Testimonials

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    • My family and I have been using the services of Lemoine Therapy since it opened in Marksville. We needed therapy following hip/ knee replacements and back/neck surgeries. We could not ask for more dedicated, compassionate and professional care near to home. The office staff as well as the therapy staff have been sensitive to our […]

      —Gail Guillot Moulard

    • Your staff is top notch. Although the place was very busy, your staff works together and does excellent therapy. Because of them I was back to work just 4 weeks after surgery.

      —Wendel P. Bellon

    • Lemoine Therapy is a one in a million therapy center. When I first started, I couldn’t walk without pain. Now I enjoy walking in the stores and being able to go back to church. They gave me so much courage. It took a lot of hard work and patience and they never gave up on […]

      —Yolanda Johnson

    • Therapy Center has been with us for the past 7½ years now. They are very involved and committed to providing education and training for our staff and holistic care for our residents. They help us keep up with current issues in the skilled nursing arena, and have assisted us tremendously during the transition period of […]

      —Pam Firmin, Administrator Colonial Nursing Home, Marksville, LA & Hessmer Nursing Home, Hessmer, LA

    • I chose Lemoine Therapy after a total knee replacement in 2013. That decision has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. The staff at Lemoine Therapy are so professional and compassionate. They always greet you with a smile and work with you and an individual basis. The staff not only help you, […]

      —Connie B. Couvillon, Clerk of Court, Avoyelles Parish

    • We could not be more pleased. Since placing [Therapy Center] in our facilities I have seen an improvement in resident satisfaction, family satisfaction, therapy utilization, as well as profitability due to increased utilization. This company makes going above and beyond an expectation of their employees. Therapy Center is one of the best business decisions I […]

      —Brian Hensgens, Administrator Acadia St. Landry Guest Home, Church Point, LA

    • I have been coming to wound therapy for several months. All of the staff have gone out of their way to make me feel comfortable during my treatments. They stay in contact with my doctor to make sure they are using the right treatment, and make all the changes he recommends. Happy to say I […]

      —Alice Roy

    • Thank all of you for the physical therapy which was done to make this “old” body feel new again. I am very pleased with all the staff…Your friendship, your smiles and kind words. I will recommend your Therapy Center to my family and friends. 

      —Beverly Ardoin

    • Your facility and all who work there are professional, well-equipped, and very knowledgeable. I was so pleased with my recovery and so was the doctor. He was very impressed.

      —Linda Neal

    • I truly feel that the Therapy Center is the best place that I have ever worked. Therapy Center is a company that is family oriented with team centered staff, flexible schedules and is a company that believes in the quality of care for their patients. I feel blessed to be a part of Therapy Center […]

      —Brooke Normand

    • Therapy Center is superior to any company we have ever worked with…and has been key in helping us to achieve our goals. Both quality and profitability have soared since Therapy Center joined our team. I could give no higher recommendation than I would to this company.

      —Bob Hensgens, Administrator Savoy Care Center, Mamou, LA

    • Ronald had a hemorrhagic CVA and was in rehab for 4 months. When he began here at Lemoine Therapy, he was in a wheelchair. He faced many challenges but with the dedication and encouragement of the therapists, he steadily improved. Before long he was walking with a hemi walker while he gained strength and stamina. […]

      —Family of Ronald Juneau

    • We started together in August 2002. I liked the way that the Therapy Center staff communicated with my residents – they had the same personal touch that I had. It was a hand-in-hand partnership, and we grew together. Now, almost a decade later, our future is very bright. Therapy Center has kept the small, hometown […]

      —Gerard Lacour, Administrator Tri-Community Nursing Home, Palmetto, LA and Bayou Chateau Nursing Center, Simmesport, LA

    • “When I started with Therapy Center, we were a group of 9. We have grown over the years, but continually strive to keep a very close-knit work family, which leads me to the best thing about my job – being around such a great group of people on a daily basis.”

      —Elisha Neal Duhon

    • Keep up what y’all are doing! You not only healed/stopped the pain, but made me stronger physically and mentally! Thank you so much!

      —April Sensat

    • I would like to thank all the staff of the Therapy Center for being so kind and very professional when I was a patient. I am able to do more activities now. I would surely recommend the Therapy Center to anyone-and if I ever need again, I will return to the Therapy Center.  My respect […]

      —Father Charles McMillin

Our Blog

We enjoy letting our clients and employees know about helpful tidbits, interesting articles, and topics that affect the way we work. Our blog is a home for Therapy Center information of all kinds, and we welcome topic suggestions and comments!


November 21, 2014

Therapy Center thanks the Therapy Cap Coalition

THERAPY CAP LETTER BLOGTherapy Center strives to provide superior rehabilitation services for patients within the communities we serve.  Because of the current imposed Therapy Cap, our patients are limited to the amount of outpatient therapy they can receive under Medicare Part B. Spreading awareness of the Therapy Cap is extremely important because many deserving patients are being denied services that are integral to their recovery and most importantly, limiting their ability to remain independent in their local community.

According to the APTA, “Data show that patients who have had a stroke, hip fracture, or multiple disabilities are most to be impacted by the cap. The therapy cap reduces Medicare beneficiaries’ access to rehabilitation services by limiting their choice of providers, forcing them to bear 100% of the cost of care once they exceed it, or rationing their care to avoid exhausting their benefits. The harmful impact of the cap is worsened by coupling physical therapy and speech-language pathology services under one cap. Forcing patients to choose between 2 vital functions of daily living, movement and speech, only further exacerbates the impact of the cap.”

These factors, among others, is why the Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act is so important.  This piece of legislation would permanently repeal the cap on outpatient rehabilitation services, allowing us and other rehabilitative providers to take care of our patients according to their needs.

Thank YOU

Therapy Center wants to thank the Therapy Cap Coalition for it’s continued support of HR 713/S 367.  With therapy providers throughout the country coming together to make our voice heard in Congress, we feel we can actually make a difference for the betterment of our local communities.  We believe now is the time to repeal the Therapy Cap permanently and to implement the reform provisions already negotiated by the House and Senate committees of jurisdiction.  “Completing this legislation this year or before the March 31, 2015 deadline provides an opportunity to end the pattern of yearly extensions that puts access to medically necessary therapy for 1 million Medicare beneficiaries at risk,” says the Therapy Cap Coalition in a letter to the Senate Finance Committee.

Again, we extend our thanks to these therapy providers throughout the country that join us in support of this important piece of legislation:

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

American Health Care Association

American Occupational Therapy Association

American Physical Therapy Association

American Speech-Language Hearing Association

Arthritis Foundation

Easter Seals

Focus on Therapeutic Outcomes

LeadingAge

National Association for the support of Long Term Care

National Association of Rehabilitation of Providers and Agencies

National Center for Assisted Living

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

National Stroke Association

Parkinson’s Action Network

Private Practice Section, American Physical Therapy Association

PTPN (formerly Physical Therapy Provider Network)

The ALS Association

United Spinal Association

 

 

 

 

 


November 10, 2014

The Transition: From Multimedia Journalist to Marketing Liaison

Filed under: Blog,Team Member News — Brittany Bodden @ 8:59 am

Brittany BoddenOver the past two years I’ve worked for a news station as a news reporter.  That might sound glamorous to some, but those in the industry know it is no easy feat.  I have nothing but the utmost respect for other reporters I see on television, going to and from different places and events throughout the day, and scrambling back to the station to get every story completed and done on time for the news to air.  The past two years seem like a blur, but it was the best thing that could have happened to me.  I have begun to find my way on the career path that I want for myself.

What I have learned so far

As for Therapy Center, this amazing opportunity could not have come to me at a better time.  I have only been working for the company for a month, but I am instantly so impressed by the continued growth of the company, the quality of care each and every one of the therapists provide, and most of all the people in the company.  I absolutely love the people I am working with!  I have spent some time with each mentor in the company, where they have showed me their facilities and our therapists hard at work.  It’s so inspiring to see people so passionate about what they do for a living.  These therapists have built relationships with every single one of their patients, they know them by a first name basis, and they build trust with the patients they’re working with.  I feel like that, among many, is what sets Therapy Center apart from the rest, they care.

Excited about my new journey in healthcare

So starting the company with no background in healthcare, besides the medical “feel good” story I would do with a hospital every once in a while, has had its challenges.  In the same breath, I have found similarities.  Both jobs center on dealing with the public, building relationships with people, and establishing a certain level of trust.  Also, while marketing for Therapy Center I will still be informing interested parties on certain topics, which will now be focused on the amazing therapy services provided by our company.  My mind is kind of blown by how much information needs to be absorbed and remembered, especially with it changing constantly.  Going with each mentor around their facilities and hearing them talk about the same things has helped me tremendously start to pick up on the really important information I will need to pass on.  As for the rest, I’ll leave that up to the experts!

Looking to the future with Therapy Center

I am extremely driven and eager to find my value in Therapy Center.  I can’t wait to get the ball rolling and start to meet with people out in the community to tell them about the amazing things Therapy Center has to offer!  I have goals for myself in this new venture.  I want to continue learning, add ideas to the creative marketing department, and most of all make a difference.  I want to make a difference to the patients and get them the best care out there, and I want to make a difference in Therapy Center. 

 

To learn more about our amazing team, visit our Team Member News section of our blog.

 


November 6, 2014

Congratulations Congressman Charles Boustany!

Boustany MeetingTherapy Center would like to congratulate Dr. Charles Boustany on his recent sweep for his long-standing seat in the U.S. House of Representatives!  Congressman Boustany understands how important our rehabilitative services here at Therapy Center are to the patients we serve.  We sincerely express our thanks to him for co-sponsoring the Therapy Cap Repeal bill, which will remove an imposed cap that limits the amount of therapy services patients are able to receive under Medicare Part B. 

“As a doctor, I firmly support the important role of rehabilitative providers like The Therapy Center as an important part of building an efficient, high-quality health care system that’s accessible and affordable to all Americans.  I thank representatives from The Therapy Center for their insight and look forward to working with them to help provide accessible and affordable care for South Louisiana,” Congressman Dr. Charles Boustany.

Congratulations Dr. Boustany!  We look forward to joining your efforts to better service our community.


October 30, 2014

CMS Update for FY 2015: SNF Payment

Filed under: Blog,Compliance — Kristi Fredieu @ 11:36 am

staff orange and blueChanges YOU need to know

On July 31, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule [CMS-1605-F] outlining Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Medicare payment rates for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). The FY 2015 SNF payment rates and other issues discussed in the final rule are summarized below.

  • Overall payment increase to SNF’s of 2% or $750 million from FY payments in 2014
  • The wage index has been updated which contained a number of significant changes which will be used to identify a providers urban or rural status.  To help diminish the potential negative wage index impacts  to certain providers there will be a one year transition with a blended rate.  This will consist of a 50% current and 50% revised FY 2015 wage index. 
  • CMS is revising the current COT OMRA policy which would permit providers to use the COT OMRA to reclassify a resident into a therapy RUG from a non-therapy RUG, but only in certain limited circumstances.

Article Digest

Here are a couple articles we thought you might find interesting…

Doctors flunk test on skilled nursing facilities, raising concerns about care transitions, UCLA researchers say

Early career physicians have extremely poor knowledge of skilled nursing facilities, showing that more robust training is needed to ensure that physicians can oversee effective transitions into SNFs, according to investigators at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The UCLA team created a 10-item, multiple choice pre-test that was given to 67 internal medicine residents prior to their mandatory SNF rotation. The mean number of correct answers was 4.9, the investigators found. Even after training, some residents still consistently answered certain questions incorrectly. The questions were about what a skilled nursing facility is, how it is staffed and what services it provides.

“Medical residents have insufficient knowledge about the type of care that can be provided at a SNF and efforts to improve this knowledge are needed to assure proper triage of patients and safe transitions to the SNF,” the authors wrote in the study abstract.

Full findings have been published online in JAMDA-The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.

 

Medicare should pay skilled nursing facilities and rehab facilities equally for certain treatments, MedPAC tells Congress

Skilled nursing facilities and inpatient rehabilitation facilities should receive the same payments for treating certain conditions, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission recommended in its latest report to Congress. The “site-neutral payment” proposal won praise from the nation’s largest long-term care association.

“A site-neutral payment system would focus on the patient and their needs, regardless of setting, and encourage all settings to provide efficient, high-quality care,” said Mark Parkinson, CEO and president of the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living.

MedPAC has long shown support for equalizing IRF and SNF payments, and the group provided an in-depth consideration of the potential policy in the report released Friday. While IRFs must meet more stringent guidelines than SNFs in areas such as staffing, the two settings treat similar patient populations and achieve similar outcomes, the analysis determined.

The panel examined the possible effects of site-neutral payments for three conditions: rehab after stroke, major joint replacement and hip/femur procedures (such as for hip fractures). Patient characteristics and outcomes were very similar for the orthopedic conditions, but more variable for stroke rehab. For instance, SNFs tend to treat stroke patients at risk for falls, while IRFs see more individuals with swallowing issues.

More study should be conducted on stroke-related conditions, but the orthopedic conditions are a “strong starting point for a site-neutral policy,” the report concluded.

Leveling these post-acute payments would potentially save the Medicare program money, because IRF reimbursements exceed SNF payments by as much as 50%, MedPAC has noted. Rehab facilities have protested the proposed changes, but they might not take a substantial hit to their bottom lines, according to Friday’s report. This is because the site-neutral policy would not affect “add-on payments,” such as monetary reimbursement around having a teaching program, which many IRFs receive.

IRFs also should have regulations loosened to increase their competitiveness with nursing facilities if the site-neutral payments are implemented, MedPAC recommended. For example, regulators could waive the requirement that IRFs treat only patients who can tolerate aggressive therapy.

Click here to access the complete report.

 

Therapy Center strives to stay ahead of the game when it comes to new regulations and changes in the healthcare industry. We consider ourselves to be more than just a therapy provider, we are a business partner who cares about educating our staff and our partners on issues that affect business and mostly importantly their patients. Contact Kristi Fredieu for more information on our comprehensive services, which include patient care, marketing, compliance, education and management.

kristi-fredieu Kristi LeLeux Fredieu
337-384-9791
kfredieu@therapyctr.com

 

 


October 9, 2014

SNF’s, No Longer Last In Line

JCO_1658“We’re serving more patients than we’ve ever served, but the length of stay is much shorter than it’s ever been…” This is just one of the many great points about the article No Longer Last in Line, which was recently published on http://www.louisianamedicalnews.com.

 

No Longer Last in Line
By: CINDY SANDERS
 

The changing role of SNFs

Just as the notion of what’s considered ‘old’ has changed in today’s society … think ‘70 is the new 50’ … so too has the role and function of skilled nursing facilities.

