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Thread: Care plan helps injured girl, family cope

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jeremy's Avatar
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    Care plan helps injured girl, family cope

    Care plan helps injured girl, family cope

    2002-08-19

    The Oklahoman

    EDMOND -- Every four hours -- day and night -- Stephanie Mundell, 9, endures a rugged
    regimen of medical and therapeutic procedures to keep her kidneys functioning, her lungs
    pumping fresh air, and her arms and legs as lithe and limber as possible.
    On the front door of the Mundells' home near downtown Edmond is a sign that reminds
    all those who enter that germs are the girl's constant nemesis.
    "Please Wash Your Hands, Thank You, Stephanie," it reads.
    Microbes pose a danger because medical tethers -- a tracheal tube for breathing, a
    catheter to drain her kidneys -- expose Stephanie's internal organs.
    With a broad, welcoming smile, Stephanie refers to herself as ornery and outgoing, both
    loving and lovable.
    Perhaps it was that bit of orneriness or outgoing nature that caused her on Aug. 24, 1996,
    to dash across W Main to get to a nearby friend's house.
    Her 3-year-old body partially hidden by a bush near the street, Stephanie was hit by a car
    and dragged half a block.
    She was rushed to the OU Medical Center. There, doctors quickly discovered life-
    threatening injuries to Stephanie's spinal cord and head.
    After 13 weeks in intensive care, three more weeks in the hospital and 30 days of
    rehabilitation, the prognosis was poor: Stephanie was paralyzed from the neck down, a
    quadriplegic, and has remained that way since the accident.
    In addition, the Mundells had no insurance.
    Now, through around-the-clock medical attention and supervision, Stephanie, mother
    Debra Mundell, and brother, Houston, 15, cope with the situation.
    Softening effects of the Mundell's cataclysm, however, has been the assistance they've
    received from Heartland Health Plan of Oklahoma, a managed care system with a
    contract from the state Medicaid office.
    Heartland specializes in addressing the medical needs of the aged, blind and disabled.
    "When I need something, I get on the telephone and call them. They take care of us," said
    Debra Mundell, who no longer works because she is Stephanie's primary caregiver.
    Heartland provides medical supplies and medications required for Stephanie's care, as
    well as a night nurse normally on duty at the Mundells from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. seven days a
    week.
    Students from Edmond North High School collected $35,000 through their annual
    "Bringing A Light to Others" fund drive to renovate the Mundell house for Stephanie's
    treatment.
    Stephanie attends Washington Irving Elementary School, where she is assisted by a
    nurse.
    Of Heartland's assistance in Stephanie's expensive care, Debra Mundell said: "They've
    been real helpful with the things we've needed."
    A recent study, meanwhile, found that a majority of aged, blind and disabled people
    enrolled in Heartland's Oklahoma managed care plan are more satisfied with the overall
    quality of health care services than they were with the traditional Medicaid
    fee-for-service arrangements.
    The Center for Health Care Strategies has worked with the Oklahoma Health Care
    Authority to enhance managed care services for individuals with special needs.
    It commissioned a study by Schaller Anderson Inc., a health care consulting company
    based in Phoenix, to assess Oklahoma's managed care program in serving special-needs
    populations.
    The study examined 538 individuals with chronic disabilities -- including Stephanie
    Mundell -- covered under Heartland Health Plan of Oklahoma. It compared costs, quality
    of care, and both member- and provider- satisfaction levels prior to joining the managed
    care program to one year following enrollment in it.
    When the enrollees were asked about their satisfaction with health care services, 61
    percent said their care was better than under the traditional Medicaid fee-for-service
    program.
    Along with the higher satisfaction levels, the study determined that managed care
    resulted in savings to the state of 4 percent to 17 percent.
    The study findings "demonstrate that managed care can be a win-win situation for all
    concerned when it is administered efficiently," says Sally A. Venator, chief executive of
    Heartland Health Plan of Oklahoma.

    "If the wind could blow my troubles away. I'd stand in front of a hurricane."

  2. #2
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    Good post, Jeremy

    Thanx

    ==============================
    "With every scientific advance, we grow closer to unlocking the mysteries of life and creation. But what have we gained if in the process, we lose our humanity. The most powerful thing we pass along to our children may not reside in the genes, but in the soul."
    The Outer Limits(Criminal Nature)



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