Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Medicare And Parkinson’s Disease

Planning For Your Medicare Cost

Medicare and Parkinsons: What You Need to Know

We often meet new Medicare beneficiaries who are surprised to learn that Medicare is not free. In fact, it functions very similar to other employer group health insurance you may have had during your working years. These plans all have cost-sharing that you pay in the form of deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance. Medicare has the same.

Lets break down some of the cost-sharing items you will incur on each Part of Medicare. This will help you estimate your personal expected expenditures under Medicare.

When you have an inpatient hospital stay, a Medicare Part A benefit period is triggered. The Part A deductible per benefit period is $1,364 this year. A deductible is an amount that you pay out of pocket before your Medicare benefits kick in.

After you have paid your deductible, Medicare Part A covers all the rest of your inpatient hospital expenses for the next two months or 60 days. You wont incur any further co-pays unless you have a hospital stay that is longer than 60 consecutive days, and that is rare.

Its important to mention that its possible to have more than one benefit period in a calendar year. This occurs when you leave the hospital and are out of the hospital for 60 straight days, which closes the benefit period. If you go back into the hospital again, a new benefit period will begin, and you will owe the Medicare Part A deductible again.

Filing For Social Security Disability With A Parkinsons Disease Diagnosis

The SSA has a complied list guidelines of conditions that qualify for disability benefits. Under it’s listing in the “Blue Book,” Parkinsons Disease is a condition that can qualify a person for Social Security Disability benefits provided that certain diagnostic criteria are met and documented which include:

  • rigidity
  • bradykinesia, or tremor in two extremities causing ongoing problems with movement
  • gait, or ability to stand

There is no single test that can provide a definitive diagnosis of Parkinsons Disease. Diagnosis is based upon an evaluation of the symptoms present, as well as a neurological examination.

Also, the presence of at least two of what are considered to be the cardinal symptoms of Parkinsons can be considered to be strongly indicative of the presence of the condition.

Additionally, tremors of the hands that occur while the hand is at rest, symptoms that begin on one side of the body, and/or a positive response to levodopa are also telltale diagnostic tools.

It can be assumed that these symptoms could be used as the basis for a Social Security Disability case on their own should they become serious enough to inhibit ones ability to work. If the disease has progressed to this point, however, the patient has likely already qualified based on physical/motor symptoms.

How Is It Treated

At this time, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. But there are several types of medicines that can control the symptoms and make the disease easier to live with.

You may not even need treatment if your symptoms are mild. Your doctor may wait to prescribe medicines until your symptoms start to get in the way of your daily life. Your doctor will adjust your medicines as your symptoms get worse. You may need to take several medicines to get the best results.

Levodopa is the best drug for controlling symptoms of Parkinson’s. But it can cause problems if you use it for a long time or at a high dose. So doctors sometimes use other medicines to treat people in the early stages of the disease.

The decision to start taking medicine, and which medicine to take, will be different for each person. Your doctor will be able to help you make these choices.

In some cases, a treatment called deep brain stimulation may also be used. For this treatment, a surgeon places wires in your brain. The wires carry tiny electrical signals to the parts of the brain that control movement. These little signals can help those parts of the brain work better.

There are many things you can do at home that can help you stay as independent and healthy as possible. Eat healthy foods. Get the rest you need. Make wise use of your energy. Get some exercise every day. Physical therapy and occupational therapy can also help.

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Medicare Plans That Help With Costs

There are two Medicare plans that can help with out-of-pocket expenses. Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans are add-on plans that lower out-of-pocket costs, provide extra benefits, and more. If you are a Parkinsons patient, you can benefit greatly from one of these plans since you may have multiple doctor visits and medical services each year. You should consider one of these optional plans to help limit your out-of-pocket expenses for managing Parkinsons. Be sure to enroll in one type of coverage or the other as soon as Medicare becomes your primary coverage.


Parkinsons Disease And Medicare Coverage


Medicare is made up of multiple parts. Each part covers different services and treatments that youll need to manage Parkinsons.

Original Medicare is composed of Part A and Part B. Part A covers a portion of your inpatient hospitalization costs. Part B provides coverage of outpatient medical needs including those for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

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Apda In Your Community

APDALiving with Parkinson’sLets Talk About Palliative Care and Parkinsons disease

People with Parkinsons disease and their care partners are always searching for ways to make their lives easier, healthier and fuller. Using the principles of palliative care to enhance PD-specific care is one way to do that.

Palliative care is a medical approach for those with complex illnesses, in which the focus is on maximizing quality of life. This approach can be applied at any stage of the disease, even at the time of diagnosis. Many people with PD have experienced this type of approach from their physicians, often to a limited degree, when a treatment or therapy is added to improve quality of life. However, these small steps are often not enough and a change in the practice of PD medicine is slowly underway, with the goal of providing comprehensive and consistent palliative care throughout the disease course. In order to provide this level of care, some formal palliative care programs for PD have been developed, but more such programs are needed across the country.

Palliative care for PD typically requires a multi-disciplinary approach in which movement disorders physicians, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists work together to optimize quality of life.