Gerald Coggin, senior vice president of Corporate Relations for National HealthCare Corporation, has witnessed transformative change in the long-term care industry during his more than four decades with NHC. With operations in 10 states, the publicly traded company based in Murfreesboro, Tenn. owns and/or operates 73 skilled nursing centers with 9,410 beds. NHC affiliates also operate 37 homecare programs, five residential living centers, 18 assisted living communities, plus offer additional services including long-term care pharmacies, memory care units, hospice care, and rehabilitative therapy.

Coggin said the notion of a ‘nursing home’ as the last stop for seniors before they die is simply outdated. A little ironically, the industry has moved from being a residential model that looked like an old-fashioned, antiseptic medical facility … to a medical model that often looks like a well-appointed residence.

As the model has changed, one of the most striking differences is in length of stay. Coggin noted that less than a decade ago, NHC’s average length of stay was 210 days. Today, the median length of stay is 26 days. In a number of facilities, such as NHC Farragut in Knoxville, Tenn., that time frame is even shorter.

“We’re serving more patients than we’ve ever served, but the length of stay is much shorter than it’s ever been,” said Coggin. “Farragut is one of those facilities that is on the cusp of a new generation of long-term care. It’s all because of the emphasis on rehabilitation.”

There are a number of reasons behind this change, but Coggin said cost and reimbursement … along with a culture shift … are among the primary drivers. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 signed into law by President Ronald Reagan fundamentally changed the way nursing homes operated … and simultaneously transformed society’s expectations of them. For long-term care facilities to receive Medicare and Medicaid funding in the post-OBRA world, they must provide services so that each resident might “attain and maintain her highest practicable physical, mental and psycho-social well-being.”

“The emphasis was on making sure the right patient was at the right place. As a result, a new housing phenomena … assisted living … grew out of that,” Coggin explained.

That ‘right patient, right place’ idea endured and changed the concept of how a skilled nursing facility could align with hospitals in an evolving post-acute care role. “So much has been driven by reimbursement,” Coggin noted. He added hospitals could only keep patients, who were progressing as expected, for so long before Medicare would stop paying the inpatient rates associated with the higher acuity level of care. Yet, Coggin continued, these patients weren’t ready to go home, either.

“That’s when we saw a shift in our patients … from a few Medicare patients who needed rehab to a lot of patients needing rehab,” he said. A tiered-down system was born from these hospital reimbursement constraints.

At the same time, a cultural shift was happening. Longer lifespans and medical technology improvements meant more seniors could expect to live active lifestyles far beyond retirement age … and the senior segment of the population also began to increase dramatically. According to the Social Security Administration, there were approximately 9 million Americans age 65 and over in the year 1940. By 2000, that number had jumped to almost 35 million. By 2010, that number had grown yet again to just over 40 million.

Increasingly, Coggin said, skilled nursing facilities “are the recovery centers where you go to rehab.” He added with a chuckle, “It’s not unusual at all to have patients come to us for services and then get a note a month later saying, ‘Thanks for the rehab. I just finished a round of golf.”

He continued, “I’ve been in this business for 41 years, and we have clearly switched over in the last 15-20 years from a residential model to a patient care model … and it’s ramped up even greater over the last 3-5 years.”

Once again, he pointed to cost and reimbursement as drivers of the most recent jump in the rehab population. Not only do many SNFs like NHC provide a full range of occupational, speech and physical therapy services at a lower daily rate than hospitals, these post-acute facilities can also help hospitals avoid the monetary penalties associated with avoidable readmissions.

Similarly, just as NHC accepts patients downstream from hospitals, the rehab facilities also look to move patients to a more appropriate care setting once therapists have maximized their time with a patient … whether that is to assisted living or hospice or a return home. In fact, Coggin said, about 80 percent of NHC’s patients ultimately are discharged home.

“It’s clearly a focus on transitions of care to make sure the patient receives the appropriate level of care for the appropriate amount of time and avoids unnecessary readmissions,” Coggin concluded of the new role SNFs play in the care continuum.

 

If you want to learn more about how Therapy Center is working to help reduce readmissions and serving as a post-acute resource for patients and referral sources, contact Kristi Fredieu for more information on our programs and continue to follow our blog.

 

Kristi LeLeux Fredieu
kfredieu@therapyctr.com
337-384-9791

kristi-fredieu


October 1, 2014

Therapy Center Welcomes Athletic Trainer: Ashley Nichols

Filed under: Blog,Team Member News — Kristi Fredieu @ 2:21 pm

Ashley Nichols ATHAshley Nichols, MS, ATC, LAT, is from Madison, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training. From there Ashley attended McNeese State University where she pursued a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology. Ashley began working as an Athletic Trainer for Therapy Center in July of 2014, covering the areas of Welsh, Lake Arthur and Lacassine.

Ashley chose the field of athletic training because she was once an injured athlete who went through surgery and rehabilitation. Because of that experience, she thinks its interesting to be the one behind the scenes of athletic care. The most rewarding part of her job is after an injury occurs, she is with them during recovery and can watch them return to play. Ashley says that her favorite part of working for Therapy Center is meeting new people and learning the “Cajun way” from her work peers.

Ashley is also giving back to students who choose the same career. She serves as a preceptor for the student athletic trainer program through McNeese State University.

For more information on Therapy Center’s Athletic Training program, call our outpatient clinic in Jennings at 337-824-4547.


September 17, 2014

HUGE milestone in therapy cap repeal

Filed under: Compliance,Occupational Therapy,Physical Therapy,Speech Therapy — Tags: — Kristi Fredieu @ 11:12 am

Therapy Cap Repeal

Therapy Center is excited to announce a HUGE milestone in the therapy cap repeal. Recently, 220 members of the House of Representatives signed on to support legislation to repeal the Medicare therapy cap, which limits the amount of rehabilitative services that patients are able to receive. This major milestone signals a bipartisan majority of House members now supporting the repeal!

We are asking all Therapy Center team members, patients and members of the community to please take a moment TODAY to visit and “like” Congressman Charles Boustany’s Facebook page (facebook.com/RepBoustany). Once you like his page, please post a brief comment on your personal facebook page and tag Congressman Boustany to let him know that Therapy Center appreciates his support of the therapy cap repeal!


July 28, 2014

Geared Up For Change: Is Your Therapy Provider Supporting Your Facility?

Filed under: Blog,Compliance — Kristi Fredieu @ 2:18 pm

rubyshaneAccording to SkilledNursingFacilities.org, Louisiana has 280 certified Medicare and Medicaid nursing homes. It is a growing trend for nursing facilities to serve as short stay rehab settings for patients recovering from illness, surgery, and/or hospitalization. What a wonderful opportunity to be able to provide this service to our communities! What many nursing home administrators underestimate is the key ingredient in this equation…their rehab team.

BEWARE: NOT ALL THERAPY COMPANIES ARE CAPABLE OF PROVIDING THE SERVICES TO MEET THESE EXPECTATIONS AND STANDARDS.

A good therapy company can significantly increase admits when word gets around that great results are being achieved. By the same token, the wrong rehab company can leave reimbursement on the table, have a poor presence in your home, and contribute to poor community perceptions. “Nursing home therapy” is not what it used to be. It is imperative for SNF facilities to be staffed with enough rehab professionals to be able to handle the needs of the entire facility.

The Therapy Center employs salaried therapists in all disciplines, PT, OT, and ST, who remain consistent within each home. We also have “floating” staff who are on hand to handle fluctuations in caseload, ensuring that there is never a need that cannot be met. With Therapy Center, our partner facilities also have access to our compliance and education teams, whom manage and fight denials, review and standardize documentation of therapists, and provide high quality education to therapists and nursing home staff. It is the expectation of the Therapy Center that our employees practice utilizing evidence based treatment techniques and provide the highest quality geriatric rehabilitation services. In addition, our partner facilities benefit from Therapy Center’s active marketing department. Our marketers and educators have teamed up to bring information, regarding the SNF role in reducing hospital readmissions, to hospitals and rehab facilities statewide. It is our goal to create networks of support to maximize delivery of services to the elderly population.

We are existing in a time of change; it is time for nursing home facilities to establish domain as critical care providers, and to maximize reimbursement allotted for the services we provide. Do you trust that your therapy provider is capable of stepping up to the challenge and helping your facility stand out amongst the rest?

Contact Therapy Center today to experience the difference we can make in your facility.

danielle

Danielle Keyser, LOTR
Director of Education


July 23, 2014

Accepting an Offer: Making a Decision

The time has finally come for you to accept a job! You’ve read our guidelines and followed our advice (hopefully) and now you’re well on your way to the career you’ve always hoped for. Receiving a job offer from a potential employer can be quite an exciting time! Embarking on the career path that you’ve been working towards for a long time can feel like quite an accomplishment. Just remember to take your time in choosing a job that is the best fit for you. Think things through and follow these simple guidelines to ensure that you feel confident about your decision!You got the job

Ask for the proposal & benefits package in writing. This is a very common request. It serves as a way for both parties to view and agree upon the position details, leaving little room for error. You may receive this on paper or over email. By having record of the proposal and details, you will always have something to fall back on if there is a discrepancy. If your potential employer refuses to give it to you in writing, that should raise a red flag.

Take some time to think it over. When you receive a job offer, weigh the Pros & Cons. Make sure to think it through and don’t act on impulse. Impulse could present itself in two ways: 1) anxiously accepting a position that you weren’t fully educated on, or 2) prematurely turning down an offer without giving it a second thought.  Also, have you gone on other interviews or possibly been given other offers?  Compare apples to apples. Make a list if you need to see the differences lined out in front of you.

Negotiate if necessary.  If you are not happy with the initial offer, negotiate! All they can do is say no. Don’t be afraid to negotiate your salary for fear that the offer will be taken away. You have nothing to lose. In the professional world, there is a large percentage of people who regret that they did not negotiate their initial salary offer. Once you accept, you cannot go back and un-do it. This is your chance to ask for what you deserve. And by “what you deserve” I don’t mean “what you think you’re worth”. Make sure to do your research… find out the going rate in your area, mix that with your knowledge, training, and years of experience (including clincal experience, for all you new graduates) to come up with a figure that is fair for both parties.  

Take a final tour of the facility. Again, this is another very common option for you to request prior to accepting a position. Spend a day in the facility where you may be working. This is a great time for you to meet your potential co-workers, get a vibe for the facility, the company, and the position in general.

Respond in a timely manner. As suggested above, definitely take your time and think things through. However, do not drag out this process. If several days go by and your recruiter is not hearing back from you, he/she may assume that you are not interested and may pursue other options.  Stay in touch with your recruiter. Ask all the questions you need to ask in order to get a clear understanding of the position being offered to you. If you need additional time to consider your options, be honest enough to let them know what you’re thinking. If you drag your feet, you may miss the opportunity to join a great team.  

We hope you will find these guidelines and all other recruiting guidelines as a credible resource on learning how to land yourself a great job!  Once you have landed that dream job, sit back and enjoy it. It won’t be long until you start thinking about taking the next step in your career. Whether that may be management, ownership, teaching, furthering your education or specialty… who knows! The sky is the limit. When the time comes, remember to rely on Therapy Center as a leading resource in the therapy industry. Congratulations & Good Luck!

Stay connected with Therapy Center through TEAM TEXT! Sign up now if you would like to learn about job openings at Therapy Center before they are advertised to the public.

For PT & PTA position notifications, text Therapy PT to 313131

For OT & OTA position notifications, text Therapy OT to 313131

For Speech position notifications, text Therapy ST to 313131

 

 


May 15, 2014

Why SNF Providers Need to be Concerned about Reducing Hospital Readmissions

Filed under: Blog,Compliance — Kristi Fredieu @ 2:40 pm

hospitalEffective October 1, 2012, CMS implemented a Hospital Readmission Reduction Program designed to provide incentives for hospitals to implement strategies to reduce the number of costly and unnecessary hospital readmissions. CMS defines a readmission in this context as “An admission to a hospital within 30 days of a discharge from the same or another hospital.” Hospitals include short term inpatient acute care hospitals excluding critical access, psychiatric, rehabilitation, long term care, children’s, and cancer hospitals.  This new program will provide an incentive for hospitals to decrease readmissions by coordinating transitions of care and increasing the quality of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries. The program is part of CMS’ goal to transition to value based purchasing; paying for care based on quality and not just quantity.

Currently the program focuses on 3 types of readmissions with plans to increase the number of diagnoses in FY2015 to include COPD and patients admitted for elective total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA).  Diagnoses subject to penalties currently include, Acute myocardial infarctions, Heart failure and Pneumonia.  For FY2013 the penalty is 1%, 2% in FY2014 and 3% in FY2015.

As a SNF provider you may ask yourself, how does this affect me? 

Proposed legislation has this same type of program extending to the LTC SNF setting in the very near future.  According to a MedPAC recommendation, FY 2017 would mark the beginning of reduced Medicare payment rates for SNFs failing to meet standards for lower readmission rates.  Falling short of these standards could cost a given nursing facility up to 3% of Medicare reimbursements.  This strategy is very much in line with what is currently aimed at hospitals.  Namely, the newly released recommendations call for skilled nursing facilities to work aggressively toward the lowering of readmission rates.  The aim is to improve care transitions by:job3

  • Ensuring patients are physically ready for discharge;
  • Providing patient families or support systems with education regarding medication management, advance directives, hospice care, etc., and;
  • Partnering with high-quality community services to ensure continuity of care

Many hospital systems are actively seeking to create partnerships with SNFs that agree to meet quality standards, share data, provide certain services and work with hospitals to reduce avoidable hospitalizations. Many are using criteria similar to what ACO’s have typically employed when choosing SNF partners.  These include:

  • Compliance with federal and state regulations
  • Meets or exceeds median for federal quality standards
  • 30-day hospital readmissions rate at or below national/state norms
  • Patient satisfaction ratings at or better than state median
  • Patient and family engagement: data and tools
  • Attending SNF physicians include primary care physicians and extenders that are part of health system’s physician network
  • RNs in the SNF 24/7
  • Appropriate nursing hours per patient day for sub-acute care (4.25)
  • Average length of stay for Medicare patients at or less than national average
  • Discharge at least 60 percent to the community following sub-acute care
  • Use of INTERACT II, a set of tools for SNFs to reduce re hospitalizations
  • Ability to share information electronically

Hospitals and skilled nursing facilities MUST recognize each other as partners and take tangible steps to become more coordinated.  Following hospitalization, many Medicare patients who require daily assistance and medical attention will be discharged to a long-term care facility.  It is estimated that 14% of these patients will return to the hospital with conditions that might have been prevented.


 Therapy Center has taken significant measures the past 4 years to develop relationships with post-acute care providers, particularly hospitals within the communities we serve . It is our goal to partner with those facilities to educate and implement programs that will create communities where patients receive the care they need and deserve. For more information on Therapy Center’s services offerings, please contact Kristi Fredieu, kfredieu@therapyctr.com, 337-384-9791, and visit our website www.therapyctr.com.


