Disabled patients to benefit from Medicare change
WASHINGTON (AP) – Lawyers for Medicare patients say the Obama administration has agreed to a change that would help people with severe chronic illnesses like Alzheimer’s keep receiving rehabilitation services — even if they’re not getting better.
The proposed agreement filed with a federal judge in Vermont would allow Medicare patients to keep receiving physical and occupational therapy and other services at home or in a nursing home so that they can remain stable, said Gill Deford, a lawyer with the Center for Medicare Advocacy.
That’s been a problem for thousands of patients because of a longstanding Medicare policy that says they must show improvement to keep getting rehab. Deford’s group and other organizations challenged it in a nationwide class action suit.
Administration officials would not comment because the settlement is still pending.