Questions Worth Asking
Now, more than ever, it is critical that providers achieve excellent patient outcomes for their short-term rehab patients. This includes both an excellent patient experience for “consumers,” as well as efficient and effective stays that translate to competitive lengths of stay, episodic cost, and rehospitalization rates. Short-term rehab is likely your organization’s most well-recognized deliverable, and, as such, it is judged by referral sources and your consumer market as representative of the quality of your enterprise. Successful operators reap the benefits of these excellent outcomes with improved standing in their markets, resulting in increased census. They also reap the rewards of value-based purchasing incentives which can amount to as much as 2% of their total Medicare Part A reimbursement.
If you are noting erosion of referral patterns, it may be time to assess key performance metrics that can indicate what may be at their root cause. Consider if your community is experiencing any of the following:
- Erosion of short-term quality measures. This is the most-current performance data providers have access to, and can be readily obtained from CMS’ Nursing Home Compare (medicare.gov/care-compare);
- Changes in patient/family satisfaction, complaints to nursing or administration, or premature discharge or transfer to alternate skilled nursing centers;
- Reduction in MDS Section GG gains;
- Increased incidence of patient falls or pressure ulcers;
- Changes in rehospitalization rates and/or successful discharge to home.
Any of these can indicate your patients are receiving a different level of therapy services (minutes of care, number of days per week, or consistency of services) than in the past.
Providers who are noting these changes would be well-advised to ask for reporting to confirm if there have been any changes in the delivery of rehab services.
CMS’ therapy minute delivery reports suggest that some rehabilitation providers are dramatically reducing the amount of therapy provided. While these providers may be making decisions on the basis of their own financial outcomes, HealthPRO Heritage continues to honor the trust our clients have placed in us to represent them well by ensuring excellent patient outcomes that support the overall success of their businesses.
Our programs’ outcomes are a testament that we have remained focused on delivering quality outcomes despite the implementation of PDPM (which took away any prescriptive guidance as to the amount therapy patients receive) and the industry-wide ramifications of the COVID pandemic. The graph below illustrates our continuing focus on patient outcomes and our ongoing reassessment of our clinical utilization pathways for effectiveness. The consistency of our clients’ Section GG average mobility and self-care improvement scores are statistically significant.
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HealthPRO Heritage offers a broad range of supports, services, and solutions to ensure our clients’ success. Our enterprise is stronger than ever, supported by a solid and stable leadership team and newly capitalized to help our clients take advantage of today and tomorrow’s opportunities.
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