UnitedHealth abruptly reversed restrictions on Medicare rehab care

UnitedHealth Group used secret rules to deny rehabilitation care to specific groups of seriously ill patients, including those in nursing homes or with cognitive impairment. The company’s internal documents describe the parameters for clinician referrals for rehab care, but patients and doctors were unaware of these criteria. The restrictions were in place until November when managers abruptly stopped following them due to increased federal scrutiny. The decision to end the rules coincided with investigations into UnitedHealth’s practices of pressuring employees to cut off care for sick and elderly people. These actions have raised concerns about the company’s Medicare Advantage plans and their denials of medical services.

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