On the Healthcare Front
Issue #14: April 2023
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when should you call kepro?
- If you are not ready to be discharged from the hospital.
- If your Medicare skilled services are ending too soon. Examples of skilled services include things like physical therapy and nursing services.
- If you have a concern about the quality of care you received.
- If you have a concern about your medical care that needs to be taken care of right away.
Click on the link below for the phone number for your state. These services are free for people who have Medicare.
april is minority health month
Get Active and Healthy this National Minority Health Month! Learn what you, your family, and community can do to get active and stay healthy.
Read more about minority health:
do you think you may have covid-19?
Follow these steps to reduce your chances of being very sick with COVID-19:
- Get tested as soon as possible. Medicare covers up to eight over-the-counter COVID-19 tests each calendar month at no cost to you until May 11, 2023. You can also search for no-cost COVID-19 testing locations near you.
- If you test positive and are more likely to get very sick, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider right away to find out if treatment is right for you.
- If you're eligible for treatment, start as soon as possible. Treatment must be started within days after you first develop symptoms to be effective.
Consider using a Test to Treat location where you can get tested and have the prescription filled, all in one location.
If you have Medicare and have a concern about the health care (or related medical services) you had, you can do something about it. You can call Kepro and ask about Immediate Advocacy services.
Immediate Advocacy is a free service for people with Medicare. It is used to help people quickly resolve a problem about medical care or services. Immediate Advocacy often involves Kepro calling a healthcare provider or facility on behalf of the patient.
Even though sometimes necessary, no one really likes being a patient at a hospital. That couldn’t be more true than for Luca. He’s enjoying his life and is active with quite a few different activities that he enjoys. During one of his mountain biking adventures, he had a bit of bad luck – a concussion, scrapes, and bruises among other things – which meant that he needed a short stay in a hospital (as an inpatient). During rounds one morning, his doctor said that he would be going home the following day (in other words, he would be discharged).
When his friend Tracy visited that afternoon, he noticed that Luca didn’t seem very excited about going home. He just didn’t feel ready to go home. He was feeling overwhelmed because not only did he have to take care of himself as he continued to get better, but he also had his dad living with him. His dad has been living with him for the past year because he didn’t want to live by himself any longer since his wife had passed away.
Tracy pulled out a card from his wallet with Kepro’s information on it and urged his friend to call the number to ask for help.
Luca called the number and almost instantly he was on the phone with a Kepro nurse talking about Immediate Advocacy services. It’s a free service from Kepro that helps people with Medicare take care of medical-related issues quickly.
The Kepro nurse listened to Luca and understood the situation, especially since he was a caregiver for his own father. The Kepro nurse asked if Luca had spoken with the hospital’s social worker. He hadn’t. The Kepro nurse called the hospital and asked for a social worker to talk with Luca and to ask him about his situation at home.
The social worker, Darren, talked with Luca about his stay in the hospital and what would happen after he was discharged.
He helped Luca to figure out what he needed at home and was able to set up home health services for a nursing visit as well as a follow-up visit with the doctor. Talking with the social worker helped Luca to work through the issues he had about going home. Darren went over the discharge plan with Luca in detail to help him to feel more confident that he would be able to follow the plan to continue his recovery at home.
If you’re ever in the hospital, ask to speak with a social worker and/or discharge planner and have a good conversation about your condition or illness and what you need after you leave the hospital to continue getting better after you leave the hospital.
If you are on Medicare and are not happy with the care you received or if you need help working through an issue that needs to be taken care of right away, please call Kepro and ask about Immediate Advocacy services.
Read more caregiving in the article below: A Conversation About Caregiving
Read about Immediate Advocacy services: www.keproqio.com/ia
Get your Kepro wallet card: www.keproqio.com/walletcards
Discharge planning checklist: www.medicare.gov (PDF)
Use this checklist often during your stay in the hospital. Talk to your doctor and the staff (like a discharge planner, social worker, or nurse) about the items on this checklist. Take a look at the resources on the last page.
Learn About Resources That May Be Available in Your State
Caregiving is giving care and help to someone who is unable to meet their needs on their own. Caregiving can be helping someone to make a meal, shopping for groceries, and all the way up to personal care and helping them complete tasks of everyday life (e.g., eating, dressing, getting into or out of a bed or chair, taking a bath or shower, and using the toilet).
People sometimes don't realize that they are a caregiver, especially if they don't live with the person who they're helping. Caregivers can be people who call to remind someone to do something (e.g., take medications) and people who are caregiving from far away.
Being a caregiver can be overwhelming, and it can grind on you after a while. Caregivers need to take care of themselves and be intentional in getting respite to have a break.
The Area Agency on Aging is a great resource tool in everyone's state. They can talk with you about other resources that are available and not only just about caregiving.
Interested in learning more about what is available for caregivers? Listen to this episode of Kepro’s podcast: A Conversation about Caregiving. This episode is a conversation between Nancy Jobe, one of Kepro’s Outreach Specialists, and two of her partners who are speaking about caregiving programs that are in their states and may be available for you as well.
Find your local Area Agency on Aging: www.eldercare.acl.gov
Publication No. R146810-294-4/2023. This material was prepared by Kepro, a Medicare Quality Improvement Organization under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents presented do not necessarily reflect CMS policy.