Dementia & Alzheimers Disease

Dementia is a term used to describe a syndrome with symptoms that include memory loss, difficulty with problem-solving, and struggling with language and processing thoughts.

There are over 100 types of dementia, and Alzheimers disease is one cause. Some forms of dementia can be temporary. Other types can be cured. Alzheimers disease is neither temporary nor curable.

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What Is Parkinsons Disease

Parkinsons disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder. It is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimers disease.

The cause of Parkinsons is not completely understood. Currently, there is no cure. Treatments for Parkinsons disease are based on symptom control and management.

There are several different types of Parkinsons disease, as well as similar neurological disorders known as parkinsonisms. These different types include:

  • primary parkinsonism

Parkinsons Disease Treatments Covered

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Parkinsons disease can come with a wide range of motor and nonmotor symptoms. The symptoms of this condition can be different for different people.

Since it is a progressive disease, symptoms can change over time. Medicare covers a range of different treatments, medications, and services that you may need to manage Parkinsons disease throughout your life.

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Free Case Evaluation For People With Parkinson’s Disease

All too often, claimants are denied Social Security benefits based on missing, inaccurate, or incomplete paperwork. As a result, the applicant must then begin on the arduous disability appeal process. Unfortunately, the this process is long and slow, resulting in excruciating delays.

A Social Security Disability lawyer can make sure you have the documents you need the first time, saving you the hassle and the delay of a lengthy disability appeal process.

To speak with a qualified Social Security Attorney about your chances of getting Social Security benefits, request a free disability evaluation today.

Parkinson Disease And Rurality

To test the hypothesis that Parkinson disease is associated with rural living, we used the United States Department of Agriculture’s rural-urban continuum classification system to classify residence for Medicare beneficiaries from the year 2003 and determined the mean prevalence and incidence per rural category. There was a significant difference in age- and race-standardized Parkinson disease prevalence and incidence between the rural classification categories .4). Post hoc analysis revealed that Parkinson disease prevalence for the most urban counties was significantly greater than that for the most rural counties . Similarly, Parkinson disease incidence for the most urban counties was significantly greater than that for the most rural counties .

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Q: Can You Give Some Examples Of How A Palliative Care Program Might Help A Person With Parkinsons

A: Patients who attend our programs Multi-Disciplinary Clinic are able to address multiple needs by seeing all of their specialists and therapists in one day. For example a patient may see their neurologist, social worker, and even their physical, occupational and speech therapists in back-to-back visits that minimizes travel and maximizes communication between the specialists. Pre-pandemic, another great benefit of this program was that we were able to provide home visits to address the medical and social needs of a patient and their family. Now, we are using technology and helping patients and families with telemedicine visits that utilize software, such as Zoom.

Is There A Suggested Theracycle Workout That Will Improve My Pd Symptoms

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Studies show that riding at 14 to 15 miles per hours for 40 minutes, 3 times per week, can prompt a significant improvement in PD symptoms. It is recommended that you begin with an easy, 10-minute warmup and follow with a relaxing 10-minute cool down. Learn about the benefits of forced exercise with the Theracycle »

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Behaviors Seen In Parkinsons Disease Dementia

As dementia progresses, managing disorientation, confusion, agitation, and impulsivity can be a key component of care.

Some patients experience hallucinations or delusions as a complication of Parkinsons disease. These may be frightening and debilitating. Approximately 50 percent of those with the disease may experience them.

The best thing to do when giving care to someone experiencing hallucinations or delusions from Parkinsons disease dementia is to keep them calm and reduce their stress.

Take note of their symptoms and what they were doing before they exhibited signs of hallucinating and then let their doctor know.

This element of the disease can be particularly challenging for caregivers. Patients may become unable to care for themselves or be left alone.

Some ways to make caregiving easier include:

  • sticking to a normal routine whenever possible
  • being extra comforting after any medical procedures
  • limiting distractions
  • using curtains, nightlights, and clocks to help stick to a regular sleep schedule
  • remembering that the behaviors are a factor of the disease and not the person

United States: Mtbi And Parkinson’s Disease

It has been known for some time there is an increased risk ofneurologic decline following mild traumatic brain injury .A new study published in PLOS ONE addsfurther proof. In a recent study, epidemiologists reported a 56%increased risk of veterans with mild traumatic brain injurydeveloping Parkinson’s disease within 12 years post-injury.According to the researchers, “the goal of the study was toobtain evidence for premature cognitive decline in young veteranswith a positive mTBI by comparing their cognitive scores againstveterans without mTBI, healthy non-veteran controls and olderearly-stage, non-demented subjects with Parkinson’sdisease.”

