Saturday, August 13, 2016

Trans Woman Cannot Find Nursing Home in Iowa That Will Admit Her // Updated Below!

(Originally written on 05/18/16): An interesting article was posted by the Des Moines Register tonight highlighting the difficulty that one 52-year-old trans woman is experiencing in her search for a nursing home here in Iowa. LeQuan Edwards experienced a stroke last August. She spent time in a Clarinda-based rehabilitation center before being admitted to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines this past March due to severe wounds on her legs. Now the hospital is trying to discharge her, but cannot find a nursing home that will accept a trans woman:
She was scheduled to be discharged Tuesday. But a hospital social worker said hospital staff checked with roughly 90 nursing homes and rehab facilities and none — except one that was 2 1/2 hours away in Muscatine — would take her.

Edwards’ legs are wrapped in compresses. She has very limited use of her right arm and needs help getting to a bathroom. She also struggles with mental health issues, including bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorders.

But those conditions aren’t all that unusual in the general population.

Carter said a hospital social worker told him Monday one of the reasons they can’t find a nursing or rehabilitation facility near Des Moines is that Edwards is transgender. He said the social worker told him that facilities are accepting new residents say men don’t want to room with a person who is biologically male but identifies as a woman. Neither do their female residents.

And Medicaid, Edwards’ health care provider, won’t pay for private rooms, except on a temporary basis.
The article goes on to interview Donna Red Wing of One Iowa who discussed their recent effort to create a resource guide for LGBT seniors in Iowa. They sent out materials to 50 nursing homes in Iowa. Only three bothered to respond.

You can (and should) read the enter story here.

Updated on 08/13/16: It took 137 days, but 52-year-old trans woman finally found a nursing home that would accept her. LeQuan Edwards -- a stroke victim with a health history of bipolar disorder who has been treated at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines since March 2016 -- was recently placed at Norwalk Rehabilitation Center. It was noted in media that staff at this facility have been trained specifically to work with transgender people.

It looks like Medicaid only paid Mercy Medical Center for two of her 137 days of treatment, costing the hospital roughly $142,000 while they searched for a long term facility. This also prevented other patients from being treated at the hospital.

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