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The Boston Globe

Nation

Policy shift likely to allow more home health care access

WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands of people with chronic conditions and disabilities may find it easier to qualify for Medicare coverage of potentially costly home health care, skilled nursing home stays, and outpatient therapy under policy changes planned by the Obama administration.

In a proposed settlement of a nationwide class-action lawsuit, the administration has agreed to scrap a decades-old practice that required many beneficiaries to show a likelihood of medical or functional improvement before Medicare would pay for skilled nursing and therapy services.

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