Your Opinion: Puzzling trend in health care

Dear Editor:

My mother fell and broke her hip in March. She was 93 years old. She was in the hospital and received a hip replacement. Her stay was five days in the hospital where she received excellent care. At that time we were told that we were required by Medicare to have her moved to a skilled care facility. We found a place and had her moved. After three days in the facility we were told she was showing no improvement and that she would no longer be entitled to the 100 days of skilled care.

My aunt in 1998 had meningitis and was in the hospital for 14 days before the doctors said she was stable enough to go to a skilled care facility. She showed no improvement for another 20 days and Medicare paid the 100 days in the combined hospital and skilled care. She was 88 years old at the time. She lived two more years of quality life.

A close friend was 89 years old and had double pneumonia and spent 10 days in the hospital and was stabilized. At that time he was required to go to a skilled care facility. After three days his family was told that he was showing no improvement and the Medicare would no longer pay for his care. Everyone thought that he would be able to have his 100 days to recover. After going home he passed away.

Is the three days a new requirement. Is three days enough time to make a judgment of the possibility of recovery? With the money being transferred from Medicare to fund the Affordable Care Act is this the new requirement three days to make the judgment? With the discussion of the death panels is Medicare making these decisions already because of age?

It may only be a coincidence that both my family and theirs was given the same ultimatum. If anyone has experienced the same thing with a family member please write to the editor. Medicare problems for the aged normally do not come to a family on a regular basis so we think that we are an isolated case but is this a trend?

I will always wonder whether my mother could have lived more than two weeks if she had been given her 100 days to recover.