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Re: MEDICARE Problems

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  • bill Jambura
    Tom, Do you count illegal aliens among the indigents, and do you know how many illegal aliens are showing up in our hospitals for free medical care. I believe
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 16, 2004
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      Do you count illegal aliens among the indigents, and do you know how many illegal aliens are showing up in our hospitals for free medical care.  I believe there is a law against collecting that data or asking indigents their citizenship status!  In this context, illegal aliens don't work for less, they cost the same and more because their paycheck is subsidized by American citizens who pay payroll taxes.  The only winners are the employers who evade those taxes by paying cash wages to illegal aliens.
      Bill Jambura
      On Tue, 16 Nov 2004 10:31:55 -0700 "Thomas F. Dooley" <tdooley@...> writes:
      Community Healthcare Centers are where INDIGENTS go for Healthcare --now MEDICARE patients--it is coming to your area if not there now--MEDICARE is BROKE and functions as a PONZI Scheme--MAJOR adjustments are being made to cut SERVICES for MEDICARE folks. MR need to fight for HR 3474 and open up the FEHBP Program to ALL MR--just as it is for your Congressmen & Senators and ALL Federal Employees except MR and Widows.
      Tom Dooley

      Penrose shifting Medicare patients

      Thousands of seniors to move to Peak Vista


          Citing funding problems and low Medicare reimbursement rates, Penrose-St. Francis said Monday that primary care services for more than 2,200 seniors will be shifted to Peak Vista Community Health Centers.

          Rick O’Connell, president and CEO of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, said money had run out for the program and that the solution to move primary care services came from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the federal agency that administers Medicare.

          Peak Vista gets “preferential reimbursement” because it’s a federally qualified health center, O’Connell said. In other words, it gets paid more money than Penrose would for seeing the same patient.

          “Reimbursement for services from Medicare continues to be unpredictable and does not cover the cost of providing care through our Senior Clinic,” said a letter that was sent to patients and signed by O’Connell and medical director Dr. Ray Wahl.

          The change is being called a “partnership” because some services, including inpatient care and specialty clinics, will remain within Penrose.

          “It is our expectation that through this collaboration, you will continue to receive the same outstanding care to which you have become accustomed,” the letter said.

          O’Connell said orientation sessions have been scheduled to prepare seniors for the shift, which will happen in January.

          For primary care, seniors will have the option of seeing a doctor at one of two Peak Vista clinics:

          c Peak Vista is opening a clinic on North Union Boulevard near the East Library specifically for senior patients. That office will be about four miles north of Penrose’s Senior Health Center, at Fillmore Street and
      Union Boulevard.

          c Seniors also can choose to receive care at Peak Vista’s main medical center on Printers Parkway.

          O’Connell touted the benefits of the change, saying patients now will have access to an after-hours urgent-care clinic and pharmacy benefits.

          Dr. Michael Welch, medical director at Peak Vista, said the pharmacy benefit could be significant for seniors on a fixed income.

          O’Connell characterized the change as “win-win” for everyone but acknowledged it might be tough for some patients.

          And not all patients will stick with the Penrose-Peak Vista program. Some, like Betty Magninie, 71, are so upset by the news that they’re looking for another provider.

          “It’s been a wonderful program,” said Magninie, who in the 1970s founded a nonprofit group that advocates for elderly people who are having problems with Medicare and other insurance.

          “They’ve taken such good care of us — just incredible care of us.”

          Penrose opened its senior clinic four years ago when few primary care physicians were seeing Medicare patients and more seniors were showing up in the emergency department.

          Magninie said the thought of getting another provider is scary to many seniors who had bonded with their physicians.

          “I guess we felt safely entrenched at the Senior Health Center. It’s hard to make this move,” she said.

          “We’ve come to know our doctors and now we have to start all over. Granted we can probably transfer records, but I wonder which one will have time to read 2-inch-thick files. It’s just difficult for anybody and it’s more difficult for seniors. We have more health problems and more issues.”

          O’Connell and Welch said it’s common for physicians to manage more than a dozen health issues in a single patient

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