Getting New Medical Equipment for a Senior in Need

Kenny is a senior from South Philadelphia. Ever since he was paralyzed in a car accident in 1989, he has lived independently with home care, a power wheelchair, and other adaptive equipment. For many years, this has included a fully electric hospital bed, which enables him to transfer independently between his bed and chair, as well as an incline platform lift that helps move him down his front steps in his power wheelchair. However, both his bed and the lift were degrading after nearly two decades of use.

Kenny requested a new hospital bed to replace his older model, which was making a lot of noise and on the cusp of breaking. One repair technician said it was so old that they weren’t sure they could find parts to fix it if it stopped working. Unfortunately, Kenny’s health plan denied the new bed, insisting on additional information from a physical therapist, even though they already had significant documentation about Kenny’s functional needs. The health plan’s decision was then upheld by an external reviewer. That’s when Kenny contacted PHLP for help. We worked with Kenny, his doctors, and the medical equipment supplier to give the health plan additional information supporting the need for a fully electric hospital bed. After reviewing the updated documentation, the health plan approved and delivered a new bed!

Unfortunately, before Kenny even had the chance to celebrate this win, his 21-year-old incline platform lift broke down. Without the lift, Kenny was stuck in his home, dependent on his direct care workers to do his grocery shopping and run other errands he was used to doing himself. Kenny submitted an urgent request to his health plan for a new lift. We advised Kenny throughout the process to make sure his request was handled promptly and appropriately. Kenny proved to be a strong and proactive advocate on his own behalf. Thanks primarily to Kenny’s persistence, the health plan quickly approved and ordered a new lift. Kenny had to wait several months for the new lift to be delivered and installed, but it was operational at the end of June, in time to enjoy the beautiful summer weather.

Kenny says, "I appreciate everything the Health Law Project has done for me. I would have never gotten my bed or the lift without your help!” Kenny is looking forward to getting outside and catching up on all the things he missed while waiting for his new lift, including doctor’s appointments, shopping, and visiting the barber.

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