May 1, 2014

Clearing the Air…An Open Letter to the New York Times Editors

Filed under: Blog,Compliance,Physical Therapy — Kristi Fredieu @ 4:17 pm

The following article was posted to the Physical Therapy Business Alliance website and we wanted to share…

Since the release of Medicare 2012 payments to providers, authors/journalists have shared multiple perspectives in their interpretation of the data. Because the payments to providers are based on NPI numbers, physical therapists in private practice are included in the database.

open_LetterJeff Hathaway, President of Physical Therapy Business Alliance, has a response to Julie Creswell’s and Robert Gebeloff’s interpretation of the data. Below is the letter Hathaway shared with The New York Times.

RE: “One Therapist, $4 Million in 2012 Medicare Billing” article published 4/27/14

The Physical Therapy Business Alliance (PTBA) representing 700 private practice locations and a founding member of the Alliance For Physical Therapy Quality and Innovation (representing over 2,000 locations) strongly objects to the tone and implications of the article “One Therapist, $4 Million in 2012 Medicare Billing” that was published on Sunday 4/27/14.

As pointed out by numerous medical organizations including the American Medical Association, the raw data released by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services requires in depth analysis as to precisely what the numbers represent and as the article noted, may in fact be the result of multiple providers as opposed to one individual.

The purpose of this letter however is not to discuss a case in which no background has been provided, but more importantly, to express a strong objection to such blatantly irresponsible broad-brush statements such as, “procedures they never perform – something that is often easier to do in physical therapy than in fields like oncology and cardiology, ” and, “unscrupulous practitioners bill Medicare for unnecessary treatment.”  Such inflammatory, sensational, and unsubstantiated statements reflect not just poor journalism, but do a disservice to the thousands of physical therapists and the patients they serve.

Physical Therapy accounts for less than 2% of all Medicare payments – hardly a large slice of the pie and not nearly the “Medicare gold mine” that the author opined. That is not a misprint – “less than 2%”. For perspective it is important to note that 1% of doctors accounted for 14% of Medicare billings, an amount totaling $77 billion, which is 15 times greater than the complete rehab industry.

Fraud should never be tolerated, but the author of the article uses poorly analyzed data to suggest the Medicare program is on the verge of collapse as a result of payments to physical therapy. Contrary to the author’s opinion, we would suggest that the fact that physical therapy only represents a miniscule part of the payment total is actually a strong case for a complete revamping of the Medicare payment system owing to the growth of an aging population, and the substantial medical evidence that non-surgical management by a physical therapist of many conditions is far more cost effective than surgery and expensive lab tests.

Additionally, if we are really interested in improving quality of life, the allocation for physical therapy services should increase, not decrease.

The reality is that if the Medicare data were examined appropriately and the current research applied by our existing healthcare system by the vast majority of physical therapists who practice ethically, the articles written would be questioning why physical therapists are not more prominent in the daily lives of citizens across this country.

   

Jeffrey W. Hathaway, DPT

President  

Physical Therapy Business Alliance


April 21, 2014

How Occupational Therapists Make A Difference

Filed under: Blog,Occupational Therapy — Kristi Fredieu @ 10:57 am

In celebration of Occupational Therapy Month, our blog with publish facts and information on the benefits of OT during the Month of April. Please enjoy!

 


April 15, 2014

Be Smart Volume 1: How will you get paid?

getting paidThe stickiest and trickiest part of any interview process is often the discussion of how much you will be paid. This part can be intimidating, even for the most experienced professional. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Voice your concerns! If you don’t bring up your concerns for fear of being ridiculed or sounding inexperienced, you will regret it later on down the road.  There are several questions you can ask to protect yourself and make sure you’ve got a clear understanding of what you’re about to get into, all while landing yourself a fair deal.

Billable Hour –Billable hour is cut and dry. Therapists who are paid based on billable hour are only paid for time when they are actually billing Medicare/Insurance. Using this method, there is no time allotted for trainings, documentation, in-services, travel, etc… thus leaving new grads or therapists who are in a supervisory role at risk for being in the facility but off the clock in order to get the job done effectively.   Here are a few things to think about: Are you allowed overtime? And will someone provide support if you have more than 8 billable hours? Will you be required to work longer days?  In a billable hour scenario, your annual income is based solely on how much time you are billing for patient care. This can place the therapist in a dilemma if caseloads are low and the demands of the facility are high; time spent on screening and paperwork do not count toward your take home pay.  This model can cause friction between therapists and assistants if loads are not high and both a therapist and an assistant are assigned to a building.

Salary – This may be your best bet if caseloads tend to vary. Ask about caseloads in your potential facility. What is the average? If the load gets low, are you required to fill in somewhere else? If the load gets high, will you be given any help? Evaluate the salary carefully and ask several questions.  There are definitely pros and cons in any payment structure. The pros regarding salary would be consistent paychecks on a regular basis; therapists are not penalized for drops in caseloads that are beyond their control. These dips are typical during certain times of the year (summer months and around holidays in home health and outpatient settings).  Here are a few things to think about: What are regular work hours? And what other locations are available within a reasonable drive in the event that your caseload drops?  Salaried positions should afford the most flexibility and consistency, but here are the cons. Salaried positions may not offer the highest pay if compared to an hourly rate based on billable hour or productivity. Because the salary is guaranteed and your employer knows there will be inevitable dips in caseload, the salaried position is a safe bet and a happy medium for all parties involved.

Productivity Standard – Here are some things to think about: Does productivity play a part in how you will be paid? Is there a productivity standard and does it directly impact your salary? Find out. Most contract therapy providers, clinics, and hospitals pay their therapists based on productivity. Productivity looks at your billed time for a given day and divides that time by your total time in the facility.  Many companies expect 90% productivity. This may be difficult considering large volumes of evaluations and discharges, not to mention the meetings, trainings, possible traveling, and in-services that are expected of the employee. Pros: considering you have a great caseload all year long and you work a full 8 hour day, 5 days per week, 52 weeks per year, your income calculation will look very good on paper. Cons: remember those inevitable dips in caseloads that I mentioned above? It is unlikely that your caseload will remain that high all year long. While your productivity may remain at 90%, you may not have enough work to warrant your presence in the facility for a full 8 hours.  Which brings up a whole new set of concerns…deal

Will you ever be sent home early due to a low case load? What happens if so? Are you able to make up those hours at another facility or at another time? Can you use your paid time off? If this happens often, what will happen when you run out of PTO or want to take a vacation? Speaking of vacation, who will cover for you when you are sick or are on vacation? And who makes arrangements for that coverage, are you responsible for finding your own coverage?

You’re probably thinking that this sounds like a lot of questions. Please review my advice on asking questions HERE. Voicing your concerns will indicate that you mean business. This is a sensitive topic and you definitely want to have a crystal clear understanding of how you will be paid.  After all, that is what an interview is all about, right?

Interested in a career with Therapy Center? Take a look at Therapy Center Success Stories to see how our therapists are impacting the lives of their patients and making the road to recovery a success!

Did you find this blog topic to be helpful? If you have questions or comments please feel free to contact Therapy Center Recruiter, Ava Hebert at ahebert@therapyctrla.com.

 


April 9, 2014

How do Occupational Therapy Practitioners Promote Health and Well-Being?

Filed under: Blog,Occupational Therapy — Kristi Fredieu @ 2:08 pm

In celebration of Occupational Therapy Month, our blog with publish facts and information on the benefits of OT during the Month of April. Please enjoy!

What Is Occupational Therapy?

In its simplest terms, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include:

  • an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals, 
  • customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
  • an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy services may include comprehensive evaluations of the client’s home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team.

See more at: http://www.aota.org/About-Occupational-Therapy.aspx#sthash.hM3vfMfc.dpuf

 

What do Occupational therapy practitioners do?

 
  • Perform assessments for health risks related to potential for falls, safety in independent living, and cognitive/memory screens in older adults
  • Evaluate children for gross and fine motor deficits, sensory processing or adaptive behavior differences which may result in developmental delays
  • Teach strategies to incorporate healthy habits and routines into daily activities for clients of all ages and abilities
  • Identify solutions to personal and environmental barriers limiting clients from engaging in healthy activities
  • Educate about the importance of relaxation and rest to achieve balance between work and leisure; teach relaxation techniques
  • Provide skills training in areas such as socialization, care giving, parenting, time management, stress management, etc.

    (excerpt from AOTA Fact Sheet)

Meet one of our Occupational Therapists!

Brittany Bureau

Brittany Bureau, OTR

“I’m excited to join the Therapy Center team and look forward to using my knowledge and clinical experience in a variety of settings to provide individualized and enjoyable rehabilitative programs that will enhance my patients’ function with everyday activities.”

Achievements

 -Bachelors in Athletic Training
- Masters in Occupational Therapy
- Masters in Exercise Science
- Selected OUTSTANDING OT of her graduating class
- Former collegiate swimmer

For more information on OT services in our outpatient clinic, contact us:

Ph: 337-824-4547 Fax: 337-824-4548
Email: ineedtherapy@therapyctr.com

 

 
 

Success Story: Bernice Gary

Filed under: Blog,Therapy Success Stories — Kristi Fredieu @ 11:32 am

After suffering a major heart attack last year, Bernice Gary spent over a month in the hospital, where her family said their last good byes. Upon transferring to an LTAC facility, she lost her will to fight and was declared “Failure to Thrive”.

“I’m so thankful and overwhelmed with the Maison Teche facility and staff and the amazing Therapy Center therapy team.” says Ms. Bernice’s son who’s been with her every step of the way, “They’ve given me my mother back and she’s actually sharper now than before she got sick.”

Ms. Bernice’s road to recovery began when her family sent her to Maison Teche Nursing Center for therapy. Upon arriving at Maison Teche, Ms. Bernice was in severe pain and required total care. Her team of therapists knew that they had a lot of work to do to get Ms. Gary back to the independence she had before her hospital stay, and they were up for the challenge! Through the support of her family and intense physical, occupational, and speech therapy, she regained full function. In January 2014, Ms. Bernice proudly walked the halls of Maison Teche for her therapy graduation ceremony before returning home!

The road to recovery can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be traveled alone. Therapy Center offers the best in rehabilitative services for long-term residents or patients needing short-term care after an illness or surgery. Contact Us today for more information.


April 7, 2014

Update in Medicare’s Policy Pays for Chronic Disease Therapy

Filed under: Blog,Compliance,Occupational Therapy,Physical Therapy,Speech Therapy — Kristi Fredieu @ 10:34 am

rubyshaneThe article, A Quiet ‘Sea Change’ in Medicare, made an exciting announcement that Medicare will now pay for therapy services for those patients who are diagnosed with chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease in order to “maintain their condition and prevent deterioration”. Previous to this modification, patients had to show improvement in order to continue to receive these therapy services.

This change in Medicare’s policy comes on the heels of a recent lawsuit filed in 2011 on behalf of four Medicare patients and five national organizations, including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Parkinson’s Action Network and the Alzheimer’s Association. “It allows people to remain a little healthier for a longer time and stay a little bit more independent,” said Margaret Murphy, associate director at the Center for Medicare Advocacy. And it eases the burden on families who “are scrambling to take care of their loved ones,” she said.

Don’t expect to hear this news being shouted out from the roof tops, however. Medicare is not required to notify beneficiaries of this change, so share this article with family and friends and on social media sites so that those who can benefit will understand their rights to continue to receive integral therapy services.

To read the full article, please click here.


April 1, 2014

Congress Passes 1 Year Fix for SGR and the Medicare Therapy Cap

Filed under: Blog,Compliance — Kristi Fredieu @ 10:19 am

The following was posted by the APTA.

Congress passed a 12-month patch for the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula today, which avoids a scheduled 24.1% payment cut to Medicare providers, and provides for a 0.5% payment update through December 31, 2014.  January through March 31, 2015, providers will receive a 0% payment update.  This patch was approved by the Senate today, after passing the House of Representatives on March 27.  The Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (H.R. 4302), will now be sent to the President for his signature.

In addition to preventing the payment cut, H.R. 4302 also extends the therapy cap exceptions process for outpatient therapy services.  Providers will continue to use the KX modifier at the $1,920 level and manual medical review at $3,700.  This legislation also delays implementation of ICD-10 for one year.

While APTA is pleased that Congress took action and prevented steep payment cuts to providers and allowed Medicare patients to continue treatment, we believe that Congress must continue to work toward a permanent solution for SGR reform and the Medicare therapy cap.  Providers and patients can no longer endure this system of last minute extensions.

Take advantage of the upcoming Congressional recess, April 14-25, and meet with your members of Congress.  Stress the need for continued bipartisan, bicameral efforts to reform the SGR and repeal the Medicare therapy cap once and for all.

Call your legislator’s district scheduler this week and request a meeting.  You can find the phone number for each district office by entering your zip code here, clicking the “info” link, and then clicking the “Contact” tab.  You can also view upcoming town hall events on the “Grassroots Resources” tab of the Legislative Action Center.  After your meeting is scheduled, email APTA at lindsaystill@apta.org.  We will help you prepare for the meeting by providing talking points and tips before you meet with your legislator.


Senate Passes SGR Patch

Filed under: Blog,Compliance — Kristi Fredieu @ 1:19 am

The following was posted by NASL. Please visit their site for more information.

This evening the Senate approved the House-passed 12-month Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) Patch bill by a 64-35 vote.  The proposal, H.R. 4302, Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, prevents a 24% cut in reimbursements for physicians and Part B providers who treat Medicare patients that would have gone into effect on April 1, 2014 and replaces it with a 0.5% update through December 31, 2014 and a 0% update from January 1, 2015 until April 1, 2015. 

The legislation also extends the Part B outpatient therapy cap exceptions and manual medical review process until March 31, 2015; extends the CMS “probe and education” program for auditing hospitals discharges around CMS’ two-midnight policy for 6 months; makes technical corrections to the LTCH site neutral payment policy; delays the transition to ICD-10 until October 1, 2015;establishes a SNF Value-based Purchasing Program that includes an all-cause all-condition readmission measure for nursing facilities; and, increases a fee paid to labs that service patients in skilled nursing facilities. 

A summary of the provisions of interest to NASL members can be accessed here: http://nasl.mymemberfuse.com/resources2/view/profile/id/41026

H.R. 4302 was considered by the House under suspension on Thursday (March 27).  It will now be sent to the President for his signature. CMS announced Friday (March 28) that it plans to hold claims affected by the flawed Medicare physician payment formula for 10 business days if a patch or fix is not passed to avoid the Sustainable Growth Rate cuts by midnight Monday. The agency says it has instructed the Medicare Administrative Contractors to hold claims paid under the physician fee schedule through April 14.

