The Homebound Clarification Act of 2001 would clarify the definition of "homebound" with respect to home health services under the Medicare program. Specifically, it would ensure that individuals with significant chronic illnesses who receive Medicare benefits do not lose their ongoing skilled medical or nursing care simply because they strive to be more fully integrated into the mainstream of American society.
The following letter was signed by members of the MDA National Task Force Steering Committee and sent on April 13, 2001, to the sponsor of the bill, Representative Edward J. Markey, all 23 co-sponsors of the bill, President George W. Bush and the National Council on Disability.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association's (MDA) National Task Force on Public Awareness applauds your proposed legislation that would clarify the definition of "homebound" with respect to home health services under the Medicare Program. Our task force comprises persons with neuromuscular diseases and advises MDA on issues, such as your proposed legislation, that are important to those the Association serves.
As you're aware, the current Medicare rules governing access to homebound care unnecessarily isolate people with disabilities by requiring that they stay within the confines of their homes to receive services and benefits. David Jayne of Rex, Georgia, is a perfect example. For the past 13 years, he has been battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), one of the more than 40 neuromuscular diseases encompassed by MDA's programs of research and services. Today, new technology and positive attitudes toward people with disabilities, which are embodied in the Americans with Disabilities Act and promoted by MDA, help make it possible for thousands of individuals with disabilities to have more complete access to community life.
We support the Homebound Clarification Act of 2001 — H.R. 1490 — which will help to ensure that individuals with significant chronic illnesses who receive Medicare benefits do not lose their ongoing skilled medical or nursing care simply because they strive to be more fully integrated into the mainstream of American society.
Thank you for your worthwhile effort.
The Members of the Steering Committee of the
MDA National Task Force on Public Awareness
/s William W. Altaffer
/s Jan Blaustone
/s Shelley C. Obrand
/s Chris Rosa, Ph.D.