Durbin, Cassidy Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Support Leading Rehab Facilities

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) today introduced bipartisan legislation to support rehabilitation facilities that lead the nation in research, serve the highest need patients, and provide the most medical training to students.  U.S. Representatives Pete Olson (R-TX-22) and Gene Green (D-TX-29) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives today. 

“Facilities like the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago are leading the nation in bringing doctors and top researchers together to provide the highest quality care for patients with complex conditions.  This bill would help provide sustainable funding so that the most innovative institutions in the nation can continue to drive the field in research, treat complex patients, and educate the next generation of researchers and medical professionals,” said Durbin.

“This is about giving hope to people who have suffered brain injury, nerve damage, or other complex conditions,” said Cassidy.  “This bill will support the doctors and researchers who are providing the best evidence based treatments and help them share their knowledge with others so that more patients return to wholeness.”

In the United States, there are more than 1,100 Medicare-certified inpatient rehabilitation facilities.  Among these facilities are a small group of rehabilitation institutions that drive the future of rehabilitation care and medicine, as well as patient recovery.  This unique category of inpatient rehabilitation institutions conduct innovative research to advance the field of rehabilitation care, and treat the most complex conditions, such as traumatic brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, childhood disease, burns, and wartime injuries.  All of them are also not-for-profit or government-owned and serve a high volume of Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries. 

Specifically, the Preserving Rehabilitation Innovation Centers Act:

  • Defines “Rehabilitation Innovation Center” as a rehabilitation facility that provides care for patients with highly complex conditions, conducts multidisciplinary rehabilitation research, and sees a high number of Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Calls on the independent Medicare Payment Advisory Committee to conduct a study on the adequacy of current payment rates for Rehabilitation Innovation Centers.  As our federal health care system moves away from the fee-for-service payment model toward more value-based care, the study directed by this legislation will inform how Rehabilitation Innovation Centers should be reimbursed.