Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Number of Patients Declining in Specialty Hospitals

The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council released a report today that said there are fewer patients being treated at Pennsylvania's rehabilitation hospitals and long-term acute care hospitals. The report cites the enforcement of a federal rule as a primary reason. The rule, passed in May of 2004, requires 60 percent of all patients at rehabilitation hospitals to be treated for one or more of 13 specific conditions. These conditions include brain injury, major trauma and neurological disorders.

Containment Council Spokesperson Joe Martin said the rule was passed to be more cost-efficient. He said many patients who are turned down from rehabilitation hospitals are turning to general hospitals as an alternative. General hospitals give care at a cheaper cost than the rehabilitation and long-term acute care hospitals. More than 50,000 were discharged from these specialty hospitals in the 2007 fiscal year.

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