Jaco Arm Approved! Persistence Pays Off
For several reasons I’m hesitant to post this. First of all it’s not in my possession yet. Secondly the process is kind of maddening. Lastly I know many of you are struggling trying to obtain a Jaco yourselves. With that said I want to share because this is something I’ve been working on for over a year. Hopefully it will provide inspiration if it’s something you’re striving for. My Jaco Robotic Arm has been approved! Is it too soon to purchase ice cream sandwiches to celebrate since I’ll be able to reach my freezer?
After the initial denial and the denial of my first appeal from MN Medicaid with the help of the team at Kinova I put together my second appeal package. I thought my first appeal was strong with letters of support from my neurologist and occupational therapist along with showing medical necessity plus evidence my plan has covered it. With the second appeal I included an additional letter of support from my physical therapist along with video evidence showing my need. Despite the strong appeals I received notice of a telephone hearing scheduled two weeks out. Yikes! I’ve never done anything like this.
On one hand the DHS hearing is a good thing indicating my second appeal wasn’t dismissed completely. On the other hand two weeks to prepare isn’t long. Although I could push it out I’d rather get it over with. So, again with the guidance of the team from Kinova and my dme supplier, I prepared. Stressing all weekend prior, the day finally arrived. With my headphones and cell phone fully charged the call came through. Expecting an extensive phone call in less than 5 minutes the DHS judge informed me of an update to my case. He received notification the day prior I’m approved to get the Jaco.
What should be a sigh of relief comes with mixed emotions. What prompted the approval? It feels like the initial denials were auto generated in hopes I’d give up. Guess what? I have SMA. I don’t give up. But it shouldn’t be this hard. Despite my excitement I have reservations. Will it be everything I hope for? There’s going to be a learning curve I’m not looking forward to. Plus after waiting a year I have high expectations. Time will tell if the Jaco meets them. I’m cautiously optimistic.
Persistence is my middle name. Okay, not true, but it should be. With a tentative install date less than two weeks out I’m pinching myself. For those who have a Jaco should I do anything to prepare? For those still fighting for a Jaco, there is hope. Don’t give up if it’s something you believe in. Please let me know if you have questions. I’m pretty much an open book, and would love to lend a hand if I can. Soon I will have three of them after all.