Archives : 2012 : February
Infinity Rehab Partners Shine in Oregon and Washington Nursing Home Rankings from U.S. News & World Report
Now this is news worth celebrating: 10 out of the 27 Oregon nursing homes selected for the U.S. News & World Report 2012 “Best of” Rankings are facilities Infinity Rehab partners with and provides therapy services. Click the name of the facility to read the report.
According the U.S. News & World Report website: “All of the homes shown received 5 stars, the highest overall rating, from the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. A facility’s overall rating is geared to its performance in health inspections, nurse staffing, and medical care. Homes are ranked in tiers according to their star ratings in the three individual areas. Within each tier, the order is alphabetical.”
We also had six wonderful friends in Washington that made the list:
Way to go to all the staff at each of the facilities for their hard work and continued commitment to improving the lives of each person they serve!
The American Physical Therapy Association recently recognized two Infinity Rehab clinicians as newly board-certified clinical specialists in geriatric Physical Therapy.
Heather Hessler, PT, DPT, GCS, CSCS, received a doctorate in physical therapy in 2006 from Duke University. Heather is the lead physical therapist and Director of Rehab at Avamere Rehab of Newport in Newport, Oregon.
Derek Fenwick, PT, MBA, GCS, received his Master’s in Physical Therapy in 2003 from Saint Louis University. Derek is currently an Area Rehab Director in Oregon, managing rehab operations and representing Infinity Rehab’s partners in independently-owned and managed facilities across the state.
Heather and Derek join an exclusive group. There are only 22 geriatric certified specialists in the state of Oregon.
This recognition occurred at the American Physical Therapy Association’s Combined Sections Meeting in Chicago, IL, in February 2012.
Congratulations Heather and Derek! We are proud to have you in our Infinity family!
Today’s blog comes from the mind of an Infinity Rehab Director of Rehab – Cathi Lamoreux, CCC/SLP. Cathi oversees rehabilitation services for several therapy departments around Spokane, WA. The therapy teams she manages serve multidimensional senior populations, which requires her and her teams to adopt flexible thinking patterns and have resources assembled and ready to use at a moments notice. In this article, Cathi strikes a chord that might be familiar to many therapists who serve an aging population and have switched to a new facility setting.
How were we to know just how messy this rehab business really is? You go to school, graduate, interview for the first job, get yourself into something you have absolutely no idea what is in store, either figure it out quickly or leave for other pastures. Then, repeat.
Those of us who land in the world of skilled nursing find our niche with our little band of patients dealing with a multitude of fractures, neurological disorders, and aging issues. We settle into a routine of ambulation, transfers, ADLs, equipment needs, cognition, swallowing, and strengthening. We occasionally see people go home, or at least move onto a lesser level of care, but we often see people who arrive on our doorsteps with an acute diagnosis remain as long-term residents.
The pressure felt by the therapists is applied more frequently from afar – Medicare regulations, insurance company protocols, productivity expectations, etc. We get into a “been there, done that” routine which serves us and our patients well. We get good at what we do, attend continuing ed to enhance our knowledge-base and skills, learn the regulatory ropes, and put in a good day’s work.
Fast forward to a new contract. You are asked to be a team member in a new facility for your company and you accept. After all, skilled nursing is skilled nursing, right? You arrive at the new facility full of hope, anticipation, and confidence. But, very quickly you learn that not all skilled nursing facilities are created the same.
Your new facility is in a Continuing Care Retirement Campus. This facility is really its own little village. There are independent seniors living in their own homes who travel, play golf, hike, drive cars, go to the theater, volunteer. Heck, some even are still working! There are independent seniors living in lovely apartments and eat dinner prepared by a European-trained chef in an elegant dining room. There are seniors who live in three different assisted living settings, requiring a range of just a little extra help to a locked dementia area with 24-hour supervision. Then, there is the skilled nursing area. Finally! Something you recognize!
But, do you?
It isn’t business as usual because being its own little village means that the skilled nursing beds are for residents of THIS community, not the greater community. What happens when there are empty beds? Nothing. You just wait until someone from your village needs that level of service. It doesn’t really matter that they are Med B, private pay or Med A. What’s a therapist to do?
Looking around you realize that there is a vast, untapped pool of people who just need little tune-ups, rehab for broken wrists from falling off their bicycles, people still living independently with progressive neurological disorders, rehab after elective surgery or recovering from an illness which wasn’t severe enough to require going to skilled nursing.
