Speakout 2/15

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I would like to thank Ponder Funeral Home for one of the nicest things that has been lately. I was at a funeral last night and they had two beautiful stools there for the family. Thank you, Mr. Ponder. I appreciate that so much. They came after what my family had gone through, but thank you very, very much.

To the person who is looking for a sliding fee rate, visit the Semo Health Network. They have great doctors and nurses. They aren't open all the time (I don't think any doctor's office is open all the time). If they were, they wouldn't be able to serve us because they would be as sick as we are. Go to the Semo Health Network. The number is 472-1770.

This is in response to Mike Jensen's article in the Feb. 3 paper about the Medicaid problems Jefferson City says it has. In reading through this article, I am really appalled. I know the providers are in no way the problem in this. The providers have to take cuts in their normal procedure rates to treat Medicaid recipients. In doing so, they try to provide a service for those who are truly eligible and need Medicaid benefits. However, I think the problem solely lies in the fact that the recipients who are not indeed eligible, and the fact that they do need to check that more often. I do not think it's done thoroughly enough at the time they receive benefits. I actually knew someone who received benefits, lived in a very nice neighborhood and drove a very nice vehicle. When I called in a report to the local office, they said I needed to call the Jefferson City office to report that this person should not be getting this when they were not eligible. When I did call the Jefferson City office, I was asked for some very detailed information. I provided very detailed information, the recipient's address, full name, maiden name and the address where the recipient's benefits were being mailed to. Then, when I was asked for the recipient's Social Security number, I was completely appalled. Not only would I have such information, but I wasn't about to try to get it. I thought that should be someone else's job to do. Then, after doing that and being even more upset, I called JoAnn Emerson's office and spoke with one of the members of Team Emerson. In doing so, I gave all this information to them. I don't know if there was ever anything done about this. I know that several months after I reported it, to the best of my knowledge the person was still receiving benefits. That's why I'm saying they should look more into the recipients themselves than to the providers. We need people who will provide those services for elderly patients, checkups and so forth, and use their Medicaid benefits to pay for those.

I would like to comment on the "Suggestion Box" about the funeral homes providing stools. I have thought about this for so many years but just didn't have the nerve to do anything about it or call anybody. I thank you so much for somebody finally coming forward and asking for a little help here. I sure would like to second it and I thank each and every one of our funeral homes in the area for all their help and all the good service they have provided for us. Just help us out a little bit.