Disability and Managed Care: Problems and Opportunities at the End of the Century

Disability and Managed Care: Problems and Opportunities at the End of the Century

Disability and Managed Care: Problems and Opportunities at the End of the Century

Disability and Managed Care: Problems and Opportunities at the End of the Century

Synopsis

Since the passage in 1990 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, society has made considerable strides in improving the quality of life and the productivity of individuals with disabilities. At the same time, however, the American health care system has undergone considerable change, with some unforeseen consequences for those with disabilities. Birenbaum explores all of the disability and health policy issues that are generated by the present state of managed care.

Excerpt

During the past decade the community of those with disabilities has emerged as a distinctive political force in American life. the passage in 1990 of the Americans with Disabilities Act marks the recognition of accommodations to people with disabilities as part of their civil rights. Disability is no longer seen as something to hide; nor should people with disabilities live lives of isolation and understimulation. More and more people are seeing themselves and are seen by others as having a condition that limits their capacity to pursue major life activities. Consequently, there is a greater demand today to find better ways to live with disabilities, including, for example, home modifications, assistive technology, and access to high quality medical care. These interventions often can increase an individual's productivity by: reducing the number of days when he or she cannot perform full-time social roles (e.g., work, school); allowing for more independence; and improving the person's capacity to be included in ordinary activities in the community.

Health care, however, has undergone a serious revolution that threatens some of these goals and objectives. We are dealing with the consequences of that revolution as consumers and as providers of health care. Despite these vast changes, access to quality care at reasonable cost is not guaranteed for all Americans. Since the failure of health care reform in 1994 . . .

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