Category Archives: Senior Leadership Articles

National Rehab and Fall Awareness Month

September is National Rehab Awareness Month and National Fall Awareness Month! What a great combination! Who better to prevent falls in the elderly than our Home Health Rehab Teams and our nurses?

Here are some statistics from the CDC on falls:

  • One out of three adults age 65 and older falls each year, but less than half talk to their healthcare providers about it.
  • In older adults (65+), falls are the leading cause of injury-related death, and the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma.
  • In 2010, 2.3 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults were treated in E.R.s and more than 662,000 of these patients were hospitalized.
  • In 2010, the direct medical costs of falls, adjusted for inflation, was $30.0 billion.
  • Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). In 2000, TBI accounted for 46% of fatal falls among older adults. 
  • Most fractures among the elderly are due to falls.  The most common are fractures of the spine, hip, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm, and hand.
  • Many people who fall, even if they are not injured, develop a fear of falling. This fear may cause them to limit their activities, which leads to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness, and in turn increases their actual risk of falling.
  • People age 75 and older who fall are 4 to 5 times more likely than those age 65 to 74 to be admitted to a long-term care facility for a year or longer.
  • Over 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls.

 

HOW CAN WE HELP?                                                                                          

  • Identify our patients who are at risk of falling!
  • Request physician’s orders for therapy–PT, OT and SLPs can make a difference!
  • Implement treatment plans that include a focus on increasing strength and improving balance.
  • Review their medicines—both prescription and over-the counter—to identify medicines that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or drowsiness.
  • Make their homes safer by reducing tripping hazards, and making recommendations for adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding railings on both sides of stairways and improving the lighting in their homes.  Again, your therapists can do Home Safety Evaluations!
  • Recommend they have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update their eyeglasses to maximize their vision.  Your OTs can work on Low Vision issues!

Let’s keep our patients safe!
Submitted by Tricia Fox, VP Rehab Services

Countdown: Only 140 Days Left in 2013!

That means we’ve already busted through 225 days this year – seems like we were just PLANNING for 2013 yesterday! Time flies when you’re having fun, and going bananas as I’m sure all of you can relate! (And now it starts all over again, planning for 2014 budgets already!)

In those 225 days, I have to say I’ve never seen as much progress and improvement from one operating division in my career than I have in 2013! Every outcome, metric, lever, dial, percentage, trend (I could go on) has moved forward this year, more than I’ve seen in 18 years of home health experience. As your statistician, let me “count” the accomplishments for us to date:

  • GROWTH – We continue to show double-digit, year-over-year growth in admissions, which translates to double-digit census growth across the home health division: over 10% growth from last year as our competitors and peers are reporting low single digit percent growth, if any growth at all! We are winning with our referral sources and taking great care of patients so they use us again. 96% of our patients would recommend us!
  • QUALITY – We continue to show record-breaking quality outcomes, specifically with our 30 day rehospitalization rates. Our hospital partners are laser-focused on this metric because it benefits Medicare, acute care hospitals, payer sources, and most importantly – our patients! We saw a best-ever reported 7.9% 30 day rate in June compared to national data at around 15%, and I hear early signs of July getting EVEN BETTER!
  • PEOPLE – We are retaining associates more this year than in the past – Only 19% turnover through 225 days, representing 81% retention. We are not perfect here, but we are getting better and progress COUNTS!
  • FINANCE – While focusing on the monthly operating “levers,” intentions were that through focus on the right metrics (LUPA, Unmet Therapy Need, Visit Utilization, HHRG) we would see improvements on both QUALITY and FINANCE Pillars. And we have ABSOLUTELY experienced what we thought would happen!
  1. LUPA improvements in 2013 from over 10% are back to the 7% to 8% range – we are establishing better relationships with our patients. They are recommending us more and are more educated and involved in their own health.
  2. Meeting the unmet therapy need – Improvements in visits, overall therapy discipline utilization and productivity. Our patients are improving and becoming more independent! (A major intention of home health as an industry and provider of healthcare services – low cost, high value relative to other venues of healthcare – we ARE the answer to the healthcare crisis!)
  3. Visit Utilization – More is not always better! We are managing to the most appropriate discipline, and again, experiencing patient outcome improvements – the intention all along.

All of the above improvements are helping our operating division achieve the best PERFORMANCE results in company history in every single category! PEOPLE, SERVICE, QUALITY, FINANCE and GROWTH – they ALL work together!

Looking forward to the remaining 140 days with all of you. As always, thanks for all that you do – you are appreciated more than you know by so many!

Article submitted by: Brad Parrish, VP of Finance