Is a hospital for habilitation cost-effective?

Dr. Gary E. Eddey

By Gary E. Eddey, MD

Matheny’s data consistently demonstrate that care provided here reduces the risk for much more costly acute care hospitalizations. Our daily bed rate, in fact, is lower than that of acute care hospitals.

Morbidity and mortality data for 2011 and 2012 show that Matheny has consistently reduced transfers of our patients to acute care hospitals over the preceding years. Factors contributing to this reduction include: 24/7 on-site coverage; an advanced respiratory therapy department; a fully staffed onsite pharmacy, which has increased the availability of urgently needed medications; and  interconnected informal relationships with several acute care hospitals.

Our transition nursing program, developed with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has enabled us to reduce the chances of readmission for those patients who have been transferred to acute care hospitals. Rehospitalizations within 30 days of the original admission have been reduced to 7.4% from 25%. Also, patients with routine planned preventative surgery admissions are quickly readmitted back to Matheny.

All individuals have the right to have their potential maximized, regardless of whether they have mild, moderate or severe developmental disabilities. Matheny has always focused on improving and prolonging the quality of life of its patients. In addition to our medical expertise, we believe that the therapies and activities we provide are absolutely crucial in maximizing our patients’ functioning and their ability to actively engage in and enjoy life experiences.

(Fourth in a series of articles by Gary E. Eddey, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Matheny, on the habilitative healthcare model).