KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville mother is despondent after losing her case with TennCare to receive round-the-clock care for her daughter who is severely disabled.
Sadia Jallow has been fighting the state for additional care for more than half a year.
WATE’s Don Dare has followed Binta Barrow’s story for years and now her mother has a new battle. The latest news from the state has been a big setback for Barrow’s mother.
The 27-year-old is profoundly disabled and last fall, she lost 24/7 care. The state said she can have either a nurse or an LPN during the day, but only an aide at night.
Her mother has been battling TennCare to get her daughter’s care restored. However, recently, TennCare informed her that her request for Barrow has been rejected and that 24/7 care is “not medically necessary.”
“Well, it’s heartbreaking. It’s really heartbreaking. I have no options now. I don’t know what else to do,” said Jallow.
Tina Payne, a private-duty respiratory LPN, cares for Barrow during the day. State regulations say the type of tracheal airway suctioning Barrow needs to survive is a function of a specialist, aides aren’t supposed to do this. However, Barrow will no longer have a specialist at night. The conclusion of a 17-page report from TennCare is Barrow has failed to show that 24/7 private duty nursing services are medically necessary and the state is “not obligated to provide more than what is required” only an aide will be provided overnight.
“They are not listening to that. What they are going by are numbers. She has a trach, she is on a vent machine. She is on all kinds of machines in there that needs to be operated. It’s not only me, but I know there are other parents who are going through this. How can you see a child like my daughter and say it is not medically necessary,” said Jallow.
Barrow was admitted to a special nursing home in Chattanooga last year, but it didn’t work out. After several months the state brought her home to her devoted mother.
“Binta has seizures, she is non-verbal, she cannot speak, she is not even aware. So you put Binta in a room by herself. If she needs help, how can she press a button and say I need help,” said Jallow.
Jallow leaves for work in the morning at 7:30 a.m.
“I have to go to work. Then when I come from work, I can’t even rest. Sometimes when a nurse doesn’t come, I’m the nurse. If a PDA doesn’t come, I’m the PA. If a CNA doesn’t come, I’m the CNA, I’m doing everything,” said Jallow.
Jallow can appeal the administrative judge’s recent decision, she plans to do that hoping against all odds full care is restored for Barrow.
“I pray that this is approved, 24-hour nursing for my daughter. I need it, she needs it. She needs that help. It’s my daughter that matters,” said Jallow.
Jallow has until March 28 to file what’s called a “Petition for reconsideration,” in other words, it’s an appeal of the original initial order. She initially fought TennCare six years ago and won that case after the state eliminated all but 40 hours of care for Barrow when she turned 21. Jallow isn’t sure if she’ll win this time. But said, she’s going to fight for her daughter, nevertheless.