Rehab facilities are places that provide skilled nursing and rehabilitative therapy services for patients too infirm to return home right away. For those who need these services, a rehab facility can sound like a lifesaver. Unfortunately, these facilities are often run by publicly traded companies who primary purpose is not to help people get better; their primary goal is to make a strong profit.
A common phrase that therapists would hear while working at these facilities was “get your minutes in with the patient”. Basically, the company was reimbursed based on how many minutes of therapy they provided to the patient… which sounds like a great idea…until you start seeing patients that are clearly receiving for more minutes than they could possibly tolerate. The therapists were often left wondering what else to do with patients to rack up more minutes. It wasn’t good for the patients, therapists, or the insurance companies (including Medicare). But it made the rehab corporations a LOT of money.
Which bring us to today. Medicare is trying to curb the ridiculous amounts of over-utilization that rehab facilities have provided by changing to a new payment model called the Patient Driven Payment Model, or PDPM. It reimburses the rehab companies based on a patient’s condition and what care they need.
Once again, it sounds great, but what happened is that therapy no longer factors in as heavily for reimbursement. So rehab companies have been laying off therapists left and right to further improve their profit margins. Some therapists even report that occupational therapy has been made optional in order to minimize therapy expenses by the facility. This is why therapists are starting to demand unions and more therapists are starting to create posts like this one…
However, more and more therapists are starting to change the rehab landscape by starting independent, in-home, outpatient therapy businesses to help patients receive the rehab care they need in the convenience of their home. Companies, such as Mobile Rehab, provide the needed physical therapy without the corporate mentality of many rehab facilities – but that may be a tremendous understatement. By cutting out the rehab corporations, physical therapists are free to provide the care that they truly know is needed. Patients receive one-on-one care from experienced physical therapists – they aren’t thrown into a group therapy session or left to linger on an exercise machine.
It’s not your job to know about the wreck that is our healthcare system in America, but you should know that you have the right to choose your therapy provider, and now you have even more options as companies like Mobile Rehab pop up across the country from all the therapists that have had enough of corporations pressuring them to play games and take advantage of insurance systems.
You can learn more at these links…