5 Things Your Rehab Department Should Be Doing – #3 Retain Your Superstars

Posted:
Todd Lohr

Is your rehab department maximizing its potential? This post is the third in a series. It’s based on some items RehabVisions focuses on when we manage therapy departments, but it’s also a conversation starter about things you could be doing differently.

You probably already know that it costs a great deal more to hire a new employee than it does to retain an existing one. So why are you not focusing more on employee retention? Retaining your star employees is imperative to the success of your rehab department. So, how do you do that?
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RehabVisions’ Stand-out Employees

Posted:
Debbie Lacey

Our Second Quarter CERCIE awards have been announced, and we’re thrilled to share the stories of these exemplary employees and their contributions to RehabVisions and their home facilities. CERCIE stands for Commitment, Excellence, Respect, Compassion, Integrity and Enthusiasm. We ask employees to submit CERCIE certificates to recognize their peers on a quarterly basis.
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Five Things Your Rehab Department Should Be Doing – #2 Specializing

Posted:
Todd Lohr

Is your rehab department maximizing its potential? This post is the second in a series. It’s based on some items RehabVisions focuses on when we manage therapy departments, but it’s also a conversation starter about some things you could be doing differently.

Whether your department is in a hospital, skilled nursing facility or is an outpatient clinic, we’re betting you can take something away from this series. Enjoy!
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Rehab Department Thrives in Boom Town

Posted:
Jennifer Flanagan, SLP

Perhaps you have heard about the oil boom going on in North Dakota these days. Williston, North Dakota, in the northwest corner of the state, is more than having its 15 minutes of fame in the media with stories about the influx of population on the town and its effects on traffic, real estate and the job market.

In the midst of all of that, life goes on for the residents of Williston. They still have needs, and sometimes that gets lost in the “news” stories of this town.
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Five Things Your Rehab Department Should Be Doing

Posted:
Todd Lohr

Is your rehab department maximizing its potential? This post is the first in a series. It’s based on some items RehabVisions focuses on when we manage therapy departments, but it’s also a conversation starter about some things you could be doing differently.

Whether your department is in a hospital, skilled nursing facility or is an outpatient clinic, we’re betting you can take something away from this series. Enjoy!
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Healthcare Reform – A Therapy Perspective

Posted:
Darrell Metcalf

It is a widely held tenant of planning that as organizations we generally overestimate the amount of change that will occur within the next four years, and we underestimate the amount of change in our business/industry over the next 10. When evaluating significant changes like the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Healthcare Reform, I try to keep this maxim in the back of mind and focus on the secular changes rather than the rhetoric.
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Why Contract Your Therapy?

Posted:
Todd Lohr

Here is a cool little video about why a hospital should consider contracting its therapy department.
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Ol’ Switcheroo Works Out for Two Employees

Posted:
Tracy Milius, OT

One of the many benefits of working for RehabVisions is the ability to transfer to other RehabVisions’ contracted locations to better meet your career goals or family needs. I personally experienced this opportunity early in my career when I moved from the SNF setting in the greater Omaha area to a hospital setting in Harlan, Iowa. Then later I relocated back to Omaha to pursue a management opportunity at the Home Office. The ability to change my clinical setting and geography at that point in my career is one of the dominant factors in why I have remained with this company for over two decades.
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A Community of Compliance

Posted:
Brenda Kemling, PT

RehabVisions has established our commitment to compliance by not only protecting patients’ rights but also protecting and supporting our employees. It is within our well-established culture of providing quality health care that we have developed a community that places value in compliance. Whether it be adhering to the various Medicare rules and regulations, updating HIPAA policies and procedures, performing charts audits (the list goes on and on), we strive to provide exceptional support to our employees. Our compliance program is living and breathing, expanding and ever evolving; it is an important part of our business and one of the many ways we respect our patients.
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RV Welcomes Compliance Manager

Posted:
Stacy Ashley Murphy

RehabVisions added a new position to our Operations Department recently to to stay on top of regulatory points and provide expertise to our hospital clients.

Brenda Kemling, PT started in her role as Hospital Compliance Manager in June. So far, she has been training RehabVisions’ hospital staff on Functional Limitation Reporting (G-codes with severity modifiers), completing chart audits, and assisting in the establishment of electronic medical records in all of our facilities.
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PT’s Role in Wound Care

Posted:
Amy Robinson, PT

Most people don’t realize that physical therapists can play a huge role in wound care healing. It’s actually become a large part of my practice. Wound care can be very challenging, yet it’s rewarding when you see quick results and good response from patients.

