When Kyle, 27, suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result
of a brain tumor, his doctors predicted he would never be himself again. Kyle
was bedridden and could not speak or move his limbs. It was assumed that Kyle
was not a fit for an inpatient rehabilitation facility, and he was advised to
transfer to a nursing facility from a long term acute care hospital (LTACH).
Determined to give her a husband a chance with intensive therapy, Kyle’s wife Sarah
sought rehabilitation treatment and connected with RehabCare's clinicians at
Mercy Health – Fairfield Hospital in Cincinnati.
What is required to be a great speech therapist? Above-average
intelligence, kindness and a team spirit – to name a few. As we honor
speech-language pathologists in May for Better Hearing and Speech Month, we
reflect on 12 qualities SLPs possess and use in their delivery of care.
The RehabCare Advocacy Network of therapists and our government relations team traveled to Capitol Hill last week for the 2014 AHCA/NCAL Congressional Briefing to discuss patient access to medically necessary therapies. The combined services of physical, occupational and speech therapies have the opportunity to provide significant savings to the Medicare program by reducing the risk of rehospitalization and improving functional abilities, but the provision of therapy continues to be threatened by regulatory measures such as Part B therapy caps, changes to group and concurrent therapy, coding changes and the application of the Medical Manual Review (MMR) and Multiple Procedure Payment Reduction policies.
Across all care settings, an interdisciplinary approach leads to better patient outcomes. This has long been the experience of RehabCare and other clinicians and is also the takeaway of a new position paper published by The American Geriatrics Society. The paper was produced by the Partnership for Health in Aging, a collection of over 30 organizations supported by the American Geriatrics Society who represent healthcare for older adults.
Throughout the entire healthcare delivery system – including acute and post-acute care – rehabilitation services are critical to achieve the goal of improving the well-being and physical abilities of each individual so that they may enjoy the highest quality of life possible. Regardless of care setting, the provision of physical and occupational therapies and speech-language pathology are an essential component in making recovery and wellness possible.
A recent Canadian study uncovered that dementia patients are at a heightened risk of death following hip fractures, Provider Magazine reports. The study, conducted over a seven-year period, shows that dementia patients account for “more than four-fifths of hip fractures in long term care centers and nearly one-quarter of hip fractures in the community” and that dementia is associated with an increased risk of death following surgery.
A recent study from Johns Hopkins University found that an
individual’s level of education may indicate how well someone will recover from
an acute, traumatic brain injury, reports CBS News. A patient’s “cognitive reserve”
refers to retained mental function after brain damage, and scientists have
discovered that one may retain more abilities the higher the amount of education
he or she has obtained.
Most of us familiar with rehabilitation know that occupational therapists are problem solvers who devise solutions to unprecedented problems with carrying out day-to-day tasks. But not everyone is aware that mental health also falls into the OT’s domain.
In celebration of Occupational Therapy Month, we’d like to highlight a lesser-discussed role of occupational therapy: assessing the patient’s mental health and addressing the psychological component of rehabilitation.
Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the “Improving Care for Vulnerable Older Citizens through Workforce Advancement Act of 2014” last week to establish six new demonstration projects in long-term care. Two of the proposed projects would allocate funds for the training of advanced certified nursing assistants. The idea is to empower these direct-care workers to take on “deeper clinical responsibilities” as well as promote smoother care transitions and reduce rehospitalizations. Participants in the programs would report on outcomes, employee satisfaction and rehospitalization rates.
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