The National Coalition to Amend the Medicare Homebound Restriction for Americans with Significant Illness seeks to foster a cohesive effort to amend the restriction that forces Medicare beneficiaries with significant chronic illnesses who qualify for Medicare home care benefits due to an ongoing skilled nursing need to stay virtually bound to their homes in order retain such benefits.
Our coalition is a group of organizations and individuals pledged to end the current harshness and severity of Medicare's homebound provision. Among us are those who oppose the restriction for spiritual, ethical, and practical reasons.
Our goal is to develop a well- established grassroots campaign and national educational outreach program leading to an amendment to Medicare's current policy through legislative action. We further seek to educate the public and our communities about the plight of Medicare beneficiaries with significant chronic illnesses who must live their lives under the current homebound provision.
Medicare's current homecare eligibility criteria focuses, in part, on the frequency and duration and the purpose that beneficiaries with significant chronic illnesses may leave their homes rather than focusing on their condition. The current policy fails to recognize the fact that such beneficiaries who are completely dependent on others or require maximum assitance for activities of daily living must undertake substantial efforts to leave their homes. In such cases, it is implicit that travelling outside the home to receive necessary skilled nursing services on a regular basis is impracticable at best.
We affirm the dignity and rights of people who because of significant chronic illnesses, through age, illness, injury, or other causes, become dependent on the Medicare Program. We affirm their right to live as full- fledged citizens in our communities without loss of Medicare home care benefits based on arbitrary treatment. We believe that the current homebound provision subverts these rights and contributes to a pervasive societal attitude that those disabled persons who rely on Medicare's homecare benefits, and who are subject to these harsh homebound conditions, remain as devalued members of our society. Furthermore, advances created by the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as advances in technology have created new opportunities for beneficiaries with significant chronic illnesses throughout society that the current homebound policy has impaired.
The current policy is unacceptable to us; it is an anachronism, and it assails the most vulnerable members of our society each and every day that they must remain virtual prisoners in their homes. With greater education and understanding we believe that a better policy can be implemented. Our sense of shared humanity, our commitment to creative and transforming solutions, our spirit and our knowledge of our own fallibility, call out for us to President Bush and the individual members of Congress to help us implement an alternative to the current policy which recognizes that persons with significant chronic illnesses must not spend their lives homebound. We believe in our Country and its institutions. Please join us in changing this policy so that persons with significant illnesses can live in our communities without the retribution of loss of vital Medicare homecare benefits due to arbitrary non-medical restrictions.
In pursuit of our goal we commit ourselves to nonviolence, to civility of discourse, and to respect for those who hold opposite opinions. To become a member of our coalition, at no cost, we simply ask that you review the accompanying materials and sign the attached petition. If you know an individual with a significant chronic illness, such as severe paralysis due to MS, PD, MD, CP, ALS, TBI, SCI, or stroke, who relies on Medicare, you will be helping them to achieve a new found freedom in their lives that most of us now take totally for granted and you will be strengthening our humanity. We are seeking sponsorship of legislation and ask that you join us through the internet, telephone and with letters of support to help us make the lives of persons with significant chronic illnesses free of the harsh homebound restriction.
The information provided in this website was supported by Grant/Cooperative Agreement Number U59DD000906 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.
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