New therapy rule could harm rehab patients in skilled nursing facilities, NASL says

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Cynthia Morton
Cynthia Morton

Another long-term care organization took a swing at the new multiple procedure payment reduction policy, which affects Medicare beneficiaries in skilled nursing and post-acute care facilities.

Cynthia Morton, executive vice president of the National Association for the Support of Long Term Care, said this policy will hurt some of the nation's most vulnerable people. The policy, which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services introduced last week, will cut payments when more than one kind of therapy is provided to a resident in a single day. Multiple therapies are common for patients who have suffered strokes, hip and knee replacements, and other chronic conditions, the organization noted. Most often, these patients are women over the age of 85, Morton said in a statement. Morton said that NASL would continue to work with CMS and other patient groups to modify this policy.

“These mothers and grandmothers are the Medicare beneficiaries who often require extensive therapy to assist them in functioning,” Morton said. “Skilled rehabilitation can mean the difference between patients feeding themselves or relying on tube-feeding, and maintaining mobility or being bound to a bed.”