The National Family Caregiver Support Program
(6/22/12) Claims-assistance providers for fees that range from $75 to $120 an hour will sift through the paperwork in connection with a patient's medical, dental and/or drug claims. They will go over the bills from hospitals, doctors, dentists or other medical professionals to check on their accuracy.
They will advise a patient on appealing claims that have been denied by insurers. These advisors almost always have health-care backgrounds or experience with the medical billing system.
Claims advisors scrutinize billing codes since they are familiar with the system, as opposed to most layman, for whom the whole medical billing system is an area that is very difficult to comprehend.
Claims assistance professionals should not be confused with Medicare advisors. Benefits Advocates, located in Winston-Salem, N.C. is the name of one of the firms involved in claims-processing advisory services business.
(5/6/04)- There is a small federal program that allocates funds to the states that is aimed at giving some relief to people who are caring for their aging relatives. The program is administered by the Administration on Aging (AOA). Unfortunately the new Medicare law cut the funding for the program down to $155.2 million in the past year. The program provides money to the states for several services.
Start up of the program has been spotty from state to state, and even in some states the effectiveness of the program will vary from county to county. The AOA projects that the program will be serving over 700,000 caregivers within the next couple of years.
The program is aimed at giving temporary respite to worn-out caregivers who are just about exhausted from caring for their dearest relatives. It provides temporary help so that the caregiver can get a free weekend of even a few hours of relief during the week.
Another part of the program provides training in home-care skills, such as help with bathing or simply communicating with a demented relative. The program also offers counseling and referrals to help caregivers thrash through the red tape involved in our health-care system.
The number of people receiving this help has been cut form 3.3 million in 1997 to 2.2 million in 2002, and further cuts are in store in the coming years. According to a recent study about four in ten caregivers say they need respite care. Under the federal program, some $500 to $1,000 a year is typically available to a family for this purpose.
To find the caregiver support program in your area, consult either you local AOA office of call Eldercare at 1-800-677 1116, or go online onto the Web site for Eldercare at www.eldercare.gov.
FOR AN INFORMATIVE AND PERSONAL ARTICLE ON PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS WHEN SELECTING A NURSING HOME SEE OUR ARTICLE "How to Select a Nursing Home"
updated June 22, 2012
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