they amount they paid for rehabilitation.
The extension process was a way to provide more therapy to those with the severest disability. This process helped, but the difficulty with getting reimbursement and the continued uncertainty about reimbursement caused many providers to simply close their doors.
2. Support respite care services. Respite care services provide occasional breaks for caregivers - to take an a few hours or a few days off when they need it. Being a caregiver 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year is physically and emotionally exhausting. Many caregivers are seniors with their own health problems. Even if they receive help the physical care, there is still the need to be on "alert" all the time. I personally knew two caregivers who had heart attacks because of stress and fatigue. Most caregivers are reluctant to leave their loved ones even for a short time, but they should be able to do it if their own health requires it.
3. Support National Aphasia Awareness Month - aphasia is the "silent" disability. Many people do not know what aphasia is, and shun people with aphasia. National Aphasia Awareness Month helps raise public awareness.
4. Reduce health disparities. Stroke is more likely to affect women, African-Americans, and Mexican-Americans. More research to prevent and treat strokes would improve health care for all.