Medicaid managed care still posing barriers for deaf, disabled
BY CHABELI HERRERA
Feb 4, 2015
Six months after Florida rolled out its Medicaid managed care program – transitioning almost 3 million Floridians into private insurers — some recipients with disabilities say the new model hasn’t fixed some of the old problems.
Last week, about 30 people from the disabled community gathered at the Center for Independent Living of South Florida to discuss complaints about access and communication, ranging from lack of American Sign Language interpreters at doctor’s offices to confusing paperwork.
Marc Dubin, director of advocacy for the Miami-based branch, has spent the last 10 years trying to ensure that barriers to access for the disabled — especially the deaf — were eliminated in Florida’s Medicaid managed care system. But he said problems still arise “at every level of the healthcare system from making appointments, to communicating with their doctors, to receiving discharge information, to receiving prescriptions.”
At the meeting, Dubin spoke on behalf of the disabled community to managed care companies and state Medicaid leaders on a conference call while attendees flicked their fists and nodded their heads — the American Sign Language symbol for “yes.”
“We cannot just sit around not understanding forms, not understanding our doctors,” said Damis Fellove, a deaf Miami man who spoke through an interpreter.