There are so many products and services for older consumers that start with the word silver. It all started with Silver Sneakers, a very worthy  gym benefit for the over 65 crowd who want to stay fit.  It has trickled down to branding anything that is senior related as silver worthy. So when I wanted to start a new category of information on legislative actions that are targeted at seniors,  it took a while to come up with something original.

I want to highlight any worthwhile attempt to pass legislation or  regulations that can help the Medicare crowd. For now I will start with the positive as opposed to all the emphasis on what Congress may be trying to take away.  So anytime you see the silver coated gavel, I will be listing and praising legislative efforts that can make a difference.   Much of what is going on in Congress is overshadowed right now,  I will at least point to efforts that could aid the age wave on a national and state wide and even local level.

My first offering is a Senate bill introduced by Republican Susan Collins of Maine and  and Democrat Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland  called S. 445 Home Health Care Improvement Act of 2107 .  Even  though Medicare pays for in home health care in some  circumstances, example after a surgery,  if a regular MD does not sign off on it, the bill does not get paid. 

The bill would allow other health professionals:

… physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse midwives to order home health services, all of which are playing increasingly important roles in the delivery of health care, particularly in rural and under served areas of our nation. Courtesy of Leading Age

There is a real need to certify services and expedite reimbursement.  It is this kind of se5rvice that keeps people in their homes and out of institutions. This article has the link to the whole bill (which is actually rather short and to the point)  if you want to  have a quick civic lesson.  http://www.leadingage.org/legislation/home-health-access-legislation-re-introduced

Time is marching on for all of us  and there is a lot that needs to be done to help smooth out some of the wrinkles in the health care delivery system, zoning and other issues.  Being aware is always a good option when it comes to defending your rights. Just reading the news these days is an active civics lesson and we have to keep sharp and engage the appropriate policy makers.

I have already stumbled over another piece of regulation that is being suggested to CMS (Medicare policy) that would pay seniors $75 to add their living will to an electronic data base.  I think it’s primarily motivation is to  help defer some of those expensive last few months of care that old people tend to have.  That gives me pause for several reasons…oh well, now I have to think up another category.