A wound care program can be run through the nursing or therapy department and delivered through inpatient or outpatient services. Advantages of running it through the therapy department are varied. Therapists can perform selective debridement of devitalized tissue, and wound care often ties to other therapy-related programs including Lymphedema, peripheral neuropathy and mobility issues. Working with a department that addresses all of these functional limitations allows the patient to receive more complete care more efficiently.
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Our Reputation Precedes Us

Posted:
Steve Kinkead, SLP

An administrator from one of our long-time hospital contracts recently told a story about running into a young family friend who was talking about her travel OT career and that she really liked the company she was working for. It was small and family-owned. She said the company was Cariant Health Partners (our travel division) but the administrator didn’t recognize the name as a RehabVisions company. When he then mentioned his happiness with RehabVisions as his hospital contract therapy provider, he said, “Her eyes got really big, and she said, “That’s the same company I work for!”
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Darrell’s Rural Rant

Posted:
Darrell Metcalf

Our National Account Executive was on the road today returning from a Rural Hospital conference. We didn’t have a booth at this particular show so Todd spent the majority of his time going to the educational sessions along with the hospital personnel that were in attendance. I called him to catch up on anything that had happened at the show and to hopefully break up the 8 hour car ride.

His synopsis of the show was that the majority of the speakers were portending hard times coming to rural healthcare.
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Professional Development – What Are Your Plans?

Posted:
Tracy Milius, OT

Not all therapists realize that professional development is an individual responsibility. Only you know what you aspire to be and what goals you have set for yourself.

The first step is to conduct a self-assessment of your clinical skills, attitudes and professional practice, ethics and overall job duties.
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Happy Anniversary, RehabVisions

Posted:
Stacy Ashley Murphy

May marks the 30th year that RehabVisions has been in business. To commemorate this important event, we put together this video about how we started, where we’ve been, and what the future holds for us as a company. Enjoy!

I Love The SNF Setting and Here’s Why

Posted:
Jennifer Flanagan, SLP

Just as I was starting to think our jobs in therapy were getting consumed with Medicare rules and regulations, a patient encounter reminded me otherwise.

In visiting one of our skilled nursing facilities recently, I was sitting in the therapy department when a gentleman in jeans and a plaid shirt approached and asked for one of the therapists. He was told that she was with a patient so he reached in his pocket and pulled out a note. “I have that recipe for her,” he said. On the paper was a carefully typewritten (from his computer) recipe for what are reportedly the world’s best Ginger Snap Cookies.
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Customer Values RV’s Integrity

Posted:
Stacy Ashley Murphy

When Bethany Lutheran Home CEO Mike Van Sickle went looking for a new therapy provider, integrity was number one on his list.

Bethany Lutheran had been caught up in a costly, multi-year Corporate Integrity Agreement from the Office of the Inspector General relating to their previous therapy provider. They were investigated for their billing practices. “We didn’t have the sophistication or the experience to know it was happening,” Mike said.
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RV Partners with Oklahoma Practice

Posted:
Doug Larmore

As part of our acquisition effort, RehabVisions and Total Rehab have formed a partnership to provide management and support to Total Rehab’s two existing Outpatient Clinics this past May. Total Rehab, with locations in McAlester and Antlers, Oklahoma, was founded by Margaret Bates, OT and Michele Cox, PT.
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Communication Is Always Key

Posted:
Bill Mannewitz, PT

It’s true! Communication is key, but the way we communicate is a huge part of it. I came across this blog post from Compliance Chat by Tom Ambury on communication and thought it was interesting, especially in thinking about our therapy departments – how we communicate to them from the home office, how they communicate among each other and to their patients.
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Set Some Rehab Resolutions For 2013

Posted:
Stacy Ashley Murphy

I love the feeling of fresh beginnings from starting a new calendar year. I’m a resolution-maker, and I think others should be too. It’s a perfect time to assess how things are going and set some goals that you can actually track in the coming year.
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The Election Is Over. What’s Next For Therapy?

Posted:
Darrell Metcalf

With the election past us, budgets being completed and the impending “fresh start” of a new year, it seems like a good time to take stock and figure out “where we are.” With all the rhetoric about Obamacare, fiscal cliffs and the drum beat of impending doom, amazingly enough, people are still getting sick and injured and requiring healthcare services.
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Recent Ruling Ensures Dementia Patients Access To Rehab

Posted:
Tracy Milius, OT

Patients with dementia diagnosis frequently present with the need for therapy services in skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, outpatient clinics and home health agencies. Sometimes therapists are concerned with treating patients with this diagnosis because therapy may not “rehabilitate or restore lost function.” However, if you refer to the Medicare benefit policy manual, it states that therapy can work with persons who have chronic, progressive diseases – such as Alzheimer’s and related dementias – and even terminal diseases, to help “maintain function.”
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Take Credit for the Little Things

Posted:
Bill Mannewitz, PT

Often times I think we, as clinicians, sell ourselves short. We take for granted the education and training we have as if it were common sense.

