The Maze of Medicare
Sometimes it amazes me (no pun intended) how I stumble on this information. I shouldn’t have to stumble. This information should be readily available and it’s not. I hope that, through this blog, you will pause and ask questions when you encounter a situation so you can learn about your loved one’s Medicare benefits in a more expedient manner than I have.
My dad was on Medicare Part A last fall after he came back from rehab after his hip surgery. He was getting physical therapy and nursing services for wound care. When he went into the hospital this last time, I learned about a specialized Physical Therapy practice that had particular expertise in Parkinson’s so I made a note to myself that when he came home, I would sign him up for their services. What I learned was that because they came into the facility, they fell under “Home Healthcare Services” according to Medicare, which falls under Part B.
You cannot access Part B services at the same time as Part A services.
So I had him discharged from Part A because I really wanted to try out Dynamic Home Therapy, the specialized therapy provider. I was not disappointed. They provided superb therapy, both physical and occupational therapy services and went even further to suggest that he look into a different wheelchair. I was exceedingly pleased I had made that decision. Once he was discharged from Dynamic Home Therapy, I figured I would eventually move him back onto Part A for skilled nursing services as he always seems to have a skin tear that requires nursing services.
Last week, I finally got the paperwork together and today, the nurse stopped by to tell me that she would be starting next week and would be providing him with wound care.
And this is the KEY THING SHE SAID: She casually mentioned that when she opens a new “incident report” it comes automatically with 20 sessions of Physical Therapy!
There is no dollar limit like there is with Part B but there is a 20 session limit PER INCIDENT. She can re-certify him every time there is a new incident and, in my dad’s case, simply having Parkinson’s would qualify him to stay on because there is no longer a need to show improvement. And, he pretty much always has some sort of skin tear so nursing would always be able to re-certify him for that. This means he will have ongoing physical therapy. There is an in-house therapy team right where he lives which is convenient. It’s not the specialized therapy that Dynamic Home Therapy provided me, but I look at it as a way for him to continue to get structured one-on-one exercise 3 times a week, compliments of Medicare Part A.
Your welcome for the information.