Monday, June 7, 2010

Hawaii's Medicaid Death List Weighted Towards Native Hawaiians

Sources tell me that the infamous "death list" of Medicaid-care related fatalities is "more than fifty percent Native Hawaiian."

There are approximately 25 names on the list.  These are individuals with disabilities and special health care needs that require home health care from Medicaid to keep from being institutionalized. 

Reportedly the list is under investigation by the FBI and several of the families have confirmed they were interviewed. 

The death rate among this group rose 36% in the first year after Medicaid care was turned over to two for-profit health insurance companies, UnitedHealth and Wellcare.

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About Me

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I'm the mom of a child with disabilities. Hannah's first neurologist said she might never develop beyond the level of a 2 month old infant, and there wasn't anything I could do about it. The brain damage was just too severe. Nine years later, she walks, uses a touchscreen computer and I've just been shown she can learn to construct sentences and do simple math with the right piece of technology. Along the way, I discovered I needed to teach myself what Hannah's rights to services really were. Learning about early intervention services led to reading about IDEA and then to EPSDT. I've been waiting for the Obama administration to realize the power and potential of EPSDT for the medical rights - including the right to stay at home with their families - of children with disabilities. The health reform people talk about long term care, and the disability people talk about education and employment, but nobody is talking about EPSDT. So I am.