I hear clinicians say things like, “what I provided there, anyone could have done. The patient didn’t need my services. That wasn’t skilled care,” after we’ve done something like taught an exercise, adjusted walker height, or other “simple” therapy tasks.
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The Power of Perception

Posted:
Deb Kirchhoff, SLP

Check out this article about patient experience from Hospital Impact. It speaks to how very important perception is within our jobs in healthcare.

Exploring Partnerships: Majority or Minority Ownership?

Posted:
Darrell Metcalf

The following article, written by CFO Darrell Metcalf, first appeared in Impact Magazine. It is reposted here with permission by the Private Practice Section, APTA.

Every day the financial news highlights stories about one company buying another for some unfathomable amount of money. While those big money deals grab headlines, significantly more transactions are occurring at the small business end of the scale. However the dynamics of these transactions are rarely explored.
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Contracting With RV Makes CEO’s Life Easier

Posted:
Guest

In 2007 CEO Debrah Chensvold was looking for a change for her Iowa hospital’s rehab department. She looked at several contract therapy companies and chose RehabVisions. We recently talked to Deb about how the partnership has gone over the past five years.
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Nancy Groff Named Home Health Therapist of the Year

Posted:
Guest

Home Care and Hospice Association of Washington voted Nancy Groff, PT the Therapist of the Year this past April. Nancy, a 23-year RehabVisions’ employee, works in Prosser, Washington.

In her acceptance speech, Nancy said that the award was “probably the highlight of my 47-year career” and thanked RehabVisions for “the support, freedom and confidence in the past 23 years to be the best I can be.”
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Toot Your Own Horn. It’s Good For Business.

Posted:
Jean Herauf, SLP

Top-of-mind awareness is a vital marketing term. Its definition is obvious – when people think about therapy, we want them to think about our rehab departments and staff. This happens when people see and hear your name again and again. Jean Herauf, SLP, an area manager for RehabVisions in North Dakota, is especially good at keeping her clinic name and therapists in the news and in front of important referral sources.
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Home Office Celebrates National Walk at Lunch Day

Posted:
Stacy Ashley Murphy

It’s 90 degrees in Omaha today but that didn’t stop some of our home office employees from enjoying a mid-day walk in celebration of National Walk at Lunch Day.
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Personal “Branding” is Important in Job Search

Posted:
Deb Kirchhoff, SLP

Regardless of what you may think about social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, the fact is that they are here to stay. Sure, they’ll evolve over the years and will likely look very different than they do today, but ultimately they’ll still exist. Why? Because a lot of people love them and because recruiters and potential employers scan networking sites for evidence of your character.
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Comparing Therapy Staffing Models in SNFs

Posted:
Jennifer Flanagan, SLP

I’ve had numerous discussions over the years, with not only administrators but also family and friends, explaining what I do and what RehabVisions does as a company. It always leads to a discussion about why a skilled nursing facility would utilize a contract services company for their therapy.
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Assisted Living Therapy is a Win-Win

Posted:
Jennifer Caskey, PT

Are Assisted Living Residents getting the therapy they should? Some fall through the cracks because they don’t qualify for home health services and others may not have transportation. Our therapists in Des Moines travel into these assisted living communities to reach patients who do not have easy access to PT, OT and ST services.
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Involvement is Key

Posted:
Brandon Labertew, PT

Throughout RehabVisions, we have professionals working in a variety of settings presenting a variety of strengths and interests.

No matter what setting, involvement, both internally and externally, is a key to success.
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What Is The AlterG?

Posted:
Steve Finn, PT, DPT, OCS

The AlterG is a revolutionary Anti-Gravity Treadmill. The concept of unweighing to facilitate a faster, more effective, recovery of rehab patients has been around for many years. Many of us have been fortunate enough to work in facilities that offer aquatic rehab or advanced harness unweighing capabilities.
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A Patient’s Poem

Posted:
Guest

Booted or Well-Booted
By Jack 2011

It has been a mighty long time
Since this old buckaroo
Has seen fit to put his foot
On the inside of a shoe.
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Managing Your Holiday Stress

Posted:
Jacque Sedlacek, PTA

As the holidays quickly approach, with sometimes overwhelming demands, it is important to remember one’s health. Weather, seasonal company, time management and money issues are just a few of the contributing factors that may turn holiday cheer into holiday horror. Stress not only takes a toll on your health, but can also lead to problems in the workplace and with relationships.
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The Job Search – Where Do I Start?

