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I live at the Arizona State Veteran Home Phoenix. In 2019, we had independent travel which is where you signed out on your own, you left on your own, and when you returned on your own, you sign back in. This was only approved for those that were cognizant, responsible and aware, but now that right has been taken away and we no longer have independent travel. The reason we are given is that this is a Medicare rule. We are wondering why has Medicare (if this is a true fact) taken away that right from us. We need help in getting back that right as adults, cognizant and responsible adults.

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Talk to a local lawyer that specializes in elder law. He or she should be able to help you.
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If you are at the facility for rehab, then Medicare does say no outings. They figure if you can go out and about you don't need anymore rehab and they discharge you.

I do know that Phoenix has high covid rates right now, could that be it?

Have you contacted the VA admin in Washington DC?

By the way, Thank you for your service, each and everyone of you are the reason I live in a free country. God bless you all!
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I see it as being held against your will. Id threaten to call the police you have been kidnapped, because they are refusing to let you leave. You are a free citizen. You don't need permission from the govt.
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You might also try contacting one or all of these organizations. They may be able to help you.

https://www.medalsofamerica.com/blog/5-of-the-most-trusted-veterans-organizations/
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Leronray: Perhaps you should pose your query to Medicare.
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I called our local VA home this morning and confirmed cognizant veterans are still allowed to sign out for day or up to 10 day trips (contact info is requested for the longer absences for reminder calls) . The person I spoke to said during the pandemic there were periods of time when day trips were discontinued because of the risk of bringing disease back to the facility. There were times when many veterans didn't get out because the city buses were temporarily suspended too. There is still a policy against day trips when the covid rate is high in the community and the veteran is unvaccinated (not a problem here since 100% of the veterans in the home have chosen vaccination) . Is it possible some VA residential homes are still following a covid protocol?
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Leronray, is there a social worker at the Veteran facility where you live? If not, search for a Veteran facility (office, hospital, etc.) in Phoenix or in another city with Veteran offices and a hospital, and ask one of the workers there. In my experience, they're very qualified to respond to questions about the VA.

Another option might be to contact American Legion or VFW; if I recall correctly, they offer assistance to Veterans.

Good luck; I hope you find a way to continue your outings.
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I would doubt Medicare would cover long term care care at a veteran's home since it does not cover LTC elsewhere, and it sounds as though the OP has been there since at least 2019. Maybe the OP is confusing Medicare and Medicaid? I do know there are some kinds of services that people are eligible for if they are deemed to be homebound. Is it possible that the OP (and others in the facility) were deemed as "home bound," but if they are able to be out and about on their own they would lose that designation and not be covered? If it's Medicaid, each state has its own regulations so the OP would have to check with Arizona's LTC Medicaid office to get answers.
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lealonnie1 Apr 12, 2022
Different rules apply to veteran long term care facilities newbiewife:
"The Arizona State Veteran home website also shares that there are currently 153 residents on Medicare or Medicaid." Regardless of who's paying for veteran's care, I would think Medicare would make the rules pertaining to who gets to leave and under what circumstances they get to do so.
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I think you would have to pose that question directly to Medicare, not to us; we are a forum of caregivers to elders from all over the world. Just laypeople who have no knowledge of Medicare rules or changes they make, such as you mention.

I'm sorry you're being prevented from leaving the veteran's home now; that's an unfortunate situation. I hope you can find the answers you seek and get the situation remedied to your satisfaction.

Best of luck to you!
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