Medicare rules may encourage nursing homes to over-treat patients

(By – Leslie Small, www.fiercehealthpayer.com)

Even as the healthcare industry puts an increased emphasis on cutting costs, Medicare’s payment rules for nursing homes seem to encourage these facilities to provide expensive–and even harmful–excess care, theWall Street Journal reports.  Medicare changed its reimbursement system for nursing homes in 1998 to pay providers based on the level of rehabilitative therapy they deliver to patients, from “low” to “ultra high.” Providers get the most Medicare money for patients in the ultra-high category, which requires them to receive 720 hours per week of therapy. Read more…

 

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