Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Another win for the MS community - this time in the courts

It's very difficult to sort through the news and find good things happening to the MS community. Sure, there are some stories about new drugs coming on the market, but for people with progressive MS or those unable to afford their drugs (and heck, for anyone with MS), it's still a tough go.

However, the National MS Society took to the courtroom for the latest advocacy battle to increase access to medical care for people with MS. And a settlement was just announced that allows people who don't show improvement in their health to still qualify for much needed Medicare services like skilled nursing and rehabilitation therapies. Formerly, the "improvement standard" required that individuals must show improvement to received care rather than just have a demonstrated need. This is incredibly significant for people with a progressive condition like MS or Alzheimer's.

This New York Times article has a good summary of the effort that led to this decision. It's something that the MS Activists everywhere can be proud of. In Washington, we are tackling a similar challenge to get rid of the improvement standard in private health insurance. Unfortunately, because of our state laws, we can only impact plans sold in the individual and small group markets, not the self insured market that large companies like Boeing or Microsoft use to provide health care to their employees. Stay tuned for more information about how you can help this effort.

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