SCRANTON — U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Moosic, recently made a fact-finding visit to Allied Rehab Hospital along the Morgan Highway to learn about the services offered to patients at the inpatient rehabilitation facility. The visit comes at a time when Congress is debating Medicare legislation that targets inpatient rehabilitation hospitals.
Under the proposed Medicare legislation, inpatient rehabilitation hospitals like Allied Rehab in Scranton and Heinz Rehab in Wilkes-Barre would be forced to limit patient admissions according to a narrow set of medical diagnosis, something which medical rehabilitation professionals believe will hurt patients who most need rehabilitation. The 75 percent rule, as the legislation is described, would divert patients who do not present one of the listed 13 medical conditions away from inpatient rehabilitation hospitals.
“Inpatient rehabilitation hospitals offer a unique combination of intensive, round the clock therapy services and medical management proven to maximize outcomes for a wide range of post-acute patients,” said Dr. Greg Basting.
During the visit, senior representatives from Allied Services Integrated Health System also illustrated the relative benefits of alternative rehabilitation settings such as skilled nursing. The non-profit organization operates a 371-bed Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center, which provides long term rehabilitation, short term rehabilitation, and skilled care including specialized respiratory services, wound care, pain management, behavior management and care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. Short term rehabilitation at the Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center is an option for patients who cannot tolerate or do not require the intensity of therapy delivered in an inpatient rehab hospital.
“What concerns us most about this legislation is the impact it will have on how decisions about patient care are made,” said William P. Conaboy, president and CEO of Allied Services. “You want to know that the treatment plan recommended for you or your loved one is based on your individual needs and the expert knowledge of medical professionals, not on an admission statistic or reimbursement metric. The 75 percent rule threatens that decision-making process, taking some of the treatment options off the table. We’re fighting this legislation to preserve the healthcare choices of our patients.”