Posted:
Steve Kinkead, SLP

I recently spoke to a group of speech pathology students at the Nebraska Speech, Language and Hearing Association’s annual convention. I tried to provide a perspective about resume development and the job search process knowing that is an important topic weighing on the minds of these students.

I list the nuts and bolts but most importantly I tried to give them food for thought in considering their first position as a professional. The process I outline below is geared toward ours as a contract therapy services provider but is applicable across most settings.
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What Lymphedema Treatment Is Really About

Posted:
Jennifer Flanagan, SLP

If you’ve been around the therapy world for awhile, you’ve probably encountered the word “lymphedema.” But you may be surprised to learn about the complexities involved in treatment of patients with lymphedema.
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Customer Service Is Always Key… Even In Therapy

Posted:
Rick Larmore

Too often in healthcare, we tend to forget that our patients (customers) have choices in where they can receive their care. This may seem obvious in metropolitan areas but frankly, it’s also true in rural America even where local competition doesn’t seem to exist. After all, it may only be a 20 to 40-minute drive to the next nearest community with a rehab clinic. As professionals within the rehab profession, I think we all need to remember that many times in a patient’s mind, not much separates one rehab clinic from the next. Oh sure, we can fall back on the mantra that if the referring physician tells a patient to go for treatment, that’s where the patient will likely go. But what about those instances when the decision is left up to the patient and that patient has to choose between two, three or even four options? How do we stand out above the rest? Well, why leave it to chance?
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What Keeps a CFO Awake At Night?

Posted:
Darrell Metcalf

After you get past – who cares?, it is sometimes insightful to understand what worries a CFO. Believe it or not, we CFOs are not as optimistic, upbeat and dynamic as our daily persona suggests. Sometimes, when we are alone, we are skeptical, conservative and downright cynical.
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Improving Dining Room Acoustics for Older Adults with Hearing Loss

Posted:
Steve Kinkead, SLP

Take a look at this article. It makes some great points that we need to remember when dealing with hearing-impaired patients.

Here is the link to the story from The ASHA Leader.

RV Hosts Social Skills Camp

Posted:
Shayna Doerr, SLP

RehabVisions in Dickinson, North Dakota recently held a social skills camp for selected children with disabilities, who are currently attending or have had therapy at the outpatient clinic. Most of the campers who attended were on the Autism spectrum, but there were a few with other disabilities affecting their social skills.
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As Therapists, We Must Be Our Own Advocates

Posted:
Tracy Milius, OT

As therapists, sometimes we would all like to believe that everyone (potential patients and all physicians) knows the value of seeking our services and when to get orders for therapy. But if we’re honest with ourselves, we recognize this simply isn’t true.
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ACOs – We Already Have Them – It’s Called Your Local Critical Access Hospital

Posted:
Darrell Metcalf

It’s interesting to see the trade periodicals fill with articles about Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), how to structure them, how to ensure they don’t run afoul of anti-trust laws, how to allocate savings and on and on ad nauseum.
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Goodbye To A Friend

Posted:
Rick Larmore

RehabVisions has been around now for over 28 years. While we have many long-standing employees, there are some who have come and gone who helped to build this company to what it is today. That is certainly true of Janel Foote, a former RehabVisions employee, who died in late March at the age of 60.
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Home Health – More Than Flexible Scheduling

Posted:
Darrell Metcalf

Ah, the Home Health conundrum – do I give up valuable time and productivity to drive to a less than ideal therapy work environment to see a patient I’m not sure is truly “home bound” or do I suffer the wrath of the Home Health Director describing how the lack of therapy visits is making the Home Health Department unprofitable?
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Do Clinical Doctorates Make Sense In Light of Lower Reimbursements?

Posted:
Darrell Metcalf

Healthcare cost, Healthcare cost, Healthcare cost… the rhetoric seems almost endless regarding what benefits should be cut, what payments are unnecessary and how much fraud is occurring. I have been pondering the healthcare cost question for some time and have expressed my views to a few colleagues. It seems to me that the government wants to constantly focus on the symptoms of the problem (i.e. we are paying too much) without ever focusing on the root causes of the problem. While the problems are certainly multi-dimensional, I postulate that a base cause is the expectations that are created by our educational system.
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Therapy Department Grows with Therapists’ Interests

Posted:
Tracy Milius, OT

During a recent site visit to one of our contracted hospital locations, I marveled at the transformation that had occurred in this rehab department over the past 18 years of our partnership. It was erupting with activity between patients and therapists. When I worked as the OT at this location 17 years ago, we thought we were rocking with four therapists and now they have 12 clinicians!
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