As a participant of the marcus evans National Healthcare CXO Summit Spring 2015, Jason Zachariah, Senior Vice President, Operations, Hospital Rehabilitation Services for RehabCare recently discussed the value of rehab in the hospital setting ahead of next year’s summit. The National Healthcare CXO Summit is an invitation-only forum that brings together health care executives and solution providers to focus on key drivers that are shaping the health care industry. Read the National Healthcare CXO interview with Jason below:

The Importance of Coordinated Post-Acute Services: Creating a Competitive Advantage Through Transitional Rehabilitation Services

How could hospitals provide better rehabilitation in the acute hospital setting?

Rehabilitation outcome measurement in the med/surg setting is minimal today. Hospitals need to do a better job of understanding what could be a good clinical outcome. Few hospitals are managing or measuring this effectively. For example, often, doctors and nurses do not understand the value of early ambulation for some patients, which may result in longer-term debilitation and increased lengths of stay. In other cases, relatively scarce and expensive therapist resources are used to provide services that could be provided by appropriately trained lower level staff. This leads to higher costs per patient and longer times to delivery.

What are these lost opportunities you mentioned?

Both missed revenue and cost savings opportunities. If hospitals can better measure their performance, they could gain a competitive advantage in the minds of patients, physicians and payers. Knowing their outcomes in these settings will also enable them to deliver care more efficiently by ensuring the right care is delivered by the appropriate caregivers at the right time.

Could this focus make hospitals more competitive?

With the movement towards healthcare reform, in both the private pay and Medicare realms, the idea is to provide high-quality care in as cost-effective a manner as possible.

Rehabilitation can even start prior to the hospital admission. If a hospital is sophisticated around pre-rehabilitation, they can prepare the patient for a more successful outcome prior to surgery. If hospitals can really capture that value through the whole continuum, it would put them at an advantage. This is a patient-satisfier, a family-satisfier, and a surgeon and physician-satisfier, as they want to see the work they put into each patient maximized and leading to the right outcome. This would give the organization a distinct advantage over others.

What is the best way of achieving this competitive advantage?

By forming a partnership with an organization such as RehabCare, hospitals can optimize their rehabilitation services clinically, operationally and financially. Most hospitals try to predict costs around nursing care, but rehab can add a lot of variance, as it depends on the acuity level, and the mobility and rehabilitation requirements of the patient. Forming a partnership would drive improved patient outcomes and bring an added level of cost management and predictability.

About the National Healthcare CXO Summit Spring 2015
The 12th National Healthcare CXO Summit is the premium forum bringing senior level healthcare executives and solution providers together. The Summit will take place at the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa in Palm Beach, Florida from May 17-19, 2015. Visit the event website here.