Senior Medical Alert System

A Guide To Medical Alert Systems For Seniors


Do You Think Medicaid Should Pay For Medical Alert Systems?

Currently, most state Medicaid programs do not pay for home medical alert systems.  These medical alert systems are often referred to as Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS). In order to obtain Medicaid funding, a local Medicaid waiver is required in most municipalities. For example, the state of New York requires PERS providers to collect personal data from each subscriber of medical alert systems.  It’s my opinion that unless you are willing to just hand over your private and confidential information to government workers that you should think hard about having Medicaid pay for your home medical alert system.

This confidential information which must be provided to the state is:

• The client’s name, telephone number and address, including an apartment number and floor, where applicable;

• Personal medical history, including age, sex, medical condition, primary diagnosis, and other pertinent medical history;

• The name, telephone number, and address of each person whom the Personal Emergency Response System recipient has designated as the emergency responders;

• The name, telephone number and address of the person whom the PERS client has designated as his/her representative, if different from the emergency responder;

• The client’s written authorization for the emergency response organization and emergency responder to enter his/her home and provide emergency treatment and transportation; and

• The name, telephone number, and address of the client’s physician and preferred hospital.

If you are willing to give up this personal data to state and local government workers , then maybe you should think about applying for a Medicaid waiver in order to buy a home medical alert system. For most of us, the amount of personal and confidential information required is plainly not worth it. Once this information is in a government database, where will it go in the future? How will this information be used? Will it be sold or used by other private industries?

Is it possible that releasing this private information to government employees are justified?  One such reason may be the cost of having a home medical alert system. If $30 to $50 a month for the medical alert system is just not financially possible, then it may warrant divulging your private and confidential information in order for you to remain independent and secure in your home.

In conclusion, know that if you choose to apply for a Medicaid waiver to obtain a home medical alert system that you will have to share your private and confidential information with your state or local municipality in order to obtain Medicaid funding.  Decide for yourself whether this is something you are need and are willing to do.

I encourage your comments and responses on whether or not Medicaid should pay for home medical alert systems here.


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