Local family denied life sustaining medical supplies by Medicare

WORCESTER Co., Md. – The family of two local brothers with disabilities is fighting for medical supplies that keep the brothers alive and well, and that fight is now reaching our local politicians.

Everyday starts the same for the Holland brothers. Their medicine gets crushed up, combined with water, then delivered into their stomachs through a feeding bag to help keep the boys, who have a debilitating brain disease called Leukodystrophy, healthy and well.

The problem is that the bags that bring these boys hydration and medication are now being denied. That’s because the brothers, who live with their mom, recently got switched from Medicaid to Medicare.

Shana Farlow, the sister of Andrew and Nathan Holland said, “They got switched because my 64 year old mom, she’s a registered nurse, she retired and she started receiving Social Security benefits. When she did that, it automatically kicked these guys from Medicaid to Medicare.”

We’re told Medicare is refusing to give the boys feeding bags unless they stop eating soft food altogether and instead take liquid nutrition.

Farlow said, “The only way Medicare will pay for feeding supplies is if they get nutrition 24 hours a day.”

On top of denying the feeding bags, we’re told Medicare is significantly cutting back on the brother’s urine bags, which keeps urine off their skin.

Farlow said, “We were receiving through Medicaid, we were receiving thirty of these per month and now we’re only receiving two.”

The family took their concerns to Congressman Andy Harris who said the situation is absurd. Congressman Harris said to Shana at a recent Town Hall Meeting, “This is crazy.”

The family says they got no warning that this would happen to them, so they’re hoping to raise awareness and make a change so no other families are denied the medical supplies they need.

Farlow said, “I feel like this should be a case by case thing. This should not be an automatic thing just because you have a disabled adult child.”

We reached out to Medicare for a response. They told us the Holland’s case is complex, and said they’re actively reviewing it.

We’re told the Holland brothers could potentially receive these life sustaining supplies if they were put in a home, but the family doesn’t want to do that saying it would hurt the brothers quality of life.

Congressman Harris’s Office told the family that they will react out to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on the family’s behalf.

Categories: Local News, Maryland