Disabled Patients Will Benefit From Medicare Change

WASHINGTON (October 23, 2012)--Lawyers representing Medicare patients say the Obama administration has agreed to a change in Medicare that would help people with severe chronic illnesses like Alzheimer's keep receiving rehabilitation services, even if they're not getting better.

The proposed agreement filed with a federal judge in Vermont would allow Medicare patients to continue to receive physical and occupational therapy and other services at home or in a nursing home so that they can remain stable, said Gill Deford, a lawyer with the Center for Medicare Advocacy.

That has been a problem for thousands of patients because of a longstanding Medicare policy that says they must show improvement to keep getting rehabilitation.

Deford's group and other organizations challenged it in a nationwide class action suit.

Administration officials would not comment because the settlement is still pending.


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