“Through love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13

Stonerise Care Blog

Therapy Patient Outcomes Outpace National Average

By Amy Perry Tipton, CEO Stonerise Therapy

It is a privilege when a patient chooses Stonerise for their rehabilitative needs and when they leave our care, we want them to feel the services they received were of “value” in getting them back to health and back to life. Value: that word gets tossed around often in healthcare. Our Stonerise philosophy is that value is where patient outcomes and patient experience meet in harmony. Costs are obviously an additional factor – but when weighted too heavily into the value equation, patients and providers alike tend to lose on patient experience and outcomes.

At Stonerise Therapy, our nearly 300 team members statewide serve others by delivering therapy services to help our patients get back to health and back to life. Serving means assuring those services meet a high standard and that our patients receive quality Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology services. To ensure we meet that goal, we have to measure ourselves to a standard of care and make sure we deliver on our promise.

Patient Value: Health Outcomes & Cost

Therapy, as a component of the bigger healthcare continuum and Stonerise Network, has been working toward a value-based care model for several years. The cornerstone of this model is to demonstrate objective outcomes a patient achieves while under the care of a therapist (Physical, Occupational or Speech-Language Pathologist). Objective outcomes are demonstrated by tests and measures that are compared to others that have taken the same test to create norms and standards to compare to.

A real-life example of objective health outcomes:

  • You run for exercise and add a Fit Bit or Garmin to measure distance, speed, heart rate, etc. Those are objective measures. You may find that you are now running the 1-mile faster with lower heart rate. That is a positive outcome. You may then google the “standards” for a 1-mile run for someone your age/sex to determine the norms and compare your run to others in a group that is much like you. Then you really know if your 1-mile time, distance and heart rate are below the standard or above the standard for your comparison group.

The same is true in rehabilitation. The way to measure real progress is to use objective tests and measures and compare those scores to a comparison group much like the patient we are serving. Stonerise Therapy uses tests and measures for each discipline to evaluate our patient progress in an objective, standardized way.

Value is also based on cost. Cost for therapy is often covered by insurance such as Medicare, Humana, VA, etc. Some healthcare costs are also paid by the patient. When a patient evaluates the cost of therapy received, they also consider how it truly benefited them. Was the cost worth the outcome? That is the value proposition for each Stonerise patient and family we serve. It is our goal in therapy to do all we can to achieve the best outcomes in the most efficient time for that individual patient.

A real-life example of objective health outcomes:

  • One measure of costs is “efficiency.” Let’s use the example of dieting to lose weight. If Diet Plan A allows you to lose 10 pounds in a month and Diet Plan B allows you to lose 10 pounds in 3 weeks. Diet Plan B would be more efficient because it’s the least time to achieve your weight loss goal.

The same holds true in rehabilitation: the shorter duration to obtain a patient’s goal is a more efficient program and more valuable. The outcome achieved and time it takes to achieve are specific to each individual patient.

Patient Value: Patient Experiences
I grew up as a speech-language pathologist after graduating from Marshall University 27 years ago. In all those years in the post-acute care space, patient experience was incredibly important to me. At Stonerise, our guiding purpose is “Through love serve one another.” We take that purpose very seriously across the Stonerise Network. Therapists must be motivated by patient outcomes, costs and patient experience for a team to excel and truly bring patient value to life.

A real-life example of patient experience:

  • Last year, while visiting Stonerise Lewisburg, I met a female patient who was receiving Physical Therapy. She expressed to our local Director of Rehab that her walker wasn’t working right. The Director of Rehab let her know that she was going to get a new walker that was more suited for her. The patient asked if they could figure out a way to make her walker “pink” as that was her favorite color. The answer given demonstrated the Stonerise purpose and values: “we are going to find you a new walker that is pink”. The patient was so excited and said “I have to make sure my walker basket fits the new one.” The Director of Rehab said “don’t worry, we will get you a new basket, too”. The joy this brought to the patient was palpable. She couldn’t wait to get back into therapy with her new walker and achieve her goals and outcomes.

That patient’s experience was fundamental to the Stonerise care model.

2020 Outcomes Exceed National AverageStonerise Therapy Data

Over the last year, we measured our patient outcomes across Stonerise’s 17 Care Centers, where we offer therapy services with in-house gyms at all locations. We then compared them to national averages and our patients exceeded the national norms in improvement of Mobility (walking), ADLs (“Activities for Daily Living like dressing, bathing and grooming) and Communication/Cognition and Swallowing across the board. This means Physical, Occupational and Speech-Language Pathology delivered in 2020 resulted in better outcomes for our Stonerise Therapy patients than the national norms. Our patients scored higher on their outcome measures and did so in a shorter duration of time than their comparison group.

We are so proud to share this with you and will continue to pursue excellence in our therapy programs and measure ourselves to make sure we are delivering. Download our one-page summary to learn more.