 

Cynthia Morton

Executive Vice President

NASL

202-803-2385

Cynthia@NASL.org

www.NASL.org


March 31, 2014

HEAT ILLNESS

Filed under: Blog,Outpatient Services — Kristi Fredieu @ 5:35 am

March is National Athletic Training Awareness month. Therapy Center is providing several articles to increase awareness of the profession and to educate the public on common injuries that we see in our outpatient clinic. Enjoy!

Photo credit FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo credit FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The heat during the upcoming summer months can get pretty extreme. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a heat related illness are important when it comes to athletes who are often participating in summer sports or practice.

Symptoms of a heat related illness include:

  • Chills
  • Dark colored urine
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Thirst
  • Weakness

Athletes with respiratory, gastrointestinal, or other illnesses are at an increased risk for heat illness.  Drinking 16oz. of water is recommended one hour prior to exertion and throughout activity as long as exertion continues.  If bouts of exercise last more than one hour or if the athlete is engaged in multiple bouts throughout the same day, replacement fluid should contain carbohydrates, sodium, and potassium (all found in most sports drinks.)

 

TREATMENT TIPS:

  • Monitor weight prior to and after activity
  • Get to a shaded area
  • Cool the body rapidly using cold water (bath, spray, or cold towels placed all over the body)
  • Monitor body temperature
  • Provide cool beverages

If heat illness progresses, MORE SERIOUS SYMPTOMS can occur, these include:

  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Body temperature increasing to dangerous levels
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Tingling of the limbs

** The appearance of any of the above more serious symptoms may indicate that you have sustained a significant fluid loss and could require MEDICAL ATTENTION. For more information about our athletic training and outpatient services or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.


March 28, 2014

House Passes Temporary Fix for SGR and the Therapy Cap; Senate Action to Come

Filed under: Blog,Compliance — Kristi Fredieu @ 11:17 am

The APTA recently sent out this update that we wanted to share with you.

The House passed the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (H.R. 4302) today, which would avoid the scheduled 24.1% payment cut to Medicare providers and extend the therapy cap exceptions process for 12 months.  The short-term fix provides a 0.5% payment update for providers through December 31, 2014, followed by a 0% update in the first quarter of 2015.  The legislation also delays implementation of ICD-10 for one year.

The House passed H.R. 4302 this morning by an unexpected voice vote on the floor, which angered some Representatives who wanted Congress to continue to focus on a permanent repeal package.  The Senate is expected to vote on the legislation by Monday.

The approximate $20 billion cost of the temporary fix approved in the House will be paid for through a combination of cuts and programmatic changes that include reductions to clinical labs, radiology services, a delay on oral-only drugs for end-stage renal disease bundles, the establishment of a new value-based purchasing program for skilled nursing facilities based on performance around hospital readmissions, and a tightening up of code valuation under the fee schedule. Additional funds are identified through the use of SGR “transitional fund” money and an extension of the Medicare sequester provisions.

Although members of both the House and Senate have recognized the need for permanent repeal, progress stalled when legislators were unable to agree on how to pay for the SGR reform package.  APTA continues to work with legislators for a permanent solution to the SGR formula and Medicare therapy cap. 

APTA members can stay up-to-date on the latest SGR reform and therapy cap news by joining the PTeam or downloading the APTA Action app.


LPTA Day at the Capitol: Thursday, April 3rd

Filed under: Blog,Compliance,Physical Therapy — Kristi Fredieu @ 2:20 am

capitolSetup at 8 am/Legislative session at 9 am

Please join us on the morning of Thursday, April 3, 2014 for the LPTA Day at the Capitol. This opportunity provides physical therapists a chance to introduce themselves to legislators and show and teach them what our profession consists of and how important it is. Setup will begin at 8 am. Legislative Session starts at 9 am. We should be finished around noon.

LPTA will be stationed in the Memorial Hall on the House side, where we will provide pedometers to legislators and teach them how to use them, take photographs with legislators and have a manual therapist present a demo and educate the legislators about their profession.

Dress attire is professional, as members of the legislature could introduce us at the Capitol. Please refrain from wearing running shoes, lab coats or scrubs. We request men wear a coat and tie and women wear dresses or slacks.

If you are interested in participating at the LPTA Day at the Capitol, please contact Älice at 504-338-6008 or coretouchtherapies@msn.com.

 


March 26, 2014

Gracefully Declining a Job

As a recruiter, it is my job to seek out qualified individuals who would work hard for our company. It’s easy to grow attached to these individuals; I get very involved in our conversations and before you know it I can tell you all about this person’s first pet, their grandmother’s most delicious pecan pie, and their significant others’ recent job promotion. Needless to say, I often feel like I’m making friends instead of “recruiting.” Everyone knows that when a job seeking individual is meeting with a recruiter, they are going to do and say everything necessary to appear as a desirable employee: appear professional, easy to talk to, and well rounded. The recruiter will then try to make the best pitch possible and showcase their company as the best choice. It is within this time frame that you will most likely determine whether or not the company’s vision will fulfill the career goals you have for yourself. If you’ve read previous posts, you’ll know that I encourage going on several interviews, gain interview experience, find out what is going on in the industry, and find out what is being offered. Review my advice HERE. I stand by this. With that being said, if after the initial interview or two you know that you’re not going to honestly consider a position with the company, it’s best to part ways and decline gracefully.

Don’t “string along” your recruiter. If you have met with a recruiter once or twice, chances are that you have learned more than you really wanted to know about their company. If at that point you aren’t feeling like the company is a good fit for you, “stringing along” your recruiter is not something that I would encourage. Recruiters feel connected to you as they have taken some time to learn all about you and know you as a friend. The worst thing you can do is to lead them to believe you are genuinely interested in working for their company when you know in your heart that you’d like to pursue a different option.

phone callsDon’t waste anyone’s time if you aren’t sincerely interested. When a recruiter believes that someone wants to work for their company, the recruiter will do their best to get this potential new employee on board. This means staying in touch regularly and giving informed updates on current opportunities within the company. This can go on for months before graduation until there is finally have a firm position to offer. With an exciting opportunity ready to be offered, the recruiter reaches out to the potential employee… but then you don’t answer your phone. You don’t return the calls. You don’t respond to emails, texts…  Ahhh, the old “Cold Shoulder Method.”  With no response, the recruiter is left to assume that you are no longer interested. After months of building what the recruiter viewed as a trusting relationship with you, all that’s left is a bunch of wasted time.

Honesty is the best policy. Giving your recruiter the cold shoulder can feel deceitful, insensitive, and disrespectful.  Just remember this; you don’t want to burn your bridges. What happens if you accept a different job and realize that you made the wrong decision? You want to be able to go back to any potential employer and know that you ended things on a good note. An easy way to decline an offer is to just be honest. Simply respond with a quick call back to say that you’ve decided to pursue other options (a voicemail, text, email would suffice too).  If you’re looking for something closer to home, just say that. If you’re looking for a position within a different setting, just say that. If you don’t feel confident enough to take on this position as a new grad, just say that. Trust me, the recruiter will understand and will certainly appreciate your honesty.

And finally, know that your recruiter really is on your side. Of course your recruiter will be disappointed if you don’t accept the position offered to you. But if you are following your career goals then your recruiter will be very understanding and very happy for you. Now, go enjoy your day…. after you call all of those recruiters to let them know where you stand!

Therapy Center has several positions available now!

If you would like to learn more about job openings at Therapy Center, join Team Text!

For PT & PTA position notifications, text Therapy PT to 313131

For OT & OTA position notifications, text Therapy OT to 313131

For Speech position notifications, text Therapy ST to 313131

Team Text members are the first to know about Therapy Center job openings, even before positions are advertised to the general public.  Enroll in Team Text today and be the first to know about Therapy Center positions as they become available.

 


March 24, 2014

Grassroots Support Needed for Senate Bill to End SGR, Therapy Cap

Filed under: Blog,Compliance,Physical Therapy — Kristi Fredieu @ 2:49 pm

The following update was sent from the APTA. Please take action to help end the Therapy Cap!

Though a House-approved bill to end the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) is almost certain to be a nonstarter in the Senate, a Senate bill that would end both the SGR and the therapy cap is now gaining momentum and is the focus of renewed grassroots advocacy efforts from APTA and other organizations. Physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), physical therapy students, and supporters are being urged to contact legislators to push for passage.

On March 14, the House voted 238-181 to approve a bill that would pay for the cost of SGR repeal by delaying enforcement of the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The political implications of the bill are widely viewed as unacceptable to the Democratic-controlled Senate, which so far has refused to take up the bill. The White House has threatened a veto of the bill if it should pass both houses.

As the House bill was being announced, Senate insiders described a new effort to draft a bill that would end not just the SGR, but the therapy cap as well—something not addressed in the House bill. The bill, S. 2110, is scheduled to go to the floor of the Senate during the week of March 24.

The coming days will be crucial ones for supporters of an end to the SGR and therapy cap, and APTA’s advocacy team has issued e-mail alerts highlighting the need for grassroots shows of support for the bill. Additionally, supporters are being asked to contact House members to reemphasize the importance of repeal. Current exceptions to the SGR and therapy cap will expire on March 31.

A permanent end to the therapy cap and SGR could be closer than ever. Now is the time for action to help legislators understand the importance of repeal for providers and their patients. APTA members can take action via the Legislative Action Center and nonmembers and the public can take action via the Patient Action Center. APTA members, nonmembers, and patients can also take action using the APTA Action app. Members interested in joining APTA’s advocacy efforts can also sign up for PTeam.


INTERNAL INJURY FACT SHEET

Filed under: Blog,Outpatient Services — Tags: , , — Kristi Fredieu @ 5:35 am

March is National Athletic Training Awareness month. Therapy Center is providing several articles to increase awareness of the profession and to educate the public on common injuries that we see in our outpatient clinic. Enjoy!

This is a medical follow-up sheet for your health and safety.  Signs of a chest or abdominal injury may not appear immediately following trauma but can develop hours after the injury.  The purpose of this fact sheet is to alert you to the signs and symptoms of significant chest or abdominal injuries, which may develop several hours after you go home. 

If you experience one or more of the following symptoms after sustaining a chest or abdominal injury, further medical help should be sought IMMEDIATELY.

CHEST INJURIES

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath/ inability to catch breath
  • Pain increasing in chest
  • Vomiting or coughing up blood

ABDOMINAL INJURIES

  • Pain or discomfort increasing in abdomen
  • Rigidity or spasm (hardness) in abdominal muscles
  • Inability to urinate
  • Blood in urine and/or stool
  • Painful urination
  • Increasing nausea
  • Vomiting and/or vomiting blood

The appearance of any of the above symptoms may indicate that you have sustained a significant chest or abdominal injury and REQUIRES IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION.

It is essential that a physician assess any of the above symptoms. For more information about our athletic training and outpatient services or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.


March 20, 2014

Therapy Center’s Effect: SNF Contract Acquisition

Filed under: Blog,Therapy Success Stories — Kristi Fredieu @ 2:01 pm

rachel-manuelAs a speech therapist, recruiter, and advocate of the Therapy Center, it is often times difficult to explain to skilled nursing facility owners and administrators how we differ from our competitors.  The most common feedback I hear from administrators is that “it’s all about rates”.  While rates are certainly important, the bottom line can be increased by partnering with the right therapy provider, as a business partner. Improving the consistency of full time therapy staff and empowering that staff with education on compliance and geriatric treatment strategies insure that results are delivered. 

I was reminded of the impact Therapy Center can have on a facility in a recent contract acquisition.  Our competitor was able to supply only 2 full time employees with the remainder of their staff consisting of a montage of part-time therapists and after-hours PRN.  Sound familiar? (You might want to take this quiz to see if you should be receiving better care from your current provider.) Given a 30 day notice, we were able to provide 6 full time employees, including 2 therapists who have worked with the Therapy Center prior to this acquisition. Our mentoring therapists gave the new team of therapists insight into the education and training we provide to ALL staff.  The increased therapy presence of a PT, PTA, OT, COTA, ST, and therapy tech drew attention from residents who began requesting therapy from the first day we arrived in teh facility. Administration within the facility, as well as the facility Medical Director also noted the marked increase in therapy presence at the end of week one.  While Therapy Center had received reports from therapists previously in the facility that Part B numbers were exhausted, we found that less than 15% of available Part B funds had been utilized in the first 10 months of the year.  The caseload from one discipline increased from 5 patients to 22 patients in the first 2 weeks. A majority of patients came from the dietary manager and patients themselves, resulting in positive screens.

Like any change, the transition is not simple. New systems and protocols are required in regards to technology and internal communication.  I regularly hear administrators from nursing homes express that things are “going ok” in the therapy department.  For those who have not experienced the education, compliance assistance, and consistency of staff afforded by a GREAT therapy company, it may seem that “ok” is good enough.  The Therapy Center’s focus has never been on making the lowest bid.  As a therapist-owned and managed company, our foundation has always been about empowering therapists with quality training on SNF regulations and providing direction through a management team, which is comprised of therapists skilled specifically in geriatric care. These qualities have been key to providing a successful therapy program to our SNF customers. 

Check out our success for yourself!

infographic blue_orange


March 17, 2014

MANAGEMENT OF A HEAD INJURY AT HOME

Filed under: Blog,Outpatient Services — Tags: , , , — Kristi Fredieu @ 10:25 am

March is National Athletic Training Awareness month. Therapy Center is providing several articles to increase awareness of the profession and to educate the public on common injuries that we see in our outpatient clinic. Enjoy!

It is not unusual to have a short period of nausea, occasional vomiting, and mild to moderate headache following a head injury. However, it is essential that the patient/athlete be assessed by a trained medical personal or a physician following any head injury.

headinjury

photo credit http://sportsmedicine.about.com

For the first 24 hours following a head injury, the patient/athlete should:

  • Rest at home.
  • Avoid strenuous activities, including practice.
  • Avoid mentally stimulating activities such as video games, texting, watching TV, using computers, and reading.
  • Drink plenty of clear fluids and avoid spicy/seasoned foods.
  • Should not drink alcohol or ingest caffeine.
  • Should not take any medication not prescribed.

Report to a physician if any of the following occur:

  • Cannot be aroused.
  • Abnormally drowsy when awake.
  • Demonstrates a change in normal behavior.
  • Experiences blurred vision, seeing double, or crossed eyes.
  • Experiences unequal pupils.
  • Develops difficulty balancing, walking or unsteadiness of gait.
  • Develops persistent dizziness or light-headedness.
  • Develops convulsions or seizure-like activity.
  • Develops repeated or forceful vomiting (more than twice).
  • Has leakage of clear fluid or blood from ear or nose (do not blow nose or block drainage.)
  • Develops weakness, clumsiness, difficulty, or loss of feeling/numbness in arms or legs.
  • Experiences stiff neck or significant pain with moving neck.
  • Develops difficulty speaking or breathing.

It is essential that a physician assess any of the above symptoms. For more information about our athletic training and outpatient services or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.


