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Let's Ask Congress to Eliminate the Worry That Seniors Won't Have Their Rehabilitation Covered
The rehabilitation services that Ecumen and other non-profits provide are critically important to keeping people healthfully independent, especially after they have hip replacement surgery, experience a stroke or have another major ailment. Right now without the Senate’s actions there will be brutal cuts to Medicare on Jan. 1, 2014 that impact people who need our services. We need to let our Senators know that we oppose those cuts, and that Medicare should count any time a Medicare beneficiary spends in a hospital toward the 3-day requirement for Medicare coverage of a subsequent stay in a transitional care rehabilitation center. By doing this Congress would correct a problem known as “observation days” in Medicare that forces many Medicare beneficiaries to pay large out-of-pocket for their rehabilitation stays or go without these services.
Under the current rules, Medicare beneficiaries must have an inpatient hospital stay of 3 nights to qualify for rehabilitation coverage after they are released. However, many beneficiaries are being denied access to this benefit because they are classified as "outpatients" under observation for all or part of their hospital stay. Bi-partisan legislation to avoid this unjust impact has been introduced, and simply counts all nights that a Medicare beneficiary spends in the hospital toward the three-day stay requirement. These rehabiltation services are essentially important to a person's well-being and to help prevent more expensive health care services and unnecessary bounce backs to the hospital emergency room. For more information on this issue, see this National Public Radio story and information from LeadingAge and AARP.
You can help right this wrong by calling your Senator today at the the number below and urge them to support bi-partisan legislation that can correct this.
NUMBER TO CALL: 888-277-8686 (You’re going to hear a message from LeadingAge Leader Larry Minnix (We're partnering on this with LeadingAge, our national association that represents non-profit senior services organizations). When you call, you’ll be prompted to be connected to either the office of Sen. Klobuchar or Sen. Franken if you live in Minnesota. If you live in another state, you'll be connected to one of your Senators' offices. After you leave the message that you can personalize below with the staff person, would love if you could call back and leave a message for your other Senator.
Rehabilitation services that non-profit therapy centers provide after a hospital stay help Medicare beneficiaries stay healthfully independent after occurrences such as a stroke or hip replacement surgery. (Feel free to share how you or loved one has used rehabilitation services.)
- I ask you to prevent the harsh therapy caps on coverage of outpatient therapy from going into effect Jan. 1, 2014.
- Secondly, I ask you to count any time a Medicare beneficiary spends in a hospital toward the 3-day requirement for Medicare coverage of a subsequent stay in a transitional care rehabilitation center. By doing this you would correct the “observation days” problem that forces many Medicare beneficiaries to pay large out-of-pocket for their rehabilitation stays or go without these services. These essential services often help prevent larger, more expensive health care services across the United States.