Service Animals Caring For Disabled

Service animals play vital roles in helping care for and expand the functionality of many disabled and aging people.  Most widely acknowledged from the work of guide dogs for the sight impaired, service animals  of all types perform a broad range of tasks including performing tasks like seeing, opening doors, hearing, reaching and other tasks the disabled person can’t perform,  detecting and responding to.subtoe signs of a seizure, diabetic shock or other impending medical emergency and providing critical  emotional support to stabilize  individuals with Post Tramatic Stress Disorder, autism, or a host of other conditions. Learn more.

The accommodation requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal and state disabilities laws may requre employers, landlords, schools and businesses to permit individuals with disabilities to be accompanied by their support animals as part of their duty to accommodate unless the organization shows the accommodation would present a safety risk, undue hardship or other exception to the accommodation requirements. Disabled individuals using a service animal may need to notify individuals of their need for accommodation. Often but not always this notification is provided when service dogs are used by having the dog wear a vest that a densifies the dog as a service animal. Employers, landlords, schools or other organizations should verify that their premises postings do not improperly exclude persons with disabilities supported by support animals and that their staff and landlord understands and is properly trained to comply with these requirements. As for all disability law requirements, businesses and other organizations should carefully consider before asserting an objection to the accommodation of service animals. Organizations that anticipate disputing an obligation to accommodate should expect to be required to produce meaningful proof of this exception to the duty to accommodate. In general, complaints of other patrons will not be an appropriate basis for refusing to accommodate the animal. When about actual or potential disruptions motivate a business to consider denying the disabled person the presence and support of their support animal on the business premises, management should be careful to ensure that the disruption is caused by inappropriate conduct by the service animal rather than disruptive or objective behavior by others on the premises to the presence of the service animal or the person with the disability.

Individuals that encounter disabled persons supported by a service animal need to remember that service animals are performing a job. Because interruptions of the performance of these duties could be disruptive to the disabled individual, the service animal or the environment in which they are trying to function normally, individuals that encounter these teams working together should ask permission before approaching the service animal and should be understanding if discouraged from exchanges or interactions with the animal. While many individuals using or training a service animal may be receptive to these social interactions, third parties dealing with them should take the lead of the owner of the service animal.

Health reform must make care primary priority

Federal healthcare policy’s unhealthy obsession with prevention and deterrence of “waste” now elevates excessive measurement and auditability over patients and patient care.  
It’s time to put our healthcare policies focus back where it belongs – on patient care.

Federal reimbursement and other rules now presume that care provided or prescribed to patients is wasteful, unnecessary and presumed to be criminally fraudulent unless the prescribing physician proves The appropriateness of the care provided and the amount billed under a progressively more complicated and care hostile maze of federal reimbursement, quality and other standards.  

Not surprisingly,the cumulative intent and effect of these laws and their implementation and enforcement by an army a faceless bureaucrats, auditors and Administrators is to batter doctors and other caregivers into holding off or avoiding caring for the patients except for the government has provided a pre-existing stamp of approval.  

Oversight initiatives originally intended to ferret out and punish true fraud now have been bastardized into a systemized process for determining physicians and other healthcare providers from providing the best care possible to patients and their families. These rules and processes now apply an artificial definition of fraud to care that the government and its non medical beancounters from the safety of their ivory towers use carefully selected and manipulated population health statistics and data to decide should not be paid for without regard to the actual needs of individual patients.  These pontificators from their ivory tower population health mountains then impose these standard without ever looking at an individual patient to verify that the patient falls within the assumptions justifying these reimbursement and care guidelines.  Instead they threaten, harass and even increasingly persecute physician and other healthcare providers for prescribing care their medical judgment leads these professionals to conclude best meets the needs of the patient based upon the actual examination and treatment of the patient. Physicians and other healthcare providers that insist upon putting their patients needs in front of these artificial population health paradigms are pressured if not forced,  to force their patients to fit into the accepted care guidelines by reimbursement, discipline, audit and prosecution guidelines.  In the process patients that don’t tolerate the average suffer or even die.  Meanwhile the excessive resources wasted harassing good doctors and healthcare providers with excessive audit and compliance demands does nothing to prevent and is totally ineffective at recovering the millions of dollars stolen by the criminals that game the system my billing for care never provided or intentionally fraudulently billing the system.