February 12, 2014

Congress Strips Therapy Cap Repeal from Advancing Legislation

Filed under: Blog,Occupational Therapy,Physical Therapy,Speech Therapy — Kristi Fredieu @ 12:28 pm

capitolTake action TODAY before it’s too late.   We must not allow this legislation to move forward without addressing the therapy cap. Action in both the House and the Senate may be imminent and we must act quickly to mobilize against last week’s actions.

Recently, legislation that would have reformed Medicare’s provider payment system and fully repealed the therapy cap advanced in the Senate. On February 4th, however, efforts to work out differences between the Senate’s reform bill and the House’s version of the legislation left therapy cap repeal on the cutting room floor. Being left behind now could mean a swift return to a hard cap on outpatient therapy services in 2014 and beyond.

Follow this link to call your elected officials:  http://capwiz.com/aota/callalert/index.tt?alertid=63091591 and follow this link to write to them: http://capwiz.com/aota/issues/alert/?alertid=63091456.  Demand that the therapy cap be addressed ahead of final action in the House or Senate on the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014 (HR 4015). As a trusted health professional and constituent your voice is critical to the debate.

 

This message was originally posted by Tim Casey Director of Federal Affairs, AOTA.


February 5, 2014

Acing an Interview Volume 4: Follow Up

phone callIf you play your cards just right by following the guidelines suggested in Acing an Interview Vol.1, Vol. 2, and Vol. 3, you may end up with a handful of legitimate interviews and job offers regarding your new career in the therapy industry. Now is your time to practice organization and persistence. Following through to the end of the whole interview process is a very important step that should not be overlooked as it is vital to achieving the best outcome.

Want to impress your potential new employer? Send a thank you note post interview. You have probably heard this idea more than once, but how many times have you actually followed through? This is a very simple step to take that will set you apart from other candidates. You will be remembered for your extra effort and it may help your chances of advancing to the next step in the interview process.

Follow up with a phone call if you haven’t heard back from the company within a week or two after the interview. This may sound intimidating, but it shouldn’t. It is perfectly normal and acceptable to follow up in this manner after an interview. If you’re having a hard time thinking of what to say, simply ask for an update on the position, say you just want to let them know that you’re still interested, or if this is the case – let them know that you are speaking with other companies but you were hoping for an update on this particular position since it would be your first choice.  

Don’t be afraid to call for clarification or ask additional questions after the interview. A good company will be easily accessible to you when you need to contact them. If you aren’t able to get in touch with anyone who can answer your questions, then this may be a red flag.  When you follow up with questions, you are doing two things. Number 1- showing the company that you are taking their offer into serious consideration and really looking into the specific details. And number 2- by making that additional point of contact with the recruiter to ask additional questions, you are making yourself present in the front of their minds and thereby being hard to forget. That is a good place to be when a recruiter is trying to determine which candidate to hire.  

Remember this, even if you don’t get hired for the job that you were really hoping for, by taking the initiative to send a thank you letter, follow up with a phone call, and/or asking additional questions, you have proven yourself as a responsible individual. You have made a great first impression which goes a long way.

Therapy Center has several positions available now!

If you would like to learn more about job openings at Therapy Center, join Team Text!

For PT & PTA position notifications, text Therapy PT to 313131

For OT & OTA position notifications, text Therapy OT to 313131

For Speech position notifications, text Therapy ST to 313131

Team Text members are the first to know about Therapy Center job openings, even before positions are advertised to the general public.  Enroll in Team Text today and be the first to know about Therapy Center positions as they become available.

 


October 29, 2013

Protect Your 30 Day Discharge Window: Knowing Discharge Options

Filed under: Blog,Compliance — Kristi Fredieu @ 2:00 am

“Nearly 2 million Medicare beneficiaries are readmitted within 30 days of release each year, costing Medicare $17.5 billion in additional hospital bills.” Kaiser Health

The Basics

The birth of the Affordable Care Act brought about the principle of penalizing hospitals for re-admission of patients with identified diagnoses within 30 days of discharge. Beginning in Fiscal year 2012, CMS finalized policies regarding readmission measures under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program. (CMS)

  • Hospital readmission would be defined as a 30 day window following discharge.
  • Initial readmission measures would apply to conditions of: Acute Myocardial Infarction, Heart Failure, and Pneumonia.
  • An algorithm was established to compute the payment adjustment amount based upon the percentage of readmissions.

In Fiscal year 2013, the penalty of 1% reduction rate was established and increases to a 2% reduction in hospital payments in Fiscal year 2014, which began October 1, 2013. In Fiscal year 2015, the program will be expanded to include diagnoses including: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, elective total hip arthroplasty and elective total knee arthroplasty.  Proposed for Fiscal year 2015 is another penalty increase to 3%. (CMS)

Why home is not always the best option immediately following an acute hospitalization

It is not uncommon in the geriatric population for physical and mental declines to develop during an acute hospitalization. Because of these resulting conditions, many elderly patients need continued care after leaving the hospital. Returning home immediately following hospitalization is not always the safest option; for some it is not the most effective place to be cared for upon discharge. In many cases, a skilled nursing facility can provide a safe place for nursing and rehabilitation staff to care for and treat individuals who are still at risk for falls due to the following factors.

Delirium

Delirium has been recognized as a common syndrome in the hospitalized elderly. It occurs in 20-38% of elderly patients. Symptoms of delirium are known to persist at the time of discharge in 95% of patients who develop it while hospitalized.

Drops in Blood Pressure

With decreased activity, as is common in hospitalization, the elderly may also experience muscle strength decreases by 5% per day. Bed rest in the supine position results in loss of plasma volume averaging about 600 mL, contributing to the susceptibility for postural hypotension and syncope, which is already associated with usual aging.

Bone Loss

When on bed rest, vertebral bone loss accelerates to 50 times the active rate in healthy men. In one study we reviewed, the loss of bone incurred within 10 days of bed rest required 4 months to restore. Frequent falls that occur with the hospitalized elderly have increased the likelihood of fractures, particularly hip fractures.(5)

Incontinence

About 40-50% of hospitalized persons over the age of 65 become incontinent, many within a day of hospitalization. The functional incontinence that occurs in the hospital explains the discrepancy between incontinence rates in community-dwelling and newly hospitalized patients. (5) Even though this decline is reversible, long periods of rehabilitation will be required because reconditioning time is longer than deconditioning time. (5)

What about medication compliance?

If the patient were to return to home, he/she would receive minimum exposure to skilled intervention with the burden of medication compliance falling on the patient or the caregiver. The majority of elderly patients experienced modifications in their medication regimen during the first month following hospital discharge. Skilled nursing services in a nursing home will provide guaranteed medication compliance upon discharge from the hospital, and therapy/nursing will be more acutely aware of any adverse drug reactions.

Why Therapy Center and our partner facilities are different

The level of services provided by the SNF setting, encompassing nursing care and rehab, will create a more solid network to prevent and/or decrease risk of rehospitalization, particularly within the 30 day window. Many of the Therapy Center’s patients are short stay, rehab clients.

So far in 2013, the Therapy Center’s return to home average is 54%. Having full-time therapists, in each of our partner skilled nursing facilities, allows us to address physical and cognitive dysfunction, and monitor medical condition while they are in our care. A fully staffed therapy department is needed in order to run an intense therapy program and we pride ourselves on making the return to home a priority. Our therapists are trained holistically, providing individualized treatment programs that prepare the patient for successful discharge to their desired location. The skilled nursing homes we partner with have long-term, consistent nursing staff, which also contributes to personal and individualized treatment.

 

Why we are your solution

Therapy Center’s goal is to play a positive part in adjusting to the evolving readmissions guidelines set forth by CMS. Our mission is to help educate hospital personnel on how we, along with our partner skilled nursing facilities, can help to reduce rehospitalizations and avoid costly penalties.  We believe that we can help to protect your 30 day window by achieving positive, long-term outcomes for the patients in the local communities we serve.

 

Resources:

1.Burroughs, Jonathan H., “6 strategies hospitals should steal from the airline industry”, http://www.hospitalimpact.org/index.php/2013/09/17/p4354, September 17, 2013
2.“Readmissions Reduction Program”, http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/AcuteInpatientPPS/Readmissions-Reduction-Program.html
3.Rau, Jordan, “Medicare to Penalize 2,211 Hospitals for Excess Readmissions”, http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org, August 13, 2012
4.Mansur, N, et. al, “Continuity and adherence to long-term drug treatment by geriatric patients after hospital discharge: a prospective cohort study”, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18808210
5.Creditor, Morton C.,  “Hazards of Hospitalization of the Elderly”, Annals of the Internal Medicine. 1 February 1993, Volume 118 Issue 3, Pages 219-2223
6.Murray, Anne M., et. al, “Acute Delirium and Functional Decline in the Hospitalized Elderly Patient”, Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, 1993, Vol 48, No 5, M81-M186

 


October 16, 2013

Success Story: Lucy Leger

Ms. Lucy Leger became a short-term resident at Amelia Manor nursing home in January 2013. Following a 4 week hospitalization for a ruptured appendix and double pneumonia, Ms. Lucy was extremely weak and exhibiting numerous deficits upon arrival to Amelia Manor. She decided that a skilled nursing facility would be the best place for her recovery due to her condition upon discharge from the hospital and the fact that she needed to return home quickly to take care of her husband. Ms. Lucy received intense physical, occupational and speech therapy so that she could return to her independent lifestyle.

Please watch her story of recovery while she was in our care.

 


October 7, 2013

Amelia Manor Nursing Home Opens Doors to the Deaf and Deaf/Blind

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , — Kristi Fredieu @ 3:16 pm

Can you imagine wanting something for dinner and no one understanding what it is you are asking for?  What about someone writing a message on paper, but you did not attend school, so you do not understand what they are trying to tell you?  Can you imagine trying to communicate with “gestures” sort of like playing charades?  That is how many of the deaf elderly in Acadiana have lived out their last years for so long. However, that is changing, thanks to the owners of Amelia Manor Nursing home.

Through the persistence of two ladies, Ms. Paulette Guthrie and Glynis Kibodeaux, the lives of the senior deaf and deaf/blind community will be forever affected in a very positive way. While visiting deaf and deaf/blind people throughout Acadiana, Ms. Paulette Guthrie explains that their first signs to her were, “I am the only one here, the only deaf person, and no one here knows my language!!!!” After Ms. Paulette communicated with far too many deaf people in this situation, a great idea became an invaluable plan- bring them all together where they would have each other, their OWN community.

Willie Belle Sarver, Alberta Lyons, as well as nursing home Administrator, Greg Sarver, embraced this challenge, and are opening their doors and their hearts to the deaf and deaf/blind community.  The initial plan was to teach the nursing home staff some basic sign language, so they could serve this special population.  However, as the demand for these services became more and more evident, and the number of residents being admitted with these needs grew rapidly, it was determined that specialized staff needed to be provided. In September of 2012, Glynis Kibodeaux was hired by Amelia Manor to work specifically with the deaf-blind population. Now that the program has grown over the last year, the goal is to be able to have staff with sign language ability around the clock. As a step towards that goal, Amelia Manor has hired deaf CNA’s to communicate with the residents. “Now we have the young deaf taking care of the elderly deaf and it’s a beautiful thing,” says Ms. Paulette Guthrie.

The Therapy Center has also played a part in accepting these residents with open arms. The therapy team is currently learning how to sign in order to better communicate with these patients, as many of them need services to help them improve their independence and daily activities. “They really seem to enjoy the fact that we want to learn,” says Cassie Augustin, speech pathologist with The Therapy Center. Even though they can’t speak, some of them may have trouble with their memory that they need to address, and I want to be able to communicate better with them,” says Augustin.

“Being able to live in a senior community with other elderly deaf and deaf/blind is a first time experience for these residents.  For some of them, their final days will be spent in a community that will not only understand their needs, but will be better able to care for them”, explains Paulette Guthrie.

For more information on the deaf and deaf/blind wing, please contact Paulette at (337)344-7970 or Glynis at Amelia Manor nursing home (337) 234-7331.

Also please watch the interview they recently filmed with Fox-KADN.

http://www.kadn.com/news/amelia-manor-first-nursing-home-area-starting-special-program-deaf-blind-patients


September 17, 2013

Acing an Interview Volume 3: Ask Questions

To review Volume 2, please click HERE.

As the person conducting the interview, it is often very discouraging and a big red flag when a person shows up for an interview and has nothing to say. Remember, the purpose of an interview is so that the interviewer and the interviewee can get to know each other. Sure, you will want to take away as much about the company as you can, but don’t forget to also leave behind your best impression. As mentioned before, this is your chance to show that you are the best candidate and the best person for the job and nobody will ever get that impression of you if you sit in silence. Your part in the interview is to do more than just nod politely.

Ask Questions. Nothing shows your interest in the company more than when you ask questions and try to learn as much as you can. Take part in the conversation, hear each word that is said and comment appropriately. Ask questions! No question will be dumb, so don’t think of it that way. Think of this as your opportunity to learn as much about the company as you can while trying to determine if this is a place where you will fit in. The person conducting the interview is also trying to get to know you and what better way to express yourself and what’s important to you than by asking questions. Try to stick to relevant questions that deal with the heart of the position, not just surface questions (what time is lunch?). Although surface questions are important, wait to ask those once you get closer to accepting the position.

Plan questions in advance. Don’t be afraid to have a written list of questions for each interview. Showing up to an interview prepared with a list of questions shows that you mean business and you aren’t just there to waste time. You’ve thought about the position and you’re ready to make the best decision for yourself. Having a list of questions will prove to be very beneficial when you’re making your decision, as you can review the respective answers from each company and weigh the pros and cons. Here are some things to think about: What would a typical day look like? How many patients are on caseload and what type of pace should you be expecting in the facility? If you’re sick, who is responsible for finding a replacement?  Will your direct supervisor be present in the facility? Will you have a mentor? Is there opportunity for advancement? Will your performance be evaluated annually? Is a retirement plan offered?  How are the health benefits? Are there other perks or incentives? Are there opportunities for advanced training?

Keep an open mind and ask any additional questions that are relevant to you. Remember, it’s your time to shine! Impress them with your ability to show up to this interview with your A-game. Trust me, your preparation will be appreciated and will not go unnoticed.

 

Therapy Center has several positions available now!

If you would like to learn more about job openings at Therapy Center, join Team Text!

For PT & PTA position notifications, text Therapy PT to 313131

For OT & OTA position notifications, text Therapy OT to 313131

For Speech position notifications, text Therapy ST to 313131

Team Text members are the first to know about Therapy Center job openings, even before positions are posted on the website.  Enroll in Team Text today and be the first to know about Therapy Center positions as they become available.

