Hospital Stays – Know Your Rights

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CARA executive director Jodi Reid addresses a workshop for retirees at the Redding Library on April 12 regarding patient rights during hospital stays.

Are you facing an upcoming hospital stay? Premature discharge is a huge problem, and a bit of advanced planning can make a world of difference when it is time for you to return home.

The California Association of Retired Americans (CARA) had much to say in their recent special workshop. The big overall? Record this telephone number:

Livanta – California Medicare Appeals Helpline: 1-877-588-1123

You can receive assistance to appeal a discharge from a hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health agency or comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facility. You can also file complaints regarding the quality of Medicare-covered services.

Livanta is your national advocate if you feel you are being discharged prematurely from a hospital. Making the call will start your file and stop your discharge until it is cleared up by the hospital staff and a Livanta representative.

PLAN AHEAD

I. Hospital stays for surgeries etc.
Get detailed info ASAP and as much as possible from a health care provider before you are admitted, and about what is involved post-visit. Most people still don’t do this for themselves or loved ones and it leads to problems like living conditions in recovery and with accessibility/mobility. Hospitals aren’t good at communicating this to patients, or don’t have enough staff to do it properly.
  • Have a family member/friend record any conversations about your care pre- and post-visit with a smartphone device etc.
II. Discharge
Hospitals are notoriously understaffed on weekends. They are required to have a discharge planner coordinate a safe discharge for you either through a social worker, nurse, or the hospital discharge planner. The problem is most hospitals discharge patients too quickly and try to do it on Fridays to reduce bed counts. You may end up back in the hospital because of this. Hospitals can be fined up to $10,000 if a patient re-enters the hospital within 30 days of an unsafe discharge.
This behavior is so pervasive that Medicare now contracts with a third party (Livanta) to make sure you have a safe discharge. Medicare pays for you to appeal your discharge. This is a secret hospitals don’t want you to know about.
Should you end up at a skilled nursing facility for recovery, Medicare pays in full for the first 100 days. Medicare also pays for hospice services.
III. Make sure you are fully “admitted” into the hospital- not held for “observation”
Observation is a way hospitals attempt to get around not having to pay the possible $10,000 fine should an unsafe discharge be identified. Placed under observation rather than full admission could lead to a huge bill you are not covered for and probably cannot afford.
Medicare does not pay while you are under observation because those services are considered outpatient care.  Do not sign or authorize anything until you see an admission slip. You are not admitted into the hospital until you sign this piece of paper.
Be an assertive patient. Know your rights.

AT in Action

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Assistive Technology specialist Dwight Phillips, on the truck above, accepts a donation from the public in front of the Redding office of DAC, 2876 Park Marina Drive.

The Assistive Technology program for Disability Action Center has been in high gear, delivering and accepting donations from the public throughout its vast service area of northern California.

AT Specialist Dwight Phillips serves DAC consumers out of the Redding and Chico office locations and regularly accesses AT devices like wheelchairs, power chairs and walkers from the center’s storage facilities to meet consumer needs.

 

 

Phillips Networks with Service Workers

Assistive Technology specialist with DAC, Dwight Phillips, recently teamed with the Western Service Workers Association of Redding to distribute clothing and toys to children in families experiencing material hardship.

Phillips used the The Disability Action Center’s box transport truck to move the special items from Chico to Redding. He also regularly transports large durable medical equipment such as hospital beds, motorized chairs, and hoyer lifts to facilitate bringing equipment for consumer pick-up between our center locations.

“It’s good to know there’s organizations still out there helping the less fortunate in our society,” Phillips stated.

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Disability Action Center’s Dwight Phillips, center, worked with Western Service Workers staff to give clothing and toys to the needy of the North State region.

DAC-Redding office relocates

The Disability Action Center’s office in Redding has a new location.

The non-profit independent living center recently moved to 2876 Park Marina Drive in Redding, vacating its old location on West St.

The office has a new manager: Wendy Longwell.

Dwight Phillips handles certain assistive technology needs for consumers.

Office hours are 9-5 Monday-Friday. The phone number: 242-8550.

City of Anderson to begin ADA access upgrades

By the end of June, work will begin to improve Americans with Disabilities Act parking access at the popular Anderson River Park, top city management and staff told the Disability Action Center at a recent meeting in Anderson City Hall.

The work should take about a month to complete, city engineer Dave Durette said, which will include moving ADA spaces to more level ground, the installation of a new paved path from the relocated parking spaces leading to the busy fishing access entrance, up-to-date signage and signature blue and white painted striping.

City Manager Jeff Kiser said the improvements will total about $20,000.

Kiser stated the city hopes to work with DAC in the future on a comprehensive ADA improvement plan at the park, which could total up to $150,000.

“Anderson River Park is probably the No. 1  destination spot for weekend recreation for all of Shasta County that offers direct river access,” Kiser said. “There is definitely a need for these (ADA) improvements.”

At the meeting, Kiser also pledged to join the new ADA Transition Committee for Shasta County-North, which will meet once a month at the DAC office in Redding, 1600 West Street. The committee will address ADA-related issues like access to public transportation, local, state, and federal legislation, and healthcare, to name just a few, and is still seeking members. Call DAC at 530-242-8550 for more details.

DAC talks disability rights with State Reps

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Collaboration and Solidarity was the theme for the Independent Living Conference 2018 at the Sacramento Convention Center, sponsored by the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers on June 6, part of a big week for disability rights advocacy in the state capital.

In conjunction with the conference, Disability Action Center Systems Change Advocates Talmadge House, Michael Brady and Dan Murphy sought support for disability rights legislation with state senators and assemblymen on June 7 as part of Advocacy Day.

DAC representative Carolyn Nava, House and Murphy were among hundreds who attended the annual IL conference, which included a full day of workshops and presentations. Among the workshop tracks addressed at the conference were youth transition, long term services and support, emergency readiness and recovery, community organizing and how to use social media like Twitter effectively for positive disability rights change in society.

The Twitter hashtag for the conference was #ILCon18.

DAC reaches out at NATTA event

One of Disability Action Center’s goals is to improve outreach efforts to the Native American community in its service areas.

DAC staff and management attended the Native American Training and Technical Assistance conference for families, people and tribal members with disabilities May 8 at Win-River Casino in Redding.

“It is vital that we become more diverse and expand our outreach to the Native American community,” said Carolyn Nava, who answered questions and provided information to the public at DAC’s table during the daylong event.

Substantive presentations by regional centers like Far Northern, In Home Support Services (IHSS), labor unions like SEIU, and disability rights advocates focusing on autism and other developmental disabilities highlighted the event.

Rockets & Robots!

Come Join the Fun!

The Rockets & Robots Club mission is to develop and encourage the natural ability of children on the autism spectrum for the purposes of preparing them for a science-related career and enhancing their enjoyment of life in an environment that is sensitive to their needs. The Rockets & Robots club will focus on their strengths and attempt to develop them in a fun and interesting way. 

The R&R club leader, Russ Rudin, is an adult on the autism spectrum that was one of the lead designers of the current Sidewinder missile and co-designer of the RITA telemedicine robot.  Russ made his first robot out of an old dishwasher when he was 10.  You can find him most days hunched-over his latest project with a soldering iron in one hand and hot-glue gun in the other!

Contact: Russ Rudin, PhD – R&R Club Director

R&R Brochure

russ@actionctr.org

http://www.rocketsnrobots.org/

530 215-3828