For years, confusion has surrounded the conditions under which older adults can receive physical, occupational and speech therapy covered by Medicare.
Services have been terminated for some seniors, such as those with severe cases of multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease, because therapists said they weren’t making sufficient progress. Others, including individuals recovering from strokes or traumatic brain injuries, have been told that they reached an annual limit on services and didn’t qualify for further care.
Neither explanation stands up to scrutiny. Medicare does not require that older adults demonstrate improvement in order to receive ongoing therapy. Nor does it limit the amount of medically necessary therapy, for the most part.