Linda Ronstadt: New Parkinson’s Therapies May Help You to Sing

“No one can sing with Parkinson’s disease. No matter how hard you try,” lamented legendary singer Linda Ronstadt, who was recently diagnosed with the condition. That may be true for Ronstadt, but speech pathologists and other Parkinson’s experts say there is enormous hope for most people. “It made me very sad to hear her say that,” says Samantha Elandary, founder and CEO of the nonprofit therapy group Parkinson Voice Project in Dallas, which has helped patients to sing. “Twenty years …

Medicare Settlement Means No More ‘Improve or You’re Out’

A federal judge has approved the proposed Settlement Agreement in the Medicare Improvement Standard case, Jimmo vs. Sebelius, clearing the way for thousands of Medicare beneficiaries to receive needed health services to maintain their current level of functioning. The settlement, which represents a significant change in Medicare coverage rules, ends Medicare’s longstanding practice of requiring people to show a likelihood of improvement in order to receive coverage of skilled care and therapy services. The Agreement, which is retroactive to the …

Medicare Coverage Change for Therapy Offers Ray of Hope for Caregivers

A loved one suffers a stroke, a fall, or has a chronic illness such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis. Medicare initially covers payment for vital services such as skilled nursing, home health care and physical, occupational or speech therapy. We see improvement as they heal, grow stronger, speak more and become more engaged in life. Suddenly the bad news is delivered: the patient reaches a “plateau” or doesn’t show “improvement” according to Medicare standards. They will no …