P.T. Maintenance Services

by Chris
(Chicago, IL)

Chris's Question:

Can a home health care agency provide on going maintenance services for a patient with a chronic need for therapy services?

Marcia's Answer:

The home health agency can do business however they want to do business but I think your question is: Will the home health agency be reimbursed by Medicare or Insurance for providing ongoing maintenance services.

Although not my area of expertise, to be reimbursed by Medicare, there must be a skilled need, a doctor's order and the patient must be home bound.

You used the word "maintenance" - no, Medicare will not cover maintenance therapy. You also mentioned a chronic "need" for therapy. Need can be interpreted as short or long term... since home health care is short term, a home health agency will likely need to teach the patient or caregivers how to care for the patient, help with a home exercise program, range of motion program etc.

If there are no caregivers and this chronic need persists, I would wonder if the patient is safe living alone. I have also hunted down transportation for similar patients to get to out patient therapy.

There are so many variables in home care, and really, a lot of patients DO have a chronic need for therapy!

I would consult the CMS website and search out your question for the ultimate answer since I'm a physical therapist and not a Medicare Law attorney.

I have written Wheelchair Freedom: Get Help. Get Up. Get Out. for chronic needs patients who would like to progress their exercise programs but don't know how.

Tell your patients to brag about you!

Or have them submit a home health agency reviewso others know how great your home health agency is!

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