The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting hospital operations across the care continuum and forcing facilities to shift their focus to account for changes in the patients they admit. Many hospitals are impacted in their ability to administer care due to staffing shortages resulting from illness or furlough. For many rehabilitation departments, margins were already thin before the pandemic. These facilities are experiencing even greater difficulties today due to a decrease in admissions.
Once the current environment begins to normalize, rehabilitation operations will need to be positioned for success. Since reimbursements are dependent on a facility’s ability to deliver effective care and create favorable outcomes, how can rehabilitation departments transform themselves to reach “best-in-class” status – achieving operational efficiency and maximizing revenue to enable long-term success?
Leadership is Key
Even before COVID-19, many rehabilitation departments experienced a flat or declining reimbursement model coupled with the high cost of managing therapists. In this blog, we’ll take a look at how one hospital achieved a positive impact of more than $900K in their rehabilitation operations in the first year alone.
A 329-bed medical center in the Midwest was seeing a steady decline in its rehabilitation service line revenue, patient visits and related income. Hospital leadership wanted to improve these factors and provide comprehensive services along with additional specialty programs.
Like most integrated delivery networks, the hospital was an established, local healthcare provider. However, its rehabilitation leadership needed to access supplemental expertise covering:
- Revenue growth solutions
- Marketing knowledge
- Specialty program development for:
- Lymphedema rehabilitation
- Women’s pelvic floor health
- Oncology rehabilitation
- Vestibular rehabilitation
- Parkinson’s rehabilitation
To meet its goals, hospital leadership chose to partner with Comprehensive Pharmacy Services (CPS) and tap into its rehabilitation expertise and strategies to:
- Achieve measurable operational and clinical outcomes
- Grow financial resources
- Recruit and hire additional clinicians and specialists
- Build relationships with physicians and referral sources
- Implement a collaborative rehabilitation model
- Develop a culture of accountability
- Utilize social media platforms and traditional marketing
- Increase management of home health entities to improve access for occupational, speech and physical therapies
By engaging CPS, the hospital rehabilitation center generated significant results in the first year alone:
- Patient visits up by 13%
- Billable units grew by 12%
- New patients increased by 9%
- Staff efficiency improved by over 9% from baseline
- Bottom line net revenue achieved increased +$911,000
Rehabilitation services saw improvements in management systems implementation, efficient care delivery outcomes, better marketing strategies, expanded compliance and regulatory education and revenue growth.