What happens when a patient needs continuous therapy? When a patient would surely regress without intervention from a licensed clinician? This is where ‘Maintenance therapy’ comes in.
While Home Health is typically short term, meant to fill in the gaps after a surgery, or increase independence until a patient can safely begin outpatient, maintenance therapy is for the ‘one offs.’
This can sound scary to clinicians and agencies alike. The clinical team may worry that skilled care cannot be properly documented if a patient plateaus – if the therapy provided is only keeping the patient from slowly diminishing. A relevant worry to be sure. But we only need to look back to Medicare to see that this is untrue:
If the patient’s clinical condition requires the specialized skill, knowledgeCMS Regulations and Guidance R144BP
and judgment of a qualified therapist to design or establish a maintenance program, related to the patient’s illness or injury, in order to ensure the safety of the patient and the effectiveness of the program, such services are covered.
With Medicare’s proposal to allow maintenance therapy be completed by Physical Therapy Assistants (PTAs), it is important to keep maintenance therapy patients in mind. Medicare is continually looking back at this classification and expanding it to ensure the health of the population. So make use of the coverage given to these patients.
And above all, remember: All patients have the right to receive medically necessary services! Improvement or not.
Contact us today to learn more about the ways in which Lifespan is ensuring patients of all diagnoses, co-morbidities, and therapy needs are maintaining their quality of life.