Hospitals of all sizes and in all locations face challenges delivering therapy and rehabilitation services to patients in the recovery phase of their stay. Whether they have just undergone surgery or require rehabilitation after a stroke or automobile accident, patients need to receive high-quality care to have the best chance of a positive outcome.
However, a challenge that many hospital-based therapy and rehabilitation management programs face is achieving the level of care required on a cost-effective basis. There are many reasons for this and if you are looking for solutions, having a better understanding of the common obstacles can help you make a more informed decision about your therapy program.
Difficulty hiring and recruiting qualified staff
A combination of factors such as an aging population, increased educational requirements and more people engaging in sports and high-intensity physical fitness programs has placed physical therapists in demand. Increased demand can make it difficult for facilities to find and hire qualified physical therapists. This is doubly true for hospitals in remote areas and/or smaller facilities with smaller budgets.
Because physical therapists also have their own governing bodies for credentialing and education, it can be taxing on human resources departments in hospitals that may be more focused on hiring and recruiting physicians and nurses. Hospital recruiters can easily feel stretched thin and out of their element searching for physical therapists with the right education, credentials, experience and approach to caring for their patients.
Staying compliant with a changing regulatory environment
Physical therapy and rehabilitation are unique fields with their own set of regulations and bylaws that providers have to adhere to. Compliance teams in hospitals often struggle to keep up with the requirements set forth by organizations such as the American Physical Therapy Association. In addition to the compliance needs of other departments and units, keeping your staff informed of any changes as well as making sure all of your therapists’ credentials are up to date and have received the latest required trainings can be another strain on your hospital’s resources.
Documentation and billing claims
Therapy and rehabilitation management also have unique requirements for documenting the care being administered and in submitting claims to payers for reimbursement. If physical therapists in your hospital aren’t doing this properly, it can have negative effects from a revenue management and potentially a legal standpoint.
This is yet another area where hospital administrations are often challenged due to the specialized nature of managing a therapy and rehabilitation program. Hospitals can find themselves with increased operational overhead, but still have efficiency problems due to a lack of specialization in this department.
Performance management and program development
Achieving your goals for any program requires a continuous process of measuring, auditing, identifying opportunities for improvement or growth and implementing those changes. With many hospitals challenged to provide basic therapy services, rehabilitation management can become a day-to-day effort without much long-term planning or strategic oversight.
The problem here is that it creates an environment where a downward spiral can occur. An underperforming area often does not receive the attention it deserves in a budget-conscious environment — which can cause it to have even more performance problems. In some cases, hospitals may even start to explore whether providing therapy services is worth it compared to referring to an offsite facility.
Benefits of outsourcing your rehabilitation management services
The solution that an increasing number of hospitals are turning to is contract therapy services with a specialized therapy and rehabilitation management provider. This allows hospitals to tap into the knowledge base of a large firm that is wholly dedicated to the field of physical therapy.
The right contract therapy provider can bring the following benefits to your hospital:
- A recruiting network of qualified and licensed physical therapists
- An expert compliance team who is updated with the latest changes
- Proven systems for workflow, documentation and billing that have received years of testing and improvement
- Assistance with performance management, program development and marketing to keep your therapy unit growing at the same scale as your facility
With over 50 years of experience delivering in these areas, Alliance Physical Therapy Partners helps hospitals achieve their rehabilitation management goals.
Alliance Physical Therapy Partners has proven experience
As a leading provider of outsourced physical rehabilitation, we work closely with our contract partners to build high-performing programs. Our rehabilitation management solutions include staffing, strategic marketing, program development and market share growth.
We also have a proprietary rehabilitation practice management program that easily integrates with all major electronic medical record systems to streamline your operation.
We’re happy to help you learn more and assess the current needs of your rehabilitation program. Contact us today.