Re­port: In­pa­tient re­hab use down 26% in past seven years

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

Over the past seven years, in­pa­tient re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion fa­cil­i­ties, which face con­tin­ued fed­eral fund­ing cuts, saw a 26% de­crease in uti­liza­tion by Medi­care ben­e­fi­cia­ries, ac­cord­ing to a re­port com­mis­sioned by three provider groups. “Any fur­ther pay­ment re­duc­tions would in­ap­pro­pri­ately re­duce pa­tients’ abil­ity to ac­cess these im­por­tant ser­vices,” Richard Umb­den­stock, the Amer­i­can Hos­pi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion’s pres­i­dent and CEO, said in a news re­lease. The AHA, the Amer­i­can Med­i­cal Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Providers As­so­ci­a­tion and the Fed­er­a­tion of Amer­i­can Hos­pi­tals com­mis­sioned the re­port, which blamed de­clin­ing uti­liza­tion on pol­icy changes, specif­i­cally a fi­nal rule is­sued in May 2004 by the CMS per­tain­ing to re­im­burse­ment el­i­gi­bil­ity for IRFS. The study, pre­pared by the Mo­ran Co., shows that the num­ber of Medi­care ben­e­fi­cia­ries us­ing IRFS had de­creased by 26%, from 381,844 to 281,059 since 2004. The re­port is crit­i­cal of the “60% rule,” which man­dates that 60% of IRF cases need to have one of 13 con­di­tions in­clud­ing stroke, brain in­jury or joint re­place­ment. Hos­pi­tal of­fi­cials worry fund­ing could be slashed again. Pres­i­dent Barack Obama sug­gested in his deficit-re­duc­tion plan that the per­cent­age for that rule be ad­justed to 75%, a move es­ti­mated to save $3 bil­lion over a decade.

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