Sen. Jeff Sessions visits rehab hospital in Phenix City

benw@ledger-enquirer.comSeptember 7, 2013 

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) made a Friday visit to the Regional Rehabilitation Hospital in Phenix City. While at the 48-bed hospital in Phenix City, Sessions took a tour with CEO Jill Jordan, who voiced concerns about proposed legislation in the fiscal 2014 budget that would affect access to care for inpatient rehabilitation hospitals. Jordan said the hospital wants to keep the 60 percent rule in place because it will not limit the types of patients and the amount of patients that can come to the hospital.

“They say 60 percent of our patients have to meet 13 diagnoses,” Jordan said. “If they don’t, we can’t admit any other patients.”

Proposed legislation would make the standard tougher by raising it to 75 percent.

“It would be detrimental, and it would block access to Medicare beneficiaries who need our care,” Jordan said. “They would have to go to a less intensive nursing home setting.”

About 80 percent of the patients at the hospital are on Medicare, the government’s program that cares for the disabled and elderly. Sessions said hospitals like the one in Phenix City and across Alabama are treated unfairly under the formula.

“We made some fixes about five or six years ago, but it’s gotten worse again,” Sessions said. “That is a big issue we are working on.”

Congress may have to step in and be counted on the issue, he said.

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