Medicare and Parkinson’s: Your Frequently Asked Questions

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Overview

Join us for part two of our Medicare and Parkinson’s: What You Need to Know webinar series. In part one, we provided an overview of Medicare plans, how to enroll, what is typically paid for and more. For part two, we will drill down into some of the most frequently asked questions about Medicare coverage specifically related to rehabilitation and mental health services, long term care, social security disability insurance, and more. We’ll answer questions like: Are there annual caps on physical, occupational and speech therapy? What types of mental health treatment are covered under Medicare? Will Medicare pay for long term care services? Can someone with Parkinson’s qualify for social security coverage before age 60 and then get Medicare automatically? 

Almost 90% of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) are covered by Medicare. As a disease that impacts both motor and non-motor symptoms, Parkinson’s can affect all aspects of a person’s life. Whether you are approaching 65 or already there, navigating Medicare and understanding what it means for managing your Parkinson’s disease can be overwhelming.

Join us for another webinar in this partnership series from the Parkinson’s Foundation and AARP, committed to providing you with the best information and tools to help guide your journey with PD.

There will be ample time to ask questions to our presenters. This webinar will be recorded for later viewing on-demand.

Bios

Jessica Shurer

Jessica Shurer, MSW, LCSW is the Director of Patient and Carepartner Advocacy of CurePSP, whose mission and services are dedicated to the awareness, care and cure of atypical Parkinsonism diagnoses – progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), corticobasal degeneration (CBD), and multiple system atrophy (MSA). In this role, she oversees the CurePSP Centers of Care network and CurePSP’s supportive and educational resources and initiatives.

Prior to joining the team at CurePSP in October 2021, she served as the Center Coordinator & Clinical Social Worker of the Movement Disorders Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence and CurePSP Center of Care. At UNC, she provided psychosocial support for the Center's patients and families as well as coordinated two specialty interdisciplinary clinics, three community support groups and various educational and outreach programming. During this time, she was honored to have been involved in a number of initiatives and collaborations with the Parkinson’s Foundation and to serve on the Board of Directors for CurePSP. 

She had been in this previous position since 2012, when she graduated UNC Chapel Hill with her Master of Social Work, where she also completed an Interdisciplinary Certificate in Aging and the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education Fellowship. Her clinical and research interests include understanding and addressing the psychosocial needs of navigating the disease journey, integrated healthcare models, and palliative and end-of-life care. 

Carrie Blakeway

Carrie Blakeway Amero, MPA has worked in the field of long term services and supports for 20+ years. Before joining AARP as Director for Long-Term Services and Supports in 2020, she was a senior manager, policy analyst and researcher at The Lewin Group for 17 years. Her work has focused on improving service systems for people who are aging, people with disabilities, people with chronic conditions, and their caregivers. In particular, she focuses on addressing issues related to improving how people access needed services, integrating health and human service systems, and LTSS workforce development.

Ms. Amero has extensive experience providing technical assistance to states and community-based organizations, monitoring and evaluating public programs, and supporting continuous quality improvement through learning systems. As a consultant to the Administration for Community Living, she supported the launch, expansion, and ongoing monitoring of the national Aging and Disability Resource Center/No Wrong Door Initiative between 2003-2015. For the CMS Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group (DEHPG), she served as the director for the National Direct Service Workforce Center between 2005-2014. Between 2012-2020, for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation at CMS, Ms. Amero served as the project director for the Cross-Model Learning Network for Alternative Payment Models and the Learning System manager for the Health Care Innovation Awards.  Ms. Amero earned a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and a Master’s in Public Affairs, both from the University of Texas at Austin.

Adolfo Diaz

Adolfo Diaz, Associate Vice President, Information & Resources, developed, launched and oversees the Foundation’s Helpline, a virtual contact center staffed by eight Parkinson’s Disease Information specialists, and two Intake Specialists, handling more than 20,000 cases a year. The Helpline provides people living with Parkinson's disease with accurate and up-to-date information, resources, and referrals to care and support services in their community.  Additionally, Adolfo is responsible for the ongoing development and expansion of the Helpline’s database, a key asset for the Foundation for measuring impact and real-time tracking of trends affecting people living with Parkinson’s. The reports and information gathered influence strategic initiatives and programming throughout the organization.

Adolfo has served in various capacities since joining the Parkinson's Foundation in 2003. He has been involved with the production of conferences and webcasts, operational components of the Aware in Care Hospitalization program, publications, Centers of Excellence, Chapters, Young Onset and many other Foundation initiatives. Adolfo has degrees in Business Administration and in Physical Therapy, and has treated children, young adults and elderly patients in both the hospital and home settings, including several patients with Parkinson’s disease.

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