Press Release

Statement on Final Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Prospective Payment System Rule

Rick Pollack
Executive Vice President

August 1, 2007

In its final rule, CMS swept away a vital health care option for thousands of patients in need of medical rehabilitation.  Along with the so-called 75% Rule, today's rule further restricts access to inpatient rehabilitation care, forcing what are often a hospital's most vulnerable patients to bear the brunt of the fully implemented 75% Rule and the expiration of the "comorbidities" provision in 2008.

CMS had the opportunity to make the comorbidities provision permanent, helping rehabilitation patients with complications get the care they need in the most appropriate setting.  This provision within the 75% Rule allows very sick patients suffering from a major comorbidity in one of 13 qualifying conditions, such as a cardiac patient who had a stroke, to count under the Rule.  CMS' own analysis shows that in just one year alone, approximately 31,000 patients would no longer qualify for inpatient rehabilitation care without this provision.  Where does CMS think these patients will go to get the specialized care they need?

Health policy should help patients get the right care at the right time, and in the right setting.  Unfortunately, CMS has taken big step backward, further restricting patients from getting the care they need.   These changes will further push the nation's specialized rehabilitation hospitals and units to the brink.

America's hospitals are extremely disappointed with CMS' decision and we'll continue to fight to preserve access to rehabilitation hospitals and units for the patients and communities they serve.

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.

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