The National Association of Rehabilitation Providers and Agencies Meeting is underway in Washinton D.C. It is the annual legislative meeting of this group of providers to hear regulatory updates. With a new administration in place and an economy that is challenged there are lots of pending changes in the future for healthcare providers. At the very least there is an aura of uncertainty.
NARA represents the “business” of rehab, it is an organization for business owners of rehab agencies, CORFs and other providers that serve the post acute care continuum. The focus of the opening sessios on Wednesday afternoon was on operations improvement and innovation in programs. Bob Thomas of Infinity Rehab lead a panel discussion with Jerry Goldstein (Lake Centre for Rehabilitation) and Jennifer Fischer (Tidewater Physical Therapy) on working with key operational metrics to guide organizations. In addition to presenting a “dashboard’ of metics that will assist rehab business owners, the panel presented a collaborative of statistics from their own companies (the data included information from Jeff Dance of Concentra Rehab who was unable to attend the conference).
The afternoon ended on a high note as the next panel, which I had the pleasure of moderating, shared ideas for innovative programs to enhance revenue, enhance marketing efforts, and support staff development and retention. Lisa Stumpf discussed Therapy Partners’ innovative management development program which in turn helped to create a facility succession plan. Greg Altobella and Amy Rosenburg of The Comprehensive Group outlined two successful innovations at their Chicago based company. The first is a university collaboration in a motion analysis laboratory, that cost them virtually nothing to implement, provided a pretigious with a university research program, and improved patient performance and satisfaction. Like many companies, The Comprehensive Group was reluctant to hire new grads because of the time needed to get a new therapist up to speed to be able to work independently in many of their contracted facilities. They recognized that if they could create a program to mentor new grads, that it allow them to hire staff lower in the salary range, and orient them to the various program services that are provided under their program contracts. What they found was not onlhy a reduction in labor costs, but a high degree of staff satisfaction, and a boost in recruitment efforts.
Tomorrow NARA members will hear from lobbyist George G. Olsen, on the issues that affect rehab business owners under the various health proposals in the Congress.