Hospital for Special Surgery's Rehabilitation Network, the first of its kind in the United States, has expanded its membership into Palm Beach County, Florida. Establishing facilities in Florida was a direct response to patient and physician feedback and represents the Network's first venture outside of the Tri-State area.
"Florida was a logical choice, as outside of the New York-Pennsylvania region, more patients come to HSS from Florida than any other state in the country," said JeMe Cioppa-Mosca, PT, MBA, director, Hospital for Special Surgery Rehabilitation Network. "In fact, 41 percent of these patients live in the Palm Beach County area. The decision was also based on physician requests for high quality rehabilitation for their patients," she continued.
With a reputation for providing outstanding patient care as the world's leading specialists in orthopedics, rheumatology and rehabilitation, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), based in New York City, receives patients from across the country and from abroad. While patients are willing to travel to HSS for surgery, it can be difficult, or even impossible, for many of these patients to return to the hospital for rehabilitation. To make rehabilitation more convenient for such patients and ensure the same high quality of care they would receive at Special Surgery, the hospital formed the Rehabilitation Network in 1994.
The Network is a partnership between Hospital for Special Surgery and independently-owned rehabilitation centers that includes more than 115 sites within a 90 mile radius of New York City with additional sites now being added in Florida. A center applies to join the network and is put through a rigorous review process that uses Medicare and Joint Commission standards and includes an on-site evaluation. Once accepted, the centers are revisited every 12-18 months by a site examiner, who is a physical therapist with a minimum of 10 years clinical experience, to ensure the standards are maintained.
"We look at everything during the site visit from a basic physical inspection including cleanliness and appropriateness of equipment, to examination of staff credentials, to an evaluation of treatment plans and scheduling systems," says Robin Benick, PT, MA, clinical supervisor, Rehabilitation Network. "They are held to extremely high standards."
The Network has approved its first site in Florida, located in Jupiter. Three additional practices are in the application process and will undergo site visits later this month.
In addition to the benefit to patients, who can now undergo rehabilitation closer to home or to work, physicians can be confident that their patients will receive high quality and, when appropriate, specialized care at a Network member facility.
Members of the Network, in addition to partnering with Hospital for Special Surgery, are also offered exclusive educational and training opportunities, including Continuing Education courses and local workshops. Owners of the facilities, who often operate in isolation, are also invited to owner-only forums where they can share best practices and talk about issues in outpatient care.