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UPMC Inpatient Rehabilitation Network

February 3, 2020

The UPMC Rehabilitation Network is comprised of 13 adult inpatient rehabilitation units within 10 hospitals, in addition to one pediatric unit. With 251 total beds, this is the largest rehabilitation network in western Pennsylvania and one of the largest in the United States. The Network includes specialized units and programs, such as spinal cord injury, brain injury, and stroke. Utilizing a team of 15 Nurse Rehabilitation Coordinators, four Clinical Liaisons, two Rehabilitation Admission Coordinators, five Prospective Payment System Data Coordinators, and Rehabilitation Coders, the Network manages the admission process, ensures compliance with regulatory standards, tracks outcomes, and accurately codes encounters in order to maximize length of stay and reimbursement. 

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In 2018, physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) physicians throughout the Network treated 4,585 patients during their inpatient rehabilitation stays. The average functional independence measure (FIM) change was 31.5, compared to a national average of 29.1 for similar units. Nearly 70% of patients returned to their home or community upon discharge. Patients seen throughout the inpatient UPMC Rehabilitation Network are more complex cases compared to the nation as a whole, with an average case mix index of 1.45 vs. 1.34.  

The Pre-Admission Screen, required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), transitioned to an electronic format in 2017, allowing physicians to view and sign on their mobile device to increase efficiency. Per CMS guidelines, physicians are required the sign the document prior to the inpatient rehabilitation admission. With this new process, 99% of preadmission screens are signed within two hours of the Rehabilitation Coordinator sending it to the physician. This project, which was a collaboration with the UPMC Community Provider Services (CPS) Division information technology team, won the Innovation Award at the annual CPS Quality Fair in 2018.  

A new Central Admissions Office (CAO) for the UPMC Rehabilitation Network is currently in development. This office will streamline and standardize the referral and admissions process across the Network. It involves a partnership with a variety of teams within UPMC, including TeleTracking (bed management), CPS, Patient Access (registration), inpatient PM&R physicians, and nurse unit directors. The UPMC Rehabilitation Network receives more than 12,000 referrals per year. Referrals can made by calling 1-877-AT-REHAB.

UPMC Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation also coordinates care at 16 physician outpatient clinics throughout 11 different locations. There were over 18,000 total completed visits in the past year. UPMC Centers for Rehab Services currently has 73 outpatient locations and employs 881 therapists.