On January 1, 2020, Home Health experienced the most extensive changes seen in over 20 years. Medicare completely revamped its reimbursement, resulting in a shift that will greatly impact the quality of service provided for chronic patients like Parkinson’s, CVA, and CHF. Many physicians and patients alike are not yet aware of these changes and how they affect patient care. Though it is expected that home health reimbursements will not greatly change, the modifications mark a complete change in the way that home health services are provided.
THE FACTS ON THE NEW LIMITATIONS FOR HOME HEALTH CARE
For home health, the Medicare changes meant a shift in reimbursement from a pay per visit system to flat-rate reimbursement based on diagnosis, co-morbidities, and referral source. This shift provides major incentives for shorter episodes of care and decreased services. Home health agencies have been quick to develop computer systems that crunched numbers to determine the maximum number of visits a patient will receive. These systems remove clinical judgment from the hands of the service providers and referring physicians. This is shocking to many physicians who believe that patients will receive all services at the specific frequency or duration they order. This is simply no longer true. The new home health model highly favors acute care patients at a heavy cost to patients with chronic issues or seniors who may take more time to recover from complex medical issues.
MANY PATIENTS ARE BEING LEFT
Traditionally, home health provided a logical solution for patients who were unable to drive or when getting to outpatient provided a major barrier. Many home health agencies are no longer able to comply with these therapy cases, and patients are being told that an inability to get to an outpatient therapy clinic is not a valid reason for home health services to be extended. Mobile outpatient services are able to fill in the gap for that population. An added benefit of mobile outpatient therapy is that it reduces infection and that there does not need to be a qualifying hospital stay in order to receive services. Even more importantly is therapist and physician are able to regain clinical judgment, providing a more patient-centered treatment approach. The goal of therapy returns to improving or maintaining the patient’s function rather than transition them to another service or setting. This is a significant benefit for the chronic system users who do not benefit from the new home health model.
Service providers and patients alike need to adjust their understanding of the rehabilitation model and Medicare guidelines in order to ensure that patients are receiving the quality services needed for long term success.
MOBILE REHAB—CONCIERGE OUTPATIENT THERAPY
Concierge Outpatient Therapy allows patients to receive a higher level of personalized care within the comfort of their own homes and communities. Chronic patients need high quality therapy with the ability to work outside of home health and outpatient restrictions.
Mobile Rehab is NOT HOME HEALTH. We are a Medicare Part B Approved Provider. We are set up like a traditional Outpatient Therapy facility, but our therapists travel to the patient’s homes and communities. This removes the burden of travel, decreases risk for infection, and increases patient compliance. Therapists are able to assess real conditions, design programs that can be utilized by the patient for more extended periods of time and provide more personalized care. Therapists are not limited to the intense restrictions of home health.
We believe that our clients are long term members of the Mobile Rehab Family and we care about their long term success
CALL TODAY TO SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT OR ASK YOUR MEDICAL PROVIDER FOR A REFERRAL.