Vitality to You: PT, OT, and Speech Therapies at Home Covered by Medicare Part B

Vitality to You: PT, OT, and Speech Therapies at Home Covered by Medicare Part B
By Ami Sarasvati, CSA, CDP

The exploding trend of seniors receiving home care services sets the stage for a parallel trend being rolled out by Genesis HealthCare: in-home physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Home care has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade and is going through an explosive growth pattern as the baby boomers begin to require services to remain at home.

Genesis, one of the nation's largest skilled nursing and rehabilitation therapy providers, has over 400 centers around the US. They also recognize the growing trend in seniors aging at home and are rolling out a landmark program called Vitality to You. This program is being set up in "pods" which will cover territories of several Genesis properties in geographic clusters.

[From their website] Genesis Rehab Services offers Vitality to You to allow you to continue your medically-necessary outpatient rehabilitation therapy services in the comfort and privacy of your home. Instead of providing care in a clinic, our licensed and credentialed therapists travel to provide treatments in private residences as well as in assisted or independent living facilities. Unlike home health agencies covered under Medicare Part A, you do not need to be homebound or qualify for skilled care. As long as you demonstrate medical necessity for physical, occupational and/or speech therapy services, Vitality at Home may be covered by Medicare Part B and other private insurance. [end]

Lindsay Vertullo, OTR/L, Director of the Vitality to You covering six New England states, clarifies for us, "The client does not need to be affiliated with a Genesis Healthcare facility or with prior Genesis Rehab therapy services.  We are able to evaluate patient referrals from our home care partners, physician groups, private organizations, and from patients themselves who have identified a decline in function."

The program will expand to the NH seacoast area in the late fall of 2015. PT/OT/Speech Therapy has been available by select small PT/OT agencies, but with a conglomerate like Genesis launching a program nationwide, these services could potentially become the "norm" for those needing therapy.

Vitality to You presents a solution for seniors by eliminating the steps of having to arrange for transportation, additional support, and coordination to an outpatient clinic. These steps can be prohibitive and could potentially be the cause for some folks to neglect following through in receiving the services they need.

This in-home program is a great partner program for our home care clients of Visiting Angels needing PT, OT, or speech therapy. For more information, visit www.genesisrehab.com/vitalitytoyou.aspx or call 603-296-3713.

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