Medicaid Rule Puts Stroke Patient's Bed in Jeopardy
Updated: Tuesday, February 19 2013, 07:59 PM EST
COLUMBUS -- A central Ohio man hopes a Medicaid rule doesn't cost him the bed he desperately needs while dealing with the effects of a stroke.
A former truck driver, Larry Lee, 65, told ABC 6/FOX 28 he just wants to remain independent and live in his small East Columbus apartment.
A stroke left Lee partially paralyzed and in need of a motorized wheelchair and a hospital bed that can move up and down.
Lee previously slept in a used hospital bed that, he said, didn’t work -- so he gave it to the Salvation Army. Lee’s doctor wrote a new prescription for a bed, and a local company delivered it to his home.
After four months of sleeping in the new bed, American Medical Equipment found that Medicaid had turned down Lee’s request because he already had a bed issued to him in the past five years.
Lee didn’t know what to do, and knew he couldn’t sleep on the floor with his disabilities, so he contacted ABC 6 On Your Side for help.
American Medical said they have no legal obligation to supply Lee’s bed, but they plan to make sure he has one to use. The company’s owner Brad Yakam said Lee's situation is rather common when families need medical equipment after a loved one is released from the hospital, but may qualify for Medicaid benefits.
Yakam said the company supplies the equipment “in good faith” until it receives word from Medicaid, which can take months.
Lee said he's thankful and very excited for the help from the company.
Reporter: Lu Ann Stoia
Web Producer: Ken Hines