National Physiatry to Participate in HEALTHTAC East Virtual Conference March 30-31
CORAL GABLES, FL–Data is taking on an unprecedented importance across senior living levels of care, especially in transitional care because of rising acuity and more chronically ill residents moving in. New data available for physiatry is a game-changer for skilled nursing facilities (SNF).
“SNF administrators everywhere continue to wrestle with how to keep readmission percentages low for short term sub-acute rehab patients while simultaneously complying with shorter lengths of stay, and this has been a dilemma,” said Glen Rundell, CEO, National Physiatry, who will make a presentation at the HEALTHTAC East Virtual conference March 30-31 regarding metrics and data showing how a physiatrist improves outcomes.
Physiatrists are optimally suited to achieve the highest functional outcome for patients at the least financial cost. They are medical doctors specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R). They diagnose and treat pain; restore maximum function lost through injury, illness or disabling conditions; treat the whole person rather than just the problem area; lead a team of medical professionals; provide non-surgical treatments; and explain a patient’s medical problems and treatment/prevention plan.
“The metrics and data our team has accumulated over the last 12-18 months is proven and true,” said Rundell. “Before, we were trying to tell people what it would look like after a physiatrist is put in place with rehospitalizations declining, patients discharge rates increasing and length of stay decreasing. Now we can show them this data which, although incremental, clearly shows improvement—all while patient admissions keep increasing.”
Rundell said they had to determine how to get this data, which is a composite of about a dozen facilities across the country.
“Some people install carpet. I install physiatrists who are specialists in rehab at no cost to skilled nursing facilities, often within Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) or Life Plan Communities,” said Rundell. “We brought physicians and new client facilities together, then began to measure progress at those facilities for our study, while continuing to add physicians in other places. While we can’t disclose locations, we now can share our own true data showing improvement following placement of our physiatrists.”
Originally formed in order to improve the rehab process for sub-acute post-op patients, National Physiatry has grown from physician providers with a single purpose into an organization with many services that improve patient care, doctor life/work balance and the overall improvement of SNF effectiveness, patient outcomes and referrals through marketing. Happy and satisfied patients, primary care physicians and hospitals promote increased referrals.
As numbers climb with an aging population—triple the number projected of new, active Medicare patients that may or may not need treatment, but nevertheless a huge number of potential patients— Rundell predicts it’s perfect timing for physiatrists, many looking for jobs and trying to get into systems, at a time when SNFs may need them most.
“CCRCs and Life Plan communities have aging residents moving along the continuum of care and new residents entering assisted living and skilled nursing centers at a later age with higher acuity—many see their already large skilled nursing centers as one of their largest problems in the future, because they have no physician on site,” Rundell explained.
COVID-19 and its “no touching” precautions has exposed more people to the benefits of telemedicine, and with telerehab still fairly new, Rundell sees that growing, as well.
“We can also do telerehab with home health, for example, those with a COPD issue, those in short-term rehab or then back wherever they live. We can discharge a patient, put them back in their home and have a physiatrist monitor them every day or every other day,” Rundell said. “This is super new, but people have to be thinking about the future and going forward. We’re talking about what’s going on now with COVID-19, patient health and outcomes.”
“National Physiatry provides physiatrists—rehabilitation physicians—as consultants at no cost to SNFs,” Rundell emphasized. “We hire the doctors; they’re not independent contractors. When we present a physiatrist for final approval, that doctor is ready to come aboard and has already met with the rehab team, director of nursing, executive director and primary care physicians prior to the physiatrist’s start date.”
“We are a full-service practice management company and take care of all the day-to-day administration and operations that a SNF would have to do—and many can’t afford a full-time physiatrist. We handle the interviewing process with extensive background checks and credentialing, payroll, compliance review, physician medical documentation and physician/team education,” Rundell added. “Timely patient outcome reports are all included with our management program, allowing the physiatrist to focus on rehab plans and improved patient care. Our physiatrists can really focus on exclusive customer service with each patient, re-hospitalization reduction, help with marketing and census building, and it becomes a differentiation of services offered by the SNFs.”
Based in Coral Gables, FL, National Physiatry’s mission is to consistently provide high-quality patient care through their Physician Led Rehab Program throughout the nation. National Physiatry’s vision is to consistently improve patient care by providing physiatry physician services for short-term sub-acute rehab units, at no cost to the facility.