All Diseases

Despite Objections, Medicare Competitive Bidding Set to Begin

Competitive bidding among Medicare providers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) is set to begin January 1 in nine regions of the country, despite sharp criticism of the plan by lawmakers, economists, patient advocates and others.

Under the new procedures, DMEPOS providers must go through a competitive bidding process to win the right to serve Medicare recipients. Medicare pays these providers to serve the medical needs of millions of Americans who use medical supplies at home, including oxygen equipment and power wheelchairs.

Medicaid Changes Expand Access to Home Care

Nearly 3 million disabled and elderly Americans rely on Medicaid to provide home health aides, personal care attendants, group homes, adult day care, meals, transportation and other services that enable them to stay in their homes and communities and out of nursing homes.

New Apprenticeship Program for Personal Care Attendants

A new training opportunity, the Direct Support Professional Registered Apprenticeship Program, will assist direct support professionals (such as hired caregivers and aides) in advancing in this essential field, say the program’s creators, the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) and the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR).

MDA Labor Day Telethon Moves to Shorter Format

Sometimes, less is more — and that’s the strategy behind MDA’s decision to shave off more than 15 hours from next year’s Labor Day Telethon broadcast.

The new six-hour Telethon will run during the prime-time viewing hours of 6 p.m. to midnight (Eastern time) on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, and will include the same time-tested mix of top entertainment, profiles of individuals and families with neuromuscular diseases, check presentations by MDA sponsors and live local segments.

Fly Out 2010 Takes Off

“Sometimes change starts with the little things, like sharing your story with a member of Congress.”

These words, spoken by MDA Health Care Service Coordinator Carolyn McNutt after an August meeting with Arkansas Rep. Mike Ross, succinctly capture the purpose of the MDA Fly Out and make clear why the fledgling program is so successful.

Fly Out 2010 Slideshow

This year's Fly Out was a resounding success, with dozens of MDA families, sponsors and advocates meeting with members of Congress and their staffs in states and districts from coast to coast (and even in Hawaii).

In all of these meetings, which took place in the home districts of more than 30 U.S. senators and representatives throughout August and September, families shared their stories and asked for support for legislation important to the neuromuscular community.

Vital Workforce Honored During Direct Support Professionals Week

Do you know an outstanding professional caregiver?  This would be a good week to show some special appreciation for the important work he or she does.

Spurred on by organizations that represent professional caregivers, the United States Senate has declared the week starting Sept. 12, 2010, to be the third annual National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week. Events are planned across the country to celebrate and raise awareness of the work of direct support professionals, a group that includes personal care attendants and home health aides.

MDA Telethon Visits Past National Goodwill Ambassadors

Emergency Prep for People with Neuromuscular Disease

As storm season whips up, it’s wise to take stock of your emergency plan, especially if your mobility is limited.

Two veterans of weather emergencies — Barbara Twardowski of Mandeville, La. (who has Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and uses a power chair) and Shelley Obrand of Davie, Fla. (who has a nonspecific form of muscular dystrophy and uses a power chair and respiratory assistance device) — offer these tips.

Card Issued for Air Travelers with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued a notification card that should make commercial air travel a little easier for people with disabilities.

The blue, wallet-sized card allows people to discreetly notify airport security personnel of a disability, medical condition or medical device that might affect the screening they’re required to undergo before boarding a plane.

Pages