 


September 11, 2013

Therapy Center Student News: Courtney Guidry, OT Student

Courtney Guidry, OT student from the University of St. Augustine, tells about her experience working in our partner facility in Church Point, LA. Stay tuned for more student interviews and news updates…

 


July 3, 2013

Therapy Center Student News: Stefan Norris

Filed under: Blog,Therapy Center Student News — Kristi Fredieu @ 1:55 pm

 

Stefan Norris is currently completing his clinical rotation with us at our partner facility, Maison Teche Nursing Center in Jeanerette. Learn more about Stefan and what he has gained during his time as a physical therapy student with our team.

Where is your hometown? New Iberia, LA

School/University are currently studying: LSU Health Sciences Center- New Orleans

Why did you choose the field you are studying in? I chose physical therapy because it is extremely rewarding, and I wanted to be able to help people. When I was growing up, my brother had a PT in the house working with him constantly. I was able to see first-hand just how much of an impact they can make, and since then that’s what I’ve wanted to do.

What is the biggest thing that you learned while on rotation with us? The biggest thing I’ve learned on this rotation is how to treat a patient who has just recently suffered a stroke. That is something that I have not had any experience with in school or any of my other clinical experiences, so it was a big learning experience for me.

Favorite part of working with Therapy Center staff: They make work fun. Everyone is friendly and cordial, so you do not dread going in to work every day.

Hobbies/other areas of interest: Coaching high school soccer, watching and playing sports including football, soccer, baseball, and basketball.

Anything interesting about yourself that you want others to know: I have a twin sister who attends ULL and is majoring in child and family studies.


July 2, 2013

Acing an Interview: Volume 2 Making a Great First Impression

Be presentable but not overdressed, sit comfortably but don’t slouch, smile and laugh but don’t smile and laugh too much, be complimentary but not overly friendly … Wow, making a good first impression sure can be overwhelming! Take it easy and just remember to be yourself. A great showcase of the real you will surely make a good first impression.

Dress appropriately. If you’re meeting the potential employer at a nursing home or a local casual restaurant, you probably do not want to show up in a suit and tie. You may be the only person there who is dressed so nicely, and you may stick out like a sore thumb. This likely will not be held against you, but it may make you feel uncomfortable and distracted during the interview. If you are unsure, just play it safe. Don’t go over the top. Look your best without looking like you’re trying too hard. 

Showcase good communication skills. It helps to start off with a little casual conversation. This shows the potential employer that you can carry a conversation and be likeable. Stay away from constant compliments as it may convey that you are trying too hard. Just be yourself.  Remember that you’re showcasing the reasons why you’d be an asset to their company, and being a great communicator is always a favorable personality trait. At the end, establish the next step for communication.

Stay on topic and answer questions fully and to the point. You don’t want to get sidetracked and wonder off onto other topics. Doing this could make you appear to be unfocused. Be direct and assertive. If you’re asked a question, do not give the answer that you think they want to hear. Give your honest answer. Employers appreciate honesty and being direct and assertive will save both of you time in the long run. The best way to be prepared in this area is to practice. Anticipate some of the questions you think you’ll be asked and practice your response. Showing that you have actively prepared for your interview will speak volumes and be very impressive.

Be honest about any concerns you may have; express your goals and where you’d like to see yourself in the future. If you’re asked a question, give your honest answer even if you don’t think it’s what they want to hear. For example, if you’re looking for a job within 10 minutes from home and are asked if you’re comfortable with a 45 mile drive to work, be upfront and let your preferences be known.  If the position offers no growth, yet you’d like to assume a management position, you may want to find out if there are other areas where your management skills can be put to good use. Make sure to ask. Now is the time, don’t be shy!

The main thing to remember is to be yourself. You will let yourself and others down if you pretend to be someone you are not. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, yet make sure you have prepared for your interview to the best of your ability. All the other rules are just guidelines to ensure that you have covered all of the bases. Now, go get ‘em!

 

Therapy Center has several positions available now! If you would like to learn more about job openings at Therapy Center, join Team Text!

For PT & PTA position notifications, text Therapy PT to 313131

For OT & OTA position notifications, text Therapy OT to 313131

For Speech position notifications, text Therapy ST to 313131

Team Text members are the first to know about Therapy Center job openings, even before positions are posted on the website.  Enroll in Team Text today and be the first to know about Therapy Center positions as they become available.


June 28, 2013

A Step Closer to Home: Marketing Boosts Census

Filed under: Blog,Therapy Success Stories — Tags: , , , — Kristi Fredieu @ 1:00 pm

Increased scrutiny on inpatient rehabilitation and acute hospitals has left a large population of elderly patients with limited options for a successful and independent return to home. Therapy Center provides significant education and marketing to ensure that local physicians and hospitals are aware of the interim need that skilled nursing facilities can fulfill.

The secret to successful utilization of therapy in the SNF setting is obtaining a therapy census that will necessitate a full-time therapy team in your facility, including physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

At Therapy Center, we work with our partner facilities to determine top referring hospitals and physicians in order to tailor a marketing strategy that will help build and maintain a strong Part A census. Patients who possess the desire and potential to successfully return home are great candidates for a successful short-term rehab stay. There is no greater testament to the success of a SNF therapy program than a patient who has come into the facility unable to live independently and returned home to spread their success story to the community. These patients have a positive impact on RUG levels as well as facility morale and overall participation in therapy.

With the help of our partner facilities, Therapy Center has implemented private rooms, therapy gyms, the use of specialized equipment — including hydraulic standing frames, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and a variety of other treatment approaches, to maximize progress with therapy. In addition, our full-time therapy team is readily available to your patients all day.

Thus far, we have achieved as high as an 83% success rate in returning patients with a goal of going home, back to their residence. Because of our dynamic approach to rehabilitating geriatric patients, Therapy Center has received positive feedback from physicians, hospitals, families and discharge planners. We remain committed to providing exceptional care to our patients and thorough communication of patient progress to the appropriate referral sources.

Take a few minutes to watch this short video of one of our many success stories and contact Therapy Center to learn how our therapy program can benefit your nursing home or even help one of your loved ones return home successfully after a recent hospitalization.


May 22, 2013

Acing an Interview Volume #1: Be Knowledgable

Think of an interview like an important exam at school. Would you just wing it? Probably not, and that’s no way to treat an interview either. If you want to be taken seriously and be honestly considered for a position, you should do you best to prove yourself as a viable candidate. Here a few tips on how to ace an interview.


Know about the company. First start with their website. (If they don’t have one, I’d venture to say that that is a red flag.) Where did the company begin, how long have they been in business, have they expanded in size and geographic area since they were founded? Also be prepared to express how you feel about the company. If the opportunity comes up for you to be able to express why you feel like you’d like to work for the company, be prepared with a response so that you’re not grasping for straws and fumbling over your words. Maybe you’re impressed with the way the company expanded quickly by word of mouth because you see that as a true example of their passion and expertise in the industry. Real world examples of how you can relate to the company will go a long way.

Know about yourself, your skills, your strengths and weaknesses. As much as you want to learn about the company, your potential employer will want to learn about you. Be prepared with this answer so you’re not caught like a deer in headlights. Save the, “I was born on a warm sunny day in South Louisiana…” speech for another time. Here, they want to know what about you makes you employable, what could you bring to the company that would make you an asset. Are you strong and creative with treatment plans, do you excel in patient care, are you very organized? Do you build good rapport with patients and convey a sense of comfort and ease? If you work best in a group setting or prefer to work individually, now might be a good time to say that and also explain why. If you really want this position, you’ve got to sell yourself now. If you haven’t had much on-the-job experience, don’t let it show. Apply your experience as a student observer and take what you’ve learned about yourself in that setting to show off your skills. If time allows, it won’t hurt to share a little about yourself regarding hobbies, family, or other areas of interest. It’s amazing how well you can get to know someone in such a short time frame.

Know your state board requirements regarding licensure and testing, if applicable. Students & new grads, be on the ball with this – it’s impressive. There aren’t too many other things that are more impressive than a therapist who is prepared  and organized with the licensure process and  state board requirements. This shows the potential employer that this candidate takes initiative and won’t depend on somebody else to get the job done for them.

Overall, the interview is your chance to shine. How bad do you really want this position? If you’re goal is to really land this position (and why wouldn’t it be!?), do your best to make it happen! Make sure you’re prepared to leave a lasting impression, even if it means studying for the interview as you would for an exam.


May 13, 2013

SLP Spotlight: Leslie Lemoine

Filed under: Blog,Speech Therapy,Team Member News,Therapy Careers — recruiting @ 1:13 pm

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month known to us as Speech Therapy Month! Speech language pathologists, or speech therapists, work within the full range of communication to evaluate and diagnose speech, language, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders and treat such disorders in individuals of all ages.  You can read more about speech therapy HERE.

Where are you from? I am from Bunkie, LA. But I have been living in Lafayette, LA for the last 10 years.

How long have you been with Therapy Center? I have been with the Therapy Center for 5 years.

Where did you receive your education? I received my Bachelors degree and Masters degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Why did you choose to study to work in the therapy industry? I chose to work in the therapy industry because of the variety of populations that I could work with ranging from geriatric to pediatric patients.  Also, it allowed for me to closely interact and bond with patients and assist them in increasing their communication, independence, and quality of life.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? The most rewarding part of my job is when my patients achieve their goals and they are able to communicate with their families and friends.  It is so rewarding to see them smile and laugh!

What is the best thing about working for Therapy Center? The best thing about working for the Therapy Center is definitely my therapy team!  My co-workers are the best anyone could ask for and they are my family away from home.

Do you have any hobbies or any activities you enjoy doing most in your spare time? Currently my time has been spent wedding and honeymoon planning.  In my spare time I enjoy being outdoors, riding my bike, shopping, and walking my two sweet Beagles, Hank and Boots.


May 10, 2013

SLP Spotlight: Alyce Benoit

Filed under: Blog,Speech Therapy,Team Member News,Therapy Careers — recruiting @ 10:56 am

 

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month known to us as Speech Therapy Month! Speech language pathologists, or speech therapists, work within the full range of communication to evaluate and diagnose speech, language, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders and treat such disorders in individuals of all ages.  You can read more about speech therapy HERE.

Alyce Benoit is a speech therapist and has been working with Therapy Center for several years. Take a few minutes to read all about her and the reason why she became a speech therapist.

Where are you from? I was born and raised in Lafayette LA.

How long have you been with Therapy Center? I have been with TTC for 6 years

Where did you receive your education? I graduated high school in 1999 from Teurlings Catholic. I received my bachelors degree in Special Education and my masters degree in Speech Language Pathology both from UL Lafayette.

Why did you choose to study to work in the therapy industry? I always thought I would be a teacher because I love children. I took some courses in communicative disorders and fell in love with the field. I love to talk so figured  speech therapy would be a perfect fit for me and it has been. I also had speech therapy as a child and remember pretending to be my speech therapist doing my drills to my dolls.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? The most rewarding part of my job is having a patient on PEG tube who is unable to eat or drink  and progressing them to be able to safely swallow to enjoy their favorite foods and drinks again. It is also rewarding to help a person after an acute CVA with speech deficits who can not express there wants and needs and progressing them to be able to communicate with their loved ones. It is a wonderful feeling having a patient admitted to a nursing home with a decline in cognitive functioning unable to complete activities of daily living and progressing them to return home.

What is the best thing about working for Therapy Center? My great team of therapists at River Oaks Oaks Retirement Manor.  I love working for TTC because the owners are very caring and  hard working and allow for me to balance work and family.

Do you have any hobbies or any activities you enjoy doing most in your spare time? What spare time?!  I dont have much spare time because I am always chasing around my 4 year old little boy, Hudson, and 2 year old little girl, Bella. I am an avid UL fan and spend time at many games.


May 2, 2013

Therapy Success Story: Mary Fontenot

Ms. Mary Fontenot became a short-term resident in Acadia St. Landry Guest Home to receive therapy services after several stays in acute care hospitals and long term acute care (LTAC) facilities. Arriving at the nursing home weak, unable to walk and ineffectively managing normal daily activities, Ms. Mary has now progressed to modified independent and can now return home to live with her husband.

Therapy services are available for long-term residents, as well as for patients in need of short-term care after an illness or surgery. All of our partner facilities are equipped with a skilled nursing unit to allow for more focused rehabilitation.

 

 


April 9, 2013

Landing a Great Job Volume #4: Choosing a Company That is Up With the Times

The use of electronic devices has become an every day part of life for nearly everyone these days. With the click of a button, we can send instant messages directly to one another and receive an immediate response. Through the smart phone revolution, use of tablets, social media, and other various internet services, we are now able to snap pictures and post to the web in real time, research any given topic and receive a wealth of information, and video chat with people hundreds of miles away. Utilizing these tools is easier said than done for some individuals and some companies. With that being said, take some time to evaluate yourself and your potential new employer and your respective levels of competency when it comes to technology in the work force.

Utilizing the internet. How are you required to do your charting? If your potential employer requires notes by  hand, don’t panic. There are many companies out there who are still using hand written notes. But, the question is… how flexible are they? If they aren’t ever willing to evolve, maybe they are resistant to change. Could this be a problem for you? If the potential employer uses electronic, paperless notes, will this be a challenge for you? Ask yourself, are you able to adapt? Are you willing to learn how to use technology in this ever-evolving day & age? If electronic notes are used, here is an important question: are you able to do your notes after work, outside of facility grounds? If flexibility is one of those benefits that was important to you, then you may want to consider this.

Does the company have an intranet? Intranets are different from the internet. An intranet is an inner network within the company that allows the employees to log in and see the most important internal updates. It is an additional means of communication that is not open to the public. Does the company use internal email? If so, can you access your company email from anywhere or only from a company facility? Also, are you required to use your personal email address, or will a company email address be given to you? If none of these options are used, then how does your company communicate important messages to their staff?

Does the company utilize text messages as an acceptable form of communication? If so, what type of messages are they communicating? Will they use this system to tell you that you’ve been given a promotion or been laid off? Yikes! Or do they only use this system for informal topics, such as reminders and birthday messages? If text messages are being used, how often?

Skype. Chances are, if the company doesn’t know what Skype is, then they aren’t up with the times.  If your potential employer is a relatively large company, or spans across a large geographic area, are they going to expect you to drive several hours or several miles to attend a quick meeting? Will they offer Skype as an option? These are things to consider as a therapist. You don’t want to spend your valuable time driving to a meeting while losing time that could be spent treating your patients.

Determining the answers to these questions may help you to get a good idea of what technology era your potential employer is living in. If you are more comfortable with hand written notes and the old fashioned phone call for communication, then don’t bite off more than you can chew by accepting a job with a technologically advanced company. But if you’re willing to learn, adapt, and evolve in this tech savvy day & age, then look for a company that is also willing to do the same.

 

If you would like to learn more about job openings at Therapy Center, join Team Text!

