I agree this should be addressed somewhere along the line..my mother a few years ago was a perfect example as she had 2 knee surgeries, before and after the rules...first surgery...had adequate rehab...2nd surgery...not. Skilled care environments do make a difference, whether it is at the hospital or outsourced at a facility that has a connection with the physicians and their recommendations for the patients...the 2 have to work together for the benefit of both the patient and the doctors...BD
Given the crisis in getting affordable health care to the American people, the last thing Medicare officials should do is undermine medical institutions and make it harder for patients to get the rehabilitation treatments they need. Yet that is exactly what is happening with enforcement of a long dormant Medicare rule requiring rehab hospitals to limit three-quarters of their beds to only 13 specified maladies. The so-called 75 Percent Rule has resulted in the denial of appropriate medical care to thousands of patients, including those undergoing joint replacement operations, an increasingly common group of procedures that require extensive rehabilitation.
In the past three years, imposition of the rule has caused a 25 percent reduction in the number of patients treated at Texas rehab facilities, from 14,181 in the first half of 2004 to 10,609 in the first two quarters of this year. Nationally, as many as 88,000 patients have been denied needed rehab treatment since the rule took effect. The problem with sending them home or to a nursing home is that they need more intensive rehab treatment in a skilled care environment.