Telehealth Helps Patients Avoid Rehab in Nursing Homes


Telehealth policies have loosened since the pandemic began, helping feed the surge in at-home recoveries. Medicare has relaxed guidelines for the kinds of patients eligible for services that make rehab at home possible, and many insurance plans now cover those services.

“A lot of people don’t realize, when you check into a hospital, you really need to check out what the discharge plan will be,” says Elaine Ryan, vice president for state advocacy and strategy at AARP. “When you’re discharged, the question is: Can you receive in-home rehabilitation? And the answer is yes. You don’t have to go into those centers.”

Avoiding the nursing home

Nursing homes “were fighting a PR battle” even before the coronavirus swept the U.S. and sickened more than 238,000 residents, says Fred Bentley, managing director of Avalere Health. The pandemic has made that PR problem “way, way worse.”

“We are going to find patients who

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