For PT & PTA position notifications, text Therapy PT to 313131

For OT & OTA position notifications, text Therapy OT to 313131

For Speech position notifications, text Therapy ST to 313131

Team Text members are the first to know about Therapy Center job openings, even before positions are posted on the website.  Enroll in Team Text today and be the first to know about Therapy Center positions as they become available.


April 1, 2013

OT Spotlight: Greta Gremillion Bordelon

April is National Occupational Therapy Month! Occupational Therapy is an important profession that helps people across their lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. You can read more about Occupational Therapy HERE.

In honor of OT month, Therapy Center would like to spotlight a special therapist, Greta Gremillion Bordelon.

Where are you from?

Plaucheville, La

How long have you been with Therapy Center?

I’ve been with TTC for 3 years.

Where did you receive your education?

I graduated from Louisiana State Univerity Health Sciences Center – New Orleans

Why did you choose to study to work in the therapy industry?

I’ve always wanted to help the geriatric population maintain their independence and pride. I’ve also found anatomy and rehabilitation so interesting and love challenging myself with outpatient diagnoses and rehabilitative techniques.

 

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job would be the times when my patient’s thank me for what I have done for them, or to witness a patient improve and become more independent or hurt less. I also treasure my co-workers that have become true friends and confidantes. We truly have a great work environment.

What is the best thing about working for Therapy Center?

The best part about working for this company is the availability of our superiors. I know that if I have an issue, I can call any of the owners and be truly heard and cared about. I also like the flexibility that we have with our schedules.

Do you have any hobbies or any activities you enjoy doing most in your spare time?

I love to read and work in the yard. I also love to cook.

 

Greta, thank you for your time and commitment to Therapy Center!


March 7, 2013

Landing a Great Job Volume #3: Decide What’s Most Important to You

You’ve followed the steps: Apply, Inquire, and Repeat! Click HERE for a quick review. Now you’ve got even more to do for the next part of your job search: consider what is most important to you in a new job. In the therapy industry, here are a few things that should be considered: money, flexibility, environment, benefits, and opportunity for advancement. Ranking these factors as they pertain to your lifestyle may be a helpful tool to ensure that you land a great job that will make you happy for years to come.

Money. Money is great, sure, but we’ve all heard the old phrase, “Money cannot buy happiness.” The job offer that sounds the best to you might come with the highest salary, but could it also come with a hidden, hefty price tag? If it meant more money, would you be willing to make sacrifices such as working all day, late nights, and every weekend? Are you willing to drive miles and miles every day relentlessly just to ensure that golden salary? Some salaries offered in the initial stages actually are too good to be true. Those salaries can only be obtained if you get the exact number of visits or hours that are needed every day of each week of the year to ensure that big figure that you were promised. Is it possible? Yes… well maybe, if all the stars align. But know that there will be days when obstacles beyond your control get in the way, making it very difficult to achieve that golden salary. Perhaps a better fit for you would be to consider a position with a little more flexibility, maybe a true salaried position, or if you’ve got other major commitments in your life, maybe even something part time, or PRN.

Flexibility. Are you a creature of habit? Are you able to leave your house each day at 7:05 am faithfully with nothing stopping you? More power to you! Some folks have kids, pets, dependents, or other factors in their lives which require a little flexibility in a job. Make sure to consider this when thinking of a potential position. If you aren’t able to make a commitment to a position that will not allow some flexibility, be sure to remember this and weigh your options before over committing yourself.

Team Environment. Do you work best alone or in a group environment? This is helpful to know when asking your potential employer about your day-to-day routine. Will you be treating in a room with other therapists, or will you be a lone ranger? Will you be on the road treating patients independently? No matter what environment, make sure you will have access to somebody who you can call with questions or problems when the need arises.

Benefits. How important is health insurance to you? You may have a parent or spouse who covers you on their health insurance plan, so it’s not the most important factor in your job decision making.  Perhaps you’re a planner and you really like to save money, invest, and plan for your retirement. How great is your potential employer’s retirement plan? Maybe you’re a female trying to start a family, you know you’d like to have kids and you need a short term disability plan; is this something that is available to you? Think of all of these things and give them some good consideration as they may make your decision a little clearer.

Ability to advance. You’ve spent most of your time studying and observing others in your profession because you know this is what you were meant to do. You’re good at it and you have certain qualities that you want to share with the world. Maybe management and mentoring is the area for you! Does your potential employer offer opportunities for advancement? If this is a goal of yours, make sure you understand the management structure and the opportunities that may or may not be extended to you. If you’re the type of person who is looking for growth opportunities, don’t get stuck in a position that will not allow you to prosper.

The items listed above are just a few of the things that you should consider before deciding on your top pick of employers. The important thing to remember is to take your time and think things through. Make a list of pros & cons and give each some time and thought. Use the ranking system to see how various employers compare to one another. Don’t make a decision that causes you to sacrifice something that is really important; there are lots of jobs out there and you can find something that suits your ideals and makes you happy.

If you would like to learn more about job openings at Therapy Center, join Team Text!

For PT & PTA position notifications, text Therapy PT to 313131

For OT & OTA position notifications, text Therapy OT to 313131

For Speech position notifications, text Therapy ST to 313131

Team Text members are the first to know about Therapy Center job openings, even before positions are posted on the website.  Enroll in Team Text today and be the first to know about Therapy Center positions as they become available.


March 1, 2013

Athletic Trainer Spotlight: Kevin Hargrave

Filed under: Blog,Team Member News — Tags: , — recruiting @ 10:12 am

Did you know that March is National Athletic Training Month? An athletic trainer is a certified health care professional who practices in the field of sports medicine.  In honor of National Athletic Training Month, we would like to recognize one of our very own. Please take a minute to learn a little about Kevin Hargrave.

Where are you from?

Crowley, Louisiana


How long have you been with Therapy Center?

About 9 months

Where did you receive your education?

McNeese State University

Why did you choose to study to work in the therapy industry?

During my junior year of high school, I suffered a severe injury that ended my chance of continuing with athletics. Initially, athletic training was a way to stay around the sports I had participated in, however, as I learned more about the profession from the athletic trainer at my school, I became more and more interested in making it my career. Working as a student athletic trainer during college really cemented my choice, as I realized that it didn’t feel like work to go to the training room, games, or practices.  Rather, I enjoyed it and athletic training was quickly becoming a passion and a big part of my life.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

This job often gives me the chance to guide a patient from the point of initial injury, through rehabilitation, to return to activity, and on to continued maintenance and prevention of future injuries.

What is the best thing about working for Therapy Center?

The feeling of family and the atmosphere of respect between the many professions that make up the therapy center staff, allowing us to give our patients the most comprehensive care possible.

Do you have any hobbies or any activities you enjoy doing most in your spare time?

Art, drawing mostly, and reading anything and every thing I can get ahold of.

 


February 14, 2013

Landing a Great Job Volume 2: Apply, Inquire, Repeat!

You’ve taken the first step by doing your research and then just going for it… You’ve applied for your first job. Now what? Don’t just sit around waiting for the phone to ring. Keep searching for a job and then Apply, Inquire, and Repeat!!

1. You have narrowed down your search and you know what positions are most appealing to you. You’ve applied for the job you’ve been dreaming of ever since your first day of class. Don’t stop there. Keep reading about various companies and the differences between them all. What makes the company unique? What might one company offer that another does not? How do these companies compare to each other? Keep applying.

2. Now you’ve landed an interview! Congrats! Have a list of questions ready to go – How does the company pay their employees; salary, per hour, or other? Are you required to work weekends? What benefits are offered? Are you responsible for finding your replacement if you need a day off? How many facilities will you be required to cover? Are you required to sign a contract or a non-compete clause? Is there opportunity for advancement? This is also your opportunity to sell yourself to the employer and prove yourself as the best applicant for the position. Asking questions and taking a real interest in the company will show that you are looking for a position that will be a great fit and that you’re prepared to make a well informed decision.

3. And finally, repeat! When you are asked to go on another interview, go for it! Ask the same questions. Compare the companies. Go on as many interviews as you’re offered. Don’t pass up a chance to learn more about a potential employer. Keep your list of questions handy and review the answers that you were given from each company. Using this system will provide you with an easy way to determine which companies would be at the top of your list. You will quickly learn what benefits and perks are most important to you when it comes to your new job.

Don’t rush and accept the first job offered to you. Although the application and interview processes can be stressful and tedious, it is well worth your time to investigate multiple jobs. Applying for opportunities with different companies and attending multiple interviews will arm you with very valuable assessment information. You might say, “Oh, this job would be perfect for me!” about every job you apply for, but you won’t really know which position is your perfect match until you have similar information from each company.

 

Therapy Center currently has Occupational Therapy job opportunities in central Louisiana.

Email Ava Hebert, recruiting@therapyctr.com, to inquire today!

Therapy Center Recruiting


January 24, 2013

Therapy 2013: What is CERTAIN in Uncertain Times

Filed under: Blog,Compliance — Tags: , , , , , , , — Kristi Fredieu @ 3:14 pm

“The SNF 2013 final rule alters reimbursement rates, changes some procedure codes, penalizes providers who do don’t participate in one quality reporting system, and refuses payment for claims that fail to include other quality measures.” (12/18/12 ASHA Leader)

Outcome Reporting:

While the SNF 2013 final rule requires reporting to begin on January 1, 2013, the first six months of 2013 is being considered a transition period. Beginning July 1, 2013, in order to receive payment, CMS mandates that Part B therapy providers document G-codes on admission, discharge, and every 10th visit in the medical record.

While G-codes may not be difficult to report, they will require the coordination of your therapy team and billing department to ensure that these measures are correctly coded. These claims will not be denied nor will they be paid in the event that G-codes are not included. It is critical that your therapy team and biller work together closely to ensure that all therapy provided is coded correctly and reimbursement is received. Click Here to learn more

Therapy CAPS:

CMS has increased therapy caps to $1900 for Physical and Speech Therapy combined and $1900 for Occupational Therapy, a $20 increase from 2012.

Continued use of the KX modifier with an authorized exception for claims beyond $1900 is required until the patient reaches the $3700 threshold. Once the threshold has been met, manual medical review is required to continue reimbursable therapy services.

This process requires immense collaboration in the SNF between Social Workers, Admission Coordinators, Billers, and Therapists to accurately track what services have been received and billed in order to determine at what point modifier use and submission of manual exception paperwork is required. Ongoing collaboration is necessary as significant delays and conflicting information has been received by facilities since implementation of this process 10/1/2012. For more information visit the Novitas website

Additionally, both ZPIC Audits and the OIG pledge increased scrutiny on Skilled Nursing Facilities. During these uncertain times, it is critical to have a dependable therapy team coupled with up-to-date compliance knowledge to ensure that you are being reimbursed for care provided in your facility.

Therapy Center’s dedicated Compliance Department stays up-to-the-minute on the ever-changing and often-confusing rules and regulations. We provide on-going education to staff — our own as well as the staff in our partner facilities — to give you the peace of mind in knowing that new regulations are being met, and arming you with the tools you need to fight denials if necessary.

In these uncertain times, you cannot just continue with the status quo and hope for the best. Take a proactive step to help secure the future of your facility.

 

Contact Therapy Center today to receive a complimentary, customized review of your facility and a one-on-one consultation to discuss how we can help you continue your success.

Kristi Fredieu
Business Development & Marketing Manager
337-384-9791
kfredieu@therapyctr.com


January 7, 2013

Landing a Great Job Vol. 1: Do Your Research

Finding the perfect job is easier said than done. But there are things you can do to ensure that you’ll make a good decision and you won’t find yourself in an unpleasant situation.

1. First things first…determine what setting is the best fit for you.

Pediatrics, hospital, home health, skilled nursing facility, inpatient rehab, outpatient clinic, traveling therapy, or something else? Each setting has certain characteristics that may or may not fit your lifestyle and personality. For example, do you prefer to work in a single facility and know that you will work the same schedule every single day? If so then an outpatient position might be the place for you. Perhaps you enjoy a constant change of scenery and you like to work independently; then you may consider a position in home health. If you enjoy daily interaction with other therapists and those of different disciplines, a job in skilled nursing or inpatient rehab may best suit your needs. Whatever the case, you should determine this before you go out on your quest for the perfect position.

2. Next, narrow down your choices and do your research on the top picks.

What type of atmosphere does the company have as a whole? Who runs the company and makes all the major decisions? Will you ever interact with these decision makers? Does the company have a website, and is it functional and up-to-date? Does the company participate in social media? If so, visiting the company profiles on those sites can really help you to learn what the company is doing internally and within the community. Arrange an on-site tour. Nothing will give you a better feel for the company than spending a few hours or a day in the facility shadowing a therapist. See for yourself how working for that company would make you feel.

3. And finally, ask around.

Do you know anyone who works for the company? Ask them for their opinion. Get the inside scoop… What is it really like to work for this company?

Job hunting can be a tedious process and it’s easy to make a quick decision. Know this ahead of time and try not to act impulsively. Take time to do your research so that you can make an educated decision that you are happy with at the end of the day.

 

Did you know that Therapy Center was named as “One of Acadiana’s “11 Great Places to Work”? Read the article here.

For more information on Therapy Center careers, contact:
Ava Hebert
337-207-3493
ahebert@therapyctr.com



July 12, 2012

Is Your Therapy Team Maximizing Reimbursement?

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , , , — Kristi Fredieu @ 2:34 pm

A complete therapy team– including Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy– is vital to the success of your therapy program as well as the success of your reimbursement under Part A, Part B, and Medicaid.

With regards to quality patient care, providing all disciplines of therapy provides a more thorough assessment and intervention program for your patients. From fall prevention to pain management, dysphagia monitoring to ADL’s, each discipline of therapy provides a unique set of offerings to benefit patients.

Physical, Occupational, and Speech therapists should not only be present in your facility daily, but should be available to your staff and patient families for in-services and training to ensure individualized patient care. Timely screens should be conducted by all disciplines prior to Case Mix assessments to determine if there have been changes in function that would warrant therapy, thus increasing CMI regardless of payor source.

Part A reimbursement is greatly impacted by availability of therapists as treatment minutes provided over the 7 day window are most easily maximized when all warranted disciplines are involved. Absence of one or more discipline can leave patient needs unaddressed and Part A money on the table.

Part B revenue can best be increased by having a full team actively participating to improve early identification of patient issues and reduce risk of falls, wounds, contractures, aspiration pneumonia, and the like.

Therapists who sporadically fly in and out of facilities are not able to detect mild changes in patient function in order  to proactively address patient needs — often costing facilities revenue due to recurrent hospitalization, need for equipment, increased dependence on staff and the potential of other illness related to regression.

Knowledgeable, available, and involved therapists are critical to maximizing your Part A RUG rate reimbursement and Part B revenue and Case Mix Indices. Therapy Center provides geriatric-focused therapists of all disciplines to its partner facilities ALL day, EVERY business day. Does your therapy provider?

For more information on Therapy Center’s programs, contact us today!

