Assisted living direct to skilled nursing for physical therapy. Any way to do this and get Medicare to pay?

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My mother in-law is in an assisted living facility in Ohio. She is has been falling frequently now. So much so that the facility and her doctor recommend that she go to a skilled nursing facility short term for physical therapy. They said she needs therapy beyond what they can supply where she now lives.

She has good supplemental insurance, but I have been told that that insurance will only kick in after 20 days and that Medicare will cover the first 20 days. However I am also being told that Medicare will only pay if she is being released from a 3 day stay at a hospital to the skilled nursing facility.

Does anyone know any way around this? We cannot afford to pay for 20 days of skilled nursing on private pay. Seems a shame. Guess they want to wait till she has to fall and break a hip before they will help her.

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You could see if a rehab hospital might accept her - some of the "community" ones have mostly people with strokes and deconditioning rather than major trauma.
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Medicare should cover it, and if it is NOT covered, you should be getting an ABN (Advanced Beneficiary Notice) of non-coverage.
Please note, that once she leaves the AL, state law requires that the facility evaluate her prior to readmission. My MIL was in a SNF/Rehab when she had yet another stroke. The AL said she won't be allowed to return. So when the PT benefits ran out, she became a long-term case. She stayed in the same building, just moved to the other end of the hall.
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