Renacci bill aims to improve senior care

Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) introduced a bipartisan bill that would allow Medicare beneficiaries to seek rehabilitative care in skilled nursing facilities without a three-day hospital stay, which is currently required under law.

The Creating Access to Rehabilitation for Every Senior Act would protect patient-doctor relationships and remove bureaucratic red tape from the process, Renacci said.

“Beneficiaries in need of skilled nursing care are typically the frailest and oldest of the Medicare population, and they should not be shut out of these critical rehabilitation services due to Washington over-regulation,” Renacci said. “As a former operator and manager of long-term care facilities in northeast Ohio, I remain committed to finding bipartisan solutions that will allow Ohio seniors to receive the treatment they need at the time they need it – without Washington standing in the way.”

Removing the three-day hospital stay requirement would not increase the probability of a senior being admitted into a skilled nursing facility, according to a study by Brown University.

The study concluded that patients received better and more cost-effective care without the requirement in place.

“There is no question that the future of health care will be dependent on efficiency and quality,” JAG Healthcare CEO James Griffiths said. “It makes perfect sense to eliminate the three-day qualifying hospital stays for Medicare recipients because it will enable skilled nursing facilities and other providers along the continuum to provide services without the clumsy and in some cases unnecessary acute care stop. As our population ages, it makes no sense to require a costly and unnecessary acute care stay when beneficiaries need care.”