Before you know it, you are running a very robust, active outpatient practice. But, wait a minute! You haven’t used this body of knowledge and skills for a long time and this wasn’t really what you were expecting. For some of the original team members, this wasn’t what they expected and they have moved on. But, for the team members who have gelled into a little band of troopers, this is what it is all about.
First of all, we feel like we are leading by example. We saw an opportunity and are making the best of it. We have a good balance in our practices and it keeps us on our toes. We have people who fit us into their busy schedules because they see the value in our services and tell us so. We have developed new programs specifically targeted for our outpatient residents. We have turned what appeared to be a negative – empty skilled nursing beds – into a positive by helping people stay active and healthy rather than letting them quickly deteriorate and eventually require a higher level of care.
We could conclude that we are our own worst enemy by perhaps contributing to the lower census in the skilled nursing section because we help people stay active and in place longer. Like any small village, word travels fast. Word of mouth keeps our robust outpatient practice hopping. Word of mouth also helps when there is a need for skilled nursing. For some, they saw us before they got there and are thrilled to see a familiar face come through the door. Another benefit of working in this setting is that we get to follow people when they go home, unlike the traditional stand-alone skilled nursing facility that has to hand over the in-home treatment to another agency.
Is it easy in this reimbursement climate to run primarily a Med B practice with expectations driven by Med A standards? No. But, for those people who we have helped, we mean the world to them and that is all that truly matters.
As health care reform changes the landscape for acute and post-acute care, one of the first priorities is to reduce re-hospitalizations of Medicare patients. Up to 25% of patients discharged from Hospitals re-admit within 30 days. It is estimated that 75% of those re-admissions are avoidable with more attention to care transitions.
Infinity Rehab is assembling powerful resources to assist their clients in reducing re-hospitalizations. The first step is this: providing training for our clients on the Interact™ System.
What is INTERACT?
INTERACT (Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers) is a quality improvement program that focuses on the management of acute change in resident condition. It includes clinical and educational tools and strategies for use in every day practice in long-term care facilities. For more information about the INTERACT tool, visit www.interact2.net.
Infinity Rehab will record a 2-part web training seminar on the INTERACT tool, available February 15th 2012. In-person training for our client facilities will be offered at our Northwest Symposium, March 11th at the Red Lion Jantzen Beach in Portland Oregon, and again on April 14, 2012 at the Holiday Inn in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.
For more information on either viewing the web training or attending the in person training, please contact us at 1-888-75-REHAB, or click here.
An advertisement touting the therapy services at Good Samaritan Society – Spokane Valley in Spokane, Washington recently ran in an issue of Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living. And it’s pretty hard to disagree with the ad’s opening line:
“The Rehab Clinic at Good Samaritan Society-Spokane Valley is dedicated to helping rehabilitate you as a whole person – mind, body, and spirit.”
“The Rehab Clinic” it mentions is none other than our wonderful Infinity Rehab therapists who work there. We are fully aware that the intention of the advertisement is to market the therapy services to the local community, but it is always a good feeling to read about the “dedicated and caring” rehabilitation services we provide at every Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing facilities we contract with across ten states. The same goes for every Continuing Care Retirement Campus, Acute Rehabilitation Clinics, and our many Outpatient Clinics.
Below is the rest of the advertisement.
Good Samaritan partners with Infinity Rehab for inpatient and outpatient therapy needs; providing both clinic-based and in-home rehabilitation programs. Infinity Rehab was established with the intention of focusing on comprehensive therapy for older adults and takes pride in providing high quality, clinically intensive, comprehensive care to the older adult population.
Physical, occupational, speech therapists, and a licensed social worker are available to meet patient needs. “Our goal is to maximize your quality of life and to work together to attain your therapy goals,” says Deanna Hawley – Physical Therapist and Director of Rehab. The Rehab Clinic is open to residents of Good Samaritan Society-Spokane Valley as well as those in the local community through outpatient therapy services.
The Rehab Clinic has a variety of specially designed adaptive equipment used in rehabilitation and wellness activities, providing an opportunity for both aerobic exercise and strength training. Additionally, a transitional living apartment – complete with a full kitchen, washer and dryer, bedroom, and bathtub – is available for patients to safely practice independent living before returning to their home.
The Rehab Clinic at Good Samaritan Society – Spokane Valley is designed to take the stress out of the rehabilitation process. The dedicated, caring and experienced staff works closely to meet the unique needs of each patient and return them quickly to their maximum ability and independence.