More MS news articles for Oct 2001

Health care agency cuts off sick camper

By Register Staff Report

A northwest Iowa man suffering from multiple sclerosis may lose his Medicare - all because of a camping trip.

Stan Leusink, 51, of Hull can't use his arms or legs, hold his head up, swallow or speak. Every year, his wife, Val, wheels him into their camper to spend a few days at a lake.

His health care agency, CHEARS of Sioux Center, says camping means Leusink doesn't fit Medicare's definition of being homebound.

The agency terminated his Medicare services in July.

Leusink's doctor says he has fallen through a crack in the system. But medical centers submitting claims that don't meet Medicare guidelines could face fines or lose future Medicare payments.

Val Leusink has asked Iowa Sens. Tom Harkin and Charles Grassley for help.

Copyright © 2001, The Des Moines Register