Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Evercare already counting on Abercrombie signing SB 1274


Evercare is apparently assuming Governor Abercrombie will be signing SB 1274 into law, as the company has already started announcing slashes in services to begin July 1.

If SB 1274 is signed by Governor Abercrombie, July 1 is the date that everyone on Medicaid loses the right to any sort of independent review of their insurance provider's medical decisions.

Evercare is also involved in two federal civil rights violation investigations opened in Hawaii in the past few weeks. Both investigations are into allegations Medicaid cuts in home nursing services are violating the civil rights of medically fragile children.

It is not an issue of the money not being available.  Unitedhealth typically spends only eighty cents out of every dollar they receive, regardless of whether the bill is paid by an individual, an employer, or the federal government.  The company is paid with federal funds to provide the extraordinary level of care that medically fragile children need in order to stay home with their families. It is the company's decision then, not to spend the money, even if it means ignoring all the children's doctors.

How much of this child abuse is due to the irony that Evercare and Ohana are paid more by the feds every month if two little girls are institutionalized than if they stay home, I do not know.  It is certainly a nice inducement for the company to cut home hours to the point the child's safety is endangered.

Both Unitedhealth and Wellcare seem to lead all Medicaid managed carecontractors in violations, over billing, and billing irregularities adding up to unsavory reputations.  Wellcare filed with the SEC in April their Medicaid fraud settlement with nine states, and both companies have been accused of stealing from
children's Medicaid funding in Florida.  New indictments of Wellcare's founding board and executives have been handed down recently and that does not appear to be the end of it.

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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.