The benefits of having a dedicated rehabilitation partner.
COVID-19 has placed a heavy strain on America’s health system, leading many healthcare providers to enter into partnerships or management agreements for inpatient rehabilitation services. Russ Bailey, COO, and Mary Van de Kamp, Chief Administration Officer, both of Kindred Rehabilitation Services, explore how these strategic alliances are benefitting acute care hospitals.
Q: In the midst of a national health emergency, why can strategic partnerships now offer more key benefits and relief to hospitals than ever before?
Russ Bailey: Since the start of the pandemic, partnering with an inpatient rehab hospital or managing a unit has been a key strategy for our acute care partners because it allows them to focus locally on what they do best, which is delivering emergent care. These partnerships also ensure that acute care hospitals appropriately allocate resources, including beds, staff, and PPE, while maintaining proper quality and infection control processes as patients continue their recovery in different levels of hospital care.
Mary Van de Kamp: These partnerships also have allowed our acute care partners who were in the hotbed of the COVID-19 surges and experiencing bed shortages to quickly move patients who were ready for rehab beds much faster than even prior to the pandemic. This is due to constant communication about capacity levels and which patients were appropriate for a transition.
Q: Of all clinical services, what sets acute inpatient rehabilitation apart in providing a benefit through partnership to hospitals?
Bailey: The treatment criteria for patients in acute inpatient rehab is defined more than any other post-acute realm in terms of specific nursing and a medical model aligned with frequent physician visits. The partnership or management agreement allows not only physicians to see those patients but also hospital-specific physicians who are aligned with their care.
Van de Kamp: Furthermore, when patients move to acute inpatient rehab, function overrides almost everything once they are medically stable. Thus, the partnership enables hospitals to transition patients to a trusted and complementary care environment critical to their recovery.
Q: Is there any impact on clinical and quality outcomes under the partnership model?
Van de Kamp: Yes, the success of the partnership or management model is built on providing transparent, high-quality care with excellent outcomes. Until recently, post-acute rehab has been the only setting where the transparency of quality is clear to patients, families, physicians, staff, and payers. Our performance is benchmarked against other inpatient rehab units and post-acute care settings, allowing this space to have a unique public-facing accountability.
Q: For patients diagnosed with COVID-19, how do partnerships between hospitals and acute inpatient rehabilitation benefit their recovery?
Bailey: We have seen significant benefits for patients who were recovering from COVID-19 or in the midst of their recovery. Patients are able to move quickly and seamlessly to acute inpatient rehab, where they are mobilizing earlier, allowing for a quicker recovery and fewer downstream complications. In fact, patients are recovering and going home sooner than they would have before the pandemic. These partnerships also allow us to bring best practices and other shared experiences to all of our partners, which in turn improves patient outcomes.
For more information, visit www.Kindredrehab.com.
Mary Van de Kamp
Chief Administration Officer
Kindred Rehabilitation Services