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Featured Medicaid service of the day: prosthetic and orthotic devices

 This is part of a series examining the Medicaid benefits that the radical right wants to cut.

Every state except Mississippi covers prosthetic and orthotic devices as an "optional" Medicaid benefit.

This luxurious perk provides prosthetic shoes for patients with partial foot amputations, lower limb prosthetics (but only if there is evidence that the leg without a prosthesis is in good shape and the patient shows enough desire to walk), and a helmet for those who need cranial protection due to a "documented medical condition that makes the recipient susceptible to injury during activities of daily living."

Under Medicaid there are a host of restrictions on these devices. Equipment under this benefit is not available to patients receiving hospice care, for residents of a nursing home, or for simple comfort and convenience.

North Carolina would indeed be a pathetic state if it eliminated this Medicaid provision that helps the most vulnerable of our society regain a modicum of normality after losing a limb, a foot, or an eye.

4 Comments

  1. Rob Schofield

    September 11, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Another good one. I’m still waiting to here from the other guys just how it is that people with this particular need can save up in their “health savings account” to buy themselves a new foot.

  2. Kate

    September 11, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Wow, is this posted anywhere or just talk? I work with children with disabilities many of whom use orthotics and prosthetics. I hate to break it to anyone but if there is no payment source for the item the children need the state pays for it. At least if Medicaid pays the feds pay part of the bill.

  3. Adam Linker

    September 12, 2008 at 10:14 am

    I hope it’s just talk — but there are conservatives who are calling for the elimination of Medicaid benefits that are not mandated by the federal government.

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    November 5, 2008 at 3:17 pm

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