Life Options, a program of Medical Education Institute, Inc.

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Call for answers to your questions about kidney function, dialysis, keeping a job, Medicare, exercise, and more. With support from Sanofi Renal.

Answers From Our Expert

Beth Witten, Social Worker, Life Options Rehabilitation ProgramBeth Witten, MSW, ACSW, LSCSW, is a renal social worker. Also an Emeritus member of the Life Options Rehabilitation Advisory Council, she offers technical assistance to the renal community through the Life Options Rehabilitation Resource Center. She is also an independent consultant and an experienced public speaker. In this section of the Life Options website, we have gathered some of Beth's answers to commonly-asked rehabilitation questions, and categorized them according to topic.

Insurance & Finances

  1. What is the Federal Guideline for social work coverage in an Medicare-approved dialysis facility?
  2. Can Life Options provide financial help for people who need a transplant?
  3. Are you aware of a website and/or specific infomation that is patient-friendly and explains about Medicare payment for diabetes supplies?

Work & Employment

  1. I have a patient who has been very ill since he started dialysis. His employer reduced his hours to 12 per week so he could maintain his insurance, but the patient has been able to work only 9 hours per week. Can he be fired for missing work due to illness?
  2. What can an ESRD Network do to improve vocational rehabilitation outcomes?
  3. I am a social worker in a dialysis clinic. We have patients who are interested in returning to work. What can I do to help orient vocational rehabilitation counselors about our patients?
  4. I am about to propose a meeting with our local Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) folks to help educate them about the needs of ESRD patients. What can you tell me about the status of the vocational rehabilitation counselor training project?

Exercise & Activity

  1. We are hoping to purchase 2 exercise bikes for our unit, do you have any suggestions about where we could do this?

Food, Nutrition, & Diet

  1. I have patients with kidney disease who have poor appetites and are losing weight. Do you know of any resources that I can use or can refer them to that could help them?

Kidney Disease

  1. Where can I find information on Goodpastures or Goodpasture's syndrome?
  2. I'd like to be able to provide more information to patients I work with who have polycystic kidney disease. Where can I refer them?

Patient Education Resources

  1. How can I find Spanish-language patient education materials?

Quality of Life

  1. How are functioning and well-being surveys used? How often are they administered?
  2. My father is considering ending dialysis treatment. What should we do to help him? What are the legalities? Is a hospital stay the best route? Hospice? Please help...

Dialysis Treatments & Lab Tests

  1. How do I explain BUN to someone who has just had an abnormal lab result for the first time?
  2. Where can I find information on normal and abnormal creatinine values?

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