For young adults with chronic conditions, program is a lifeline to care
I am writing in response to your story about the One Care program (“Health plan’s losses mount,” Page A1, Aug. 3). One patient population served by One Care, but not cited in the article, is adults with chronic conditions of childhood, such as spina bifida and cerebral palsy.
Many of these young adults are dependent on parents or other caregivers in order to receive medical care outside the home. They may require special vans, or a special mechanical lift, to transfer them from bed to wheelchair to exam table. A seemingly straightforward trip to a doctor’s office can take hours, if the patient can even find a doctor’s office that can accommodate their disability.
One Care allows these patients to receive many health services in their own home. I’ve seen families cry tears of joy upon learning that a program like One Care exists.
Certainly we need to figure out what has made One Care so expensive and then find a way to manage costs. But in doing so, we must not abandon the life-changing health services provided by the program.
The writer is a primary care physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a specialist in general pediatrics and young adult care at Boston Children’s Hospital, and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.