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Former Congressman Hyde Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom While Receiving Medical Rehabilitation at Marianjoy

WHEATON, Ill., Nov. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Former Congressman Henry J. Hyde was among eight people who today received the nation's top civilian honor -- the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Bush said that the United States is "a better country" because of Mr. Hyde's 32 years of public service.

Mr. Hyde watched the ceremony live from Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital where he is currently receiving medical rehabilitation following open heart surgery. Mr. Hyde was surrounded by family, friends, and political dignitaries who were on hand to congratulate him, including Congressman Peter Roskam, Congresswoman Judy Biggert, and Congressman Danny Davis.

According to Marianjoy President and CEO, Kathleen Yosko, care such as the kind that Mr. Hyde is now receiving is being threatened by the "75% Rule," a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rule, which places unreasonable limitations on inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs). "We are honored to host this celebration for Congressman Hyde. However, it exemplifies a serious threat to rehabilitation hospitals that are now forced to use criteria specified by the 75% Rule to determine an individual patient's admission eligibility rather than the actual medical condition of the patient," said Yosko. "Well over 4,000 of the rehab beds in the United States have already been eliminated, and more will certainly be gone in the near future. We have been unable to admit certain patients whose diagnoses fall outside of the rule's parameters because it requires that 75% of Medicare and non-Medicare patients fall within a list of 13 conditions, leaving many individuals unable to access the rehabilitation services they can only receive in an inpatient acute rehabilitation facility such as Marianjoy."

Mr. Hyde is one of more than a half million individuals who receive medical rehabilitation annually at inpatient rehabilitation hospitals. To comply with the 75% Rule, hospitals must often deny Medicare and private insurance patients access to medical rehabilitation, despite medical necessity and functional deficits that can be addressed through intensive inpatient rehabilitation.

"Unfortunately patients such as Mr. Hyde may be denied access to the medical rehabilitation they need unless this arbitrary and overly restrictive ruling is overturned," said Yosko.

Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital is a nonprofit 120-bed teaching hospital in Wheaton, Illinois, dedicated to the delivery of physical medicine and rehabilitation.

SOURCE Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital
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