By Gary E. Eddey, M.D.
For individuals with complex developmental disabilities, who are totally dependent on care with a lifetime ahead of them, an inpatient habilitation healthcare model may be the most appropriate healthcare approach.
What distinguishes this individual from someone who can be adequately cared for in the community? Here are four determining factors for recommending inpatient habilitation care:
• The chronic neurologic disabling condition is accompanied by many other healthcare disorders.
• Significant musculoskeletal conditions impact mobility.
• The patient is totally dependent for care.
• Social/family supports are unable to keep the patient from improving or even maintaining function.
The above issues significantly increase the care-load burden of the patient. These patients require much closer monitoring throughout the day than those who can live in the community because they have multiple associated clinical conditions requiring the most complex medical, physical, therapeutic and nursing care needs.
At Matheny, 100% of inpatients are complex and ambulatory-dependent. Almost all have 15 to 20 accompanying diagnoses in addition to their primary underlying chronic neurologic disability. The Matheny inpatient habilitation healthcare model is the essential standard of care for all those with significant developmental disabilities and should be the standard of care for all persons with developmental disabilities who are medically complex.
(Second in a series of articles by Gary E. Eddey, MD, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Matheny, on the habilitative healthcare model).