After contracting with RehabCare in 2002 to develop and manage an inpatient rehabilitation facility, Reid Hospital & Health Care Services administrators felt the hospital could manage the IRF on its own and opted to self-operate at the contract’s conclusion. Reid then built a new hospital, expanding its IRF from 17 to 20 beds.
With a turnover in key personnel and a brand new unit, Reid wanted to explore its options. “We wanted to continue to grow our volumes and offer this very valuable service to our community,” says Jennifer Ehlers, Reid’s vice president and chief quality officer. “We decided that we needed a partner with a large referral base to do so.”
Ehlers called in RehabCare, along with two of its competitors, to provide proposals. “RehabCare’s ability to be flexible on the risk-based payment model based upon certain volume levels in the unit, ability to provide ongoing quality metrics and their large referral base were the primary reasons we chose them,” says Ehlers. “Their status as a VHA supplier also played a role in our decision.”
From the time RehabCare began working with Reid’s IRF in May 2010, the supplier’s willingness to customize its post-acute rehabilitation program to suit the unit’s needs has impressed Ehlers, on issues ranging from staffing to information technology. “Oftentimes with RehabCare’s model, the social worker and admissions coordinator are RehabCare employees, but because we already had an IRF when we began working with RehabCare, we already had those employees in place,” she says. “Our employees didn’t want to make a transition, so they continue to be employed by Reid and RehabCare was agreeable to that.”
In addition, Reid already had an operations system in place that performed much like RehabCare’s when the two organizations began working together. “RehabCare demonstrated an effective work-around to pull the data
they needed from our current system,” says Ehlers.
In the months since RehabCare began working with Reid’s IRF, the improvements speak for themselves:
RehabCare’s staff has blended in so well at Reid that “they’re like any other member of our team, sharing in organizational goals and our lean initiatives,” says Ehlers. “They offer advice, education, training, resources and experienced people, but they’re never so intrusive that we don’t feel like this is our program. The program director is a member of our leadership and we fully think of her as an employee of Reid,
even though she’s not.”
Ehlers looks forward to what the future will bring with RehabCare’s involvement in Reid’s IRF. “RehabCare is very professional and flexible, they know their business well, and they’re willing to place themselves at financial risk in order to meet our objectives,” she says.
Reid Hospital & Health Care Services, with 237 beds, including a 20-bed inpatient rehabilitation facility and approximately 2,000 employees, recently opened a new hospital with a phenomenal healing environment and
state-of-the-art technology throughout. Reid’s Heart & Vascular Center’s heart surgery program received the highest rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, putting Reid’s program in the top 13% nationally.
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