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'Homebound rule' coverage the work of disability columnists in nation's newspapers
Note to readers: links to news articles may not work after a few weeks, as news media remove current stories to their archives. The link may take you to the archives section, where, for a fee, you can view the article.

July 17, 2001 -- Sunday's Denver Post carried a story about the Medicare "homebound rule." That's the rule that says says that recipients of Medicare-paid home care must be "confined to the home." The story, by former New Mobility editor Barry Corbet, is one of only a few articles to appear in the media about the rule and about the continuing effort to change it. Read Corbet's story in the Denver Post at http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1002,75%257E67950,00.html

We wrote about problem with the "homebound rule" in our Feb. 20 E-letter ("NEW EFFORT GROWS TO ABOLISH 'HOMEBOUND' RULE") when we reported on efforts of Atlanta David Jayne to fight the rule and to begin a campaign to change it (see http://www.accessiblesociety.org/topics/programs-policy/homeboundrule.htm)

Since then a number of disability issues columnists have taken up the issue in the nation's newspapers. Last Thursday, Orlando Sentinel disability columnist Mona Hughes wrote "Time To Change Medicare Home-Bound Rule" (available online at http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/volusia/orl-vlmona-07132001.story). In April, "Imperfect Navigator" columnist Alexandria Berger of the Norfolk (Va.) The Virginian-Pilot wrote on April 23 ("Homebound rule holds some disabled folks prisoner," available for a fee at http://www.pilotonline.com/archives/). The first column to appear on the issue was Michael Volkman's in the Albany (NY) Time Union Dec. 24, 2000 ("'Homebound rule' must be abolished" available for a fee in the archives at http://www.timesunion.com/library/).

If it weren't for disability columnists, though, the issue would get practically no coverage. Although Jayne was profiled in People magazine's April 16 issue, Nick Charles' piece focused mostly on the gee-whiz aspects and dealt little with the larger issue of the 'homebound rule' ( "Brave Heart: Penalized by Medicare for refusing to be a prisoner of his fatal disease, David Jayne teaches others life's lessons: Love deeply and never give up").

The bill to amend the rule, HR 1490, was introduced in April by Rep. Edward J. Markey, ( D - MA)  and referred to House Ways and Means Committee's Subcommittee on Health; there's been no action since. You can follow the action of bill in the House at the Library of Congress' U.S. Congress website at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d107:6:./temp/~bdbnls::

Other links, including one to the original story about Jayne that ran in last November's Atlanta Journal-Constitution, are available from our website at http://www.accessiblesociety.org/topics/programs-policy/homeboundrule.htm

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