Nearly 300 members of Congress have signed a letter urging the CMS to reconsider a rule revising the criteria that rehabilitation hospitals must meet to qualify for Medicare rehabilitation payments. In September, the CMS proposed requiring that 65% of admissions to an inpatient rehabilitation facility fall into one of 12 diagnostic categories for the facility to be reimbursed by Medicare's rehabilitation rates instead of the standard prospective payment system rates. Current rules mandate that 75% of patients fall into one of 10 diagnostic groups. Providers complain that the new list of diagnostic categories still doesn't include a host of common conditions, such as hip and joint replacements. As a result, providers say, some rehabilitation facilities would be forced to close. A national study should be conducted by the Institute of Medicine before a final rule is adopted, the Nov. 3 congressional letter said. The comment period on the proposed rule ended Nov. 3, and the CMS said it planned to publish a final rule shortly thereafter. -- by Jeff Tieman
Lawmakers line up against rehab rule revision
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