U.S. Rehab releases FMA data

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Friday, November 30, 2018

WATERLOO, Iowa – The best equipment provided by the best professionals results in the best care, according to the latest quality assurance data from U.S. Rehab members participating in its Functional Mobility Assessment tool.

Almost 76% percent of patients report that they haven’t fallen after receiving new equipment, compared to 48% who report they haven’t fallen with their existing equipment, the FMA tool shows.

“It shows that falls are affected dramatically by the right equipment,” said Greg Packer, president of U.S. Rehab, which has been developing the tool in partnership with its parent company, VGM Group, and the University of Pittsburgh. “Falls are associated with $15 billion in costs and 75% of that is borne by Medicare. People in our wheelhouse are falling, because we stick them in a (facility) when they should be in a scooter, or in a scooter when they should be in a wheelchair.”

U.S. Rehab in late August released a flyer with the latest data from the FMA tool, which measures and compares patient satisfaction to perform mobility related activities to daily living in existing and new equipment. The data is based on input from about 50 U.S. Rehab members that use the tool on a consistent basis, says Kayla Mahler, operations manager at U.S. Rehab.

Also statistically significant in the latest data: When an ATP was involved in providing existing or new equipment, a patient’s ability to perform any of 10 MRADLs is higher than when an ATP is not involved. A patient’s comfort, for example, scores a 3.26 out of 6 when an ATP is involved and 1.95 when they’re not.

“This shows that even with old equipment, patients are more highly satisfied when an ATP is involved,” Mahler said.

Last year, U.S. Rehab used the FMA tool to help it secure a Humana contract at higher reimbursement rates for its members. That contract is still in play, but Packer knows that winning over Medicare will be the ultimate test for the tool.

“I think CMS is starting to listen to the industry more,” he said. “There need to be dramatic changes in reimbursement and in accessibility to the equipment patients need.”