Inclusion/Exclusion criteria included “eligible volunteersof both men and women veterans, veterans with positive mTBI,non-veteran healthy controls , and early-stage,non-demented Parkinson’s disease subjects withat least 12 years of education and scoring greater than or equal to90 points on the American National Adult Reading Test.” In addition to the non-veteran healthy controls,the researchers also recruited a military control group for theveterans with positive TBI. Non-English speaking, pregnant and anyunremitted/debilitating endocrine, autoimmune, rheumatological,cardiovascular, psychiatric or neurological diseases/disordersother than mTBI or early-stage Parkinson’s disease, dementiahad any physical or sensory limitations preventing completion ofstudy procedures, alcohol, elicit or illegal substance use, ortobacco use were excluded.

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Consider Your Medical Coverage Options

Employee Insurance. If you are insured, either through your employer or a retirement policy, read all of the policies pertaining to chronic illness. If you are unsure about the language or terminology, contact the personnel department or your financial planner.

It is important that your insurance agree to provide for a referral to a specialist in Parkinson’s disease in the event that you should need one now or in the future. Not every neurologist is a specialist in Parkinson’s disease. To be a specialist, neurologists undergo further training in movement disorders.

Private Insurance. If you are unemployed and you do not have coverage, you should look for the highest level of coverage that you can afford.

Medicare. If you are 65 or over, you will qualify for Medicare. You can supplement this insurance with a “Medigap” policy available through a private insurer. Note also that many states have prescription assistance/reimbursement programs for low-income senior citizens.

If you are disabled but too young to qualify for Social Security, you may be eligible to receive a form of Medicare for the disabled.

Medicaid. If you cannot get insurance and your income is low, you may qualify for Medicaid, a government “safety net” program that pays for medical costs that exceed a person’s ability to pay.

Medicare Coverage Of Skilled Nursing Care Facilities

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In order to receive care in a nursing home under Medicare:

  • You must have had a three-day hospital stay prior to admission into the skilled nursing facility.
  • You must be admitted into the skilled nursing facility within 30 days of discharge from the hospital.
  • You must enter the skilled nursing facility for treatment of the same condition that you were hospitalized for.
  • You must require daily skilled care.
  • The condition must be one that can be improved.
  • The facility must be Medicare-certified.
  • Your doctor must write a care plan. The care plan must be carried out by the skilled nursing facility.

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What Causes Parkinsons Disease Dementia

A chemical messenger in the brain called dopamine helps control and coordinate muscle movement. Over time, Parkinsons disease destroys the nerve cells that make dopamine.

Without this chemical messenger, the nerve cells cant properly relay instructions to the body. This causes a loss of muscle function and coordination. Researchers dont know why these brain cells disappear.

Parkinsons disease also causes dramatic changes in a part of your brain that controls movement.

Those with Parkinsons disease often experience motor symptoms as a preliminary sign of the condition. Tremors are one of the most common first symptoms of Parkinsons disease.

As the disease progresses and spreads in your brain, it can affect the parts of your brain responsible for mental functions, memory, and judgment.

Over time, your brain may not be able to use these areas as efficiently as it once did. As a result, you may begin experiencing symptoms of Parkinsons disease dementia.

You have an increased risk of developing Parkinsons disease dementia if:

  • youre a person with a penis
  • youre older

Seek The Counsel Of A Social Security Attorney When Applying For Disability With Parkinson’s Disease

If you or a member of your family has been diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease, the symptoms which prompted the diagnosis may also serve as the qualifications for Social Security Disability benefits.

With the amount of documentation necessary to prove the presence of these qualifying criteria, it would likely be in your best interests to have your case evaluated by a Social Security Disability attorney who may be able to help with your claim.

While the degree of impairment caused by these symptoms may seem obvious to you, having them sufficiently documented so their impact is adequately illustrated on paper is imperative to receiving a positive decision from the Social Security Administration.

Working in close collaboration with your healthcare providers, an experienced Social Security Disability attorney can be sure the proper documents are provided when your application is submitted so your benefits can begin as soon as possible.

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What Doesnt Medicare Cover For Parkinsons Disease Treatment

Unfortunately, Medicare doesnt cover everything you may think is medically necessary. These services include nonmedical custodial care for daily living activities, such as dressing, bathing, and cooking. Medicare also doesnt cover long-term care or around-the-clock care.

Devices that might make life easier at home are not always covered. These include items such as a walk-in bathtub or stair lift.

How Is Parkinsons Disease Dementia Diagnosed

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No single test can diagnose Parkinsons disease dementia. Instead, doctors rely on a series or combination of tests and indicators.

Your neurologist will likely diagnose you with Parkinsons and then track your progression. They may monitor you for signs of dementia. As you get older, your risk for Parkinsons dementia increases.

Your doctor is more likely to conduct regular testing to monitor your cognitive functions, memory recall, and mental health.

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If You Develop A Tremor

Urgent medical care isn’t needed if you’ve had a tremorâshaking or tremblingâfor some time. But you should discuss the tremor at your next doctor’s appointment.

If a tremor is affecting your daily activities or if it’s a new symptom, see your doctor sooner.

A written description will help your doctor make a correct diagnosis. In writing your description, consider the following questions:

  • Did the tremor start suddenly or gradually?
  • What makes it worse or better?
  • What parts of your body are affected?
  • Have there been any recent changes in the medicines you take or how much you take?

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