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A new payment method for Medicare providers is making it harder for some home health care patients to receive physical, occupational, or speech therapy. Under the new system, providers are refusing to cover some therapy services.

On January 1, 2020, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) instituted a new way of paying home health care providers, called the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM). Previously, provider payments were based on the amount of therapy delivered. The PDGM requires payments to be based on a complicated formula that takes into account a patient’s medical condition, the extent to which the patient is impaired, and whether the patient was hospitalized. In addition, CMS now pays providers in 30-day periods of care, rather than the earlier 60-day periods.