CMS has nothing on the Florida Dept. of Education


When I saw this abbreviated headline, “This student is on death bed, but his family still has to prove…” I immediately jumped to the conclusion the family was trying to prove some sort of medical necessity or lack of mobility or some such nonsense that we hear about every day here in HME land.

What the family actually had to prove is that Ethan, an 11-year old born with cerebral palsy (who died mere days after this article was written) can’t take a standardized test. (Sample Q: What does a peach taste like? A: He was tube fed).

It’s all so different and yet so eerily (and frustratingly familiar). It brings to mind the instances where paraplegics (or, I guess, their wheelchair provider) need to prove medical necessity, or amputees need to prove they don’t…have a leg?

Yes, yes, yes, fraud needs to be prevented and I don’t know a single provider I talk to who would disagree.

But, it would appear that the education bureaucracy is as rigid and unflexible (and robotic) as any other. Policy is policy and there’s no coloring outside the lines.

Common sense be damned!

I would suggest that now that the child has died, perhaps these people can be left in peace.

Although, if this was an HME issue, the auditors would likely be bending over the tombstone with a clipboard in five years.

Theresa Flaherty