Kristi LeLeux FredieuKristi Fredieu
kfredieu@therapyctr.com
337-384-9791


June 19, 2012

Are Administration and Therapy on the Same Team?

Filed under: Blog,Compliance — Tags: , , , , , — Kristi Fredieu @ 8:58 am

2012 regulations have brought about changes to standard assessment reference windows, coupled with new changes regarding requirements for End of Therapy OMRA’s, making communication between administration and therapy essential to ensuring the best possible RUG date is selected for maximal reimbursement. Add to this the creation of Change of Therapy assessments by CMS, and the potential for Medicare Coordinator exodus has increased exponentially.

Therapy Center is always available – not only to provide the best quality care to our patients but also to provide valuable guidance on RUG planning to our partner facilities. Our Compliance Director maintains open communication with MDS Coordinators to ensure that the best decisions are made in those tricky cases where a variety of options are possible. Administrators should arm themselves with information regarding the number of “extra” assessments being done and the potential financial impact of those assessments on their facility.

Everyone knows the challenge of finding and keeping a good MDS nurse. Is your therapy provider working with you to make sure that additional work is not being added to your MDS nurse’s role due to under-staffing, poor planning, or mismanagement on the part of your therapy department?

 

Let the Therapy Center team assist your facility in establishing its place in the continuum of care and provide the therapy required to utilize short-term Part A stays. Your patients will benefit — and your revenue will too!

kristi-fredieuKristi Fredieu
Business Development & Marketing Manager
337-384-9791
kfredieu@therapyctr.com


June 12, 2012

Preparing Patients for the Return to Home

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , , — Kristi Fredieu @ 1:26 pm

Embracing Our Role as a Stepping Stone from Hospital to Home

It is vital, in the face of ongoing healthcare reform and cuts to Medicare and Medicaid funding, that Skilled Nursing Facilities clearly define their place in the continuum of care in local communities.

Increased scrutiny on length of stay for acute hospitalizations and rehab placements has forced early discharge on patients with a variety of medical events. When faced with discharge options, families and caregivers often opt for discharge to home with home health or outpatient services, even though reduced mobility, frequency of treatment, and convenience all pose risk to returning to prior level of function.

Why would a family member choose an option that will likely not produce the best possible outcome for their loved one? Simple: fear.

There is a long-standing and commonly-held perception that nursing homes are only for long-term and low-function with little to no promise of returning home. This could not be further from the truth and Therapy Center is committed to providing the education and services to change that image.

- All of the homes that Therapy Center partners with benefit from full-time Physical, Occupational, and Speech therapists with specialized training in geriatric medical issues. Our therapists are available 5 days-a-week and as needed on the other 2 days, to provide the necessary intensity of therapy to allow for functional return to home.

- Therapy Center’s marketing team works tirelessly to communicate with and help educate discharge planners, physicians, families, and patients on the importance of intense treatment in the early aftermath of illness or injury and the vital role that nursing home facilities play in the patient’s continuum of care.

- We work closely with in-patient rehabs, home health agencies, and health care providers to guarantee that patients are given every possible opportunity for independent or aided living in their own homes with length of stay varying from one week to a full 100 days of skilled care, depending on diagnosis and progress. Short-stay residents frequently return for visits and if their skilled nursing experience is a successful one, there is no better way to get the word out to the local community than through the words of a former patient!

Let the Therapy Center team assist your facility in establishing its place in the continuum of care and provide the therapy required to utilize short-term Part A stays. Your patients will benefit — and your revenue will too!

kristi-fredieuKristi Fredieu
Business Development & Marketing Manager
337-384-9791
kfredieu@therapyctr.com


June 5, 2012

Therapy Center Student News: Walker Gardner, PT Student

Walker Gardner, who is pursuing his degree in physical therapy at the University of St. Augustine, recently sat down with us to talk about his experience while doing a clinical rotation at our partner in-patient facility, Rehabilitation Hospital of Jennings…He’s got some interesting things to say, check it out…

Watch and read more student interviews here….


May 28, 2012

Speech Language Pathology Spotlight: Katy Brennan

Filed under: Blog,Speech Therapy,Team Member News — Tags: , — Kristi Fredieu @ 1:03 pm

In celebration of Better Speech and Hearing Month in May, we are highlighting some of our longest tenured therapists…

Katy Brennan, originally from Broussard, Louisiana, received her Master of Science Degree in Speech/Language Pathology from the University of Louisiana @ Lafayette. She began working for Therapy Center in 2009 and is currently a full-time SLP at Tri Community Nursing Center in Palmetto, Louisiana. Katy has been a true asset to our team and here is what she had to say about her life and career as an SLP.

Why did you choose the field you work in? I honestly thought that I wanted to be a nurse.  A lot of my family members are nurses, including my mom, so I thought that was what I wanted to do until I realized that the sight of blood and seeing people in pain wasn’t my cup of tea.  I chose this field my first semester in college knowing that I could change to another major if it wasn’t for me but I realized that it was exactly what I wanted to do.   I love to talk and I love to eat so what better job for me than to help people communicate while improving their ability to enjoy all the foods of our culture.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? The most rewarding part of my job is helping my residents reach their personal goals, whether it’s improving their swallow so that they can eat the foods that they love, communicate with their family/peers, or safely return home after a stroke/fall.   Sometimes the most rewarding part is helping caregivers/family understand the progression of a specific disease process , cope with the loss of the person they remember, and helping them to find ways to continue to communicate and emotionally connect.

Favorite part of working at Therapy Center? The best part of  the Therapy Center is the people that I work with.  It’s another family to me.  I’m very grateful for all of the relationships I have with my coworkers company wide.  We laugh together, cry together, sometimes have drinks together.   I work for good people and I work with good people who are good therapists.

Hobbies/areas of interest: I’m the mom of the cutest little boy I know.   His name is Briggs and he’s 18 months old.  He keeps me incredibly busy and is relentless with his love for playing outside and making sure that every toy he owns is pulled out several times a day, every day.   I don’t know if my hobbies have changed or if I’ve just learned to better appreciate long uninterrupted baths, 20 extra minutes of sleep, small efforts of friends and family to help in any way, and a good glass of wine.

Learn more about Therapy Center’s team members here…


May 22, 2012

Therapy Center Student News: Emily Bordelon, PTA

Filed under: Blog,Physical Therapy,Therapy Center Student News — Kristi Fredieu @ 8:07 am

Emily Bordelon grew up in Hamburg, Louisiana and she recently graduated from Louisiana College on May 12, 2012. Here is what Emily had to say about her time with us during her clinical rotation.

Where did you complete your rotation with Therapy Center?
I completed my second rotation at the Hessmer nursing home, but I also had the opportunity to observe at Rio Sol, Valley View and Colonial nursing home.

Why did you choose the field you are studying in?
I knew that I always wanted to work in the medical field because I wanted to help people. The only problem is that I’m not a big fan of dealing with blood and needles so I needed to find something less graphic but still have a “hands on” approach. I was able to observe and work in an outpatient clinic which then made me realize that this is truly what I want to do for the rest of my life. I can still help others throughout their healing phase so they can return back to work/ADLs with less graphics. I love interacting with people and this would soon be a career that I could honestly say that I will love.

What is the biggest thing that you learned while on rotation with us?
The biggest thing I’ve learned would have to be documentation on Smart! Because I was taught to document on a SOAP method, it was a challenge to document according to the company’s and Medicare guidelines especially on a computer program. I did feel more comfortable with my documentation towards the end of my rotation. Also, I learned how to effectively treat and communicate specifically with the geriatrics which was a new learning experience for me.

Favorite part of working with Therapy Center staff:
I will definitely miss working with the Therapy Center staff! They are like  a big family and made me feel like I was a part of that family instead of just being a student! They made it a fun and positive atmosphere to work in. I loved the teamwork aspect they incorporate into their daily treatment with the collaboration of PT, OT and ST. They are an awesome crew to work with and I learned so much from all of them. They even convinced me to start my career here in the nursing home.

Hobbies/other areas of interest:
I love to cook especially any recipes by Paula Deen, walking, playing tennis and golf, being in the great outdoors, dancing, watching movies, photography, facebook, trying out new restaurants, big dog lover especially labs (I want one in each color), going to LSU/Saints games and spending time with family and friends.

Anything interesting about yourself that you want others to know:
I’ll be having a precious baby girl, Olivia Grace in September and I can’t wait to be a mother!

To see more student interviews, visit our blog, Therapy Center Student News!


May 15, 2012

Therapy Center Student News: Jasper Adcock, PT/OT

Filed under: Blog,Occupational Therapy,Physical Therapy,Therapy Center Student News — Kristi Fredieu @ 8:36 am

Jasper Adcock, who has already completed his occupational therapy degree at the University of St. Augustine, is pursing a degree in physical therapy as well. We sat down with him to talk about his experience while doing a clinical rotation at our partner in-patient facility, Rehabilitation Hospital of Jennings…He’s got some interesting things to say, check it out…

Watch and read more student interviews here….


May 10, 2012

Therapy Center Student News: Jennifer Nuce, DPT Student

Filed under: Blog,Physical Therapy,Therapy Center Student News — Kristi Fredieu @ 8:40 am

Jennifer Nuce’s hometown is all the way in Largo, Florida. She is currently in the DPT Flex program at The University of St. Augustine and graduates in August 2013. She recently completed her clinical internship with Therapy Center at Rio-Sol Nursing Home, but during this time she was also able to work at Hessmer Nursing Home and Colonial Nursing Home.

Here is what Jennifer had to say about her time with our team:

Why did you choose the field you are studying in? Since I took high school anatomy years ago, I was so amazed in how the human body works and repairs itself.  I wanted to be a part of that and felt physical therapy was the best way to help injured or deconditioned people regain their strength and abilities.

What is the biggest thing that you learned while on rotation with us? The biggest thing I learned while on rotation with Therapy Center was performing the initial evaluations and learning how to document electronically.

Favorite part of working with Therapy Center staff:  My favorite part of working with the Therapy Center staff is how supportive they’ve been and ready to lend me a hand as a student.

Anything interesting about yourself that you want others to know: Outside of school I enjoy Yoga, running, and spending time with my husband and two children, ages 8 and 5. Something interesting about myself you may not know is that I served in the US Army as a field combat medic in the 1990s and on top of being a DPT student, I am currently working as a PTA in a retirement community furthering my education.

To see more student interviews, visit our blog, Therapy Center Student News!


May 3, 2012

Therapy Center Student News: Michelle Moss, SLP Student

Michelle Moss, Speech Language Pathology student from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, tells about her experience working in our partner facility, Gueydan Memorial.

Watch and read more student interviews here…


April 30, 2012

OT Spotlight: Danielle Keyser

In celebration of Occupational Therapy Month in April, we are highlighting some of our longest tenured therapists…

Danielle Keyser, originally from Lafayette, Louisiana attended LSU Baton Rouge and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. After working with other rehabilitation providers, she began with the Therapy Center in 2005.
Danielle is currently a mentor and, as of now, primary treating Occupational Therapist at Maison Teche Nursing Home in Jeanerette, Louisiana. Soon she will be moving toward an education role where she will provide Therapy Center’s team of therapists with new treatment ideas and geriatric treatment techniques. Here is what Danielle has to say about her time working as an OT for the Therapy Center:

Do you have any certifications? Certifiably CRAZY

Why did you choose the field of occupational therapy? I love the involvement with people on a very personal and intimate level that our field allows. I love that we care about every little detail that is important to a person’s life, and that we get to creatively come up with ways to help them do the things that are most important to them.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Watching patients succeed and seeing how we work together as a group to make that happen for each individual.

What is your favorite part of working at Therapy Center? Christmas Party!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In all seriousness, I love the team work that our company is built upon. We don’t function as individual homes or environments; we are an entity that, which makes us bigger and better than the services that any one therapist can provide.

Hobbies/other areas of interest: A good party, fishing, hunting, socializing

Anything interesting about yourself that you want others to know? Well, I am a little shy. Hahahaha! There is not much about me that people DON’T know! One thing that I hope people do know is that I am very passionate about life in general. How much I love what we do as therapists, how much I love my friends, and everything else that I love, is always very sincere. I know it makes me a bit eccentric, but it’s how I roll!


April 24, 2012

OTA Spotlight: Jennifer Gremillion

Filed under: Blog,Occupational Therapy,Team Member News — Tags: , — Kristi Fredieu @ 8:23 am

In celebration of Occupational Therapy Month in April, we are highlighting some of our longest tenured therapists…

Jennifer Gremillion, originally from Simmesport, Louisiana, attended Delgado Community College in New Orleans. She began working for Therapy Center in January of 2009. Currently Jennifer is a COTA at our partner facility, Tri Community in Palmetto, Louisiana.

Why did you choose the field of occupational therapy?
I choose the field of occupational therapy because of it’s holistic nature.  It treats the whole person and addresses the importance of people’s psychological and emotional well being as well as physical needs. It enables people of all ages and abilities to engage in the activities and occupations that are meaningful to their lives.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is work directly with clients and seeing their face light up when they have accomplished a goal or activity that they have worked so hard to achieve and returning home.

Favorite part of working at Therapy Center?
My favorite part of working for the Therapy Center are my co-workers.  They make me laugh even on the most stressful days.


April 19, 2012

OT Spotlight: Sherie Soileau

Filed under: Blog — Tags: — Kristi Fredieu @ 8:01 am

In celebration of Occupational Therapy Month in April, we are highlighting some of our longest tenured therapists…

Sherie Soileau is originally from Marksville, Louisiana and is a graduate of ULM -University of Louisiana at Monroe. She has worked as an occupational therapist for the Therapy Center since 2006.
Currently, Sherie is the supervising therapist at Valley View and Colonial nursing home and is responsible for COTA supervision/documentation , evaluations and assisting with patient treatment.

Why did you choose the field of occupational therapy? I always knew I wanted a profession in the medical field and a profession that was friendly for a woman especially one who wanted to raise a family. I was introduced to the field of OT by my cousin and observed several treatments in the out-patient field an immediately draw to idea of being able to help rehabilitate people with injury/disabilities. It seemed fun, interesting and rewarding.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? The most rewarding part of my job is initially evaluating a resident with a disability and having the chance to work with them until discharge and being a witness to their progress to PLOF or return to their homes. Also just doing simple little tasks such as applying makeup to painting their fingernails to help put a smile on their face!

Favorite part of working at Therapy Center? My favorite part of working at the Therapy Center is getting to work with awesome co-workers every day.  Having great team work and collaboration together with treatment of patients helps make it rewarding to come to work. Also the trust, flexibility and understanding of management towards employees when it comes to completing their jobs.

Hobbies/other areas of interest: Enjoy gardening, scrap booking, camping/boating/skiing, enjoy being outdoors spending time with family and friends.

We want to thank Sherie for her team work and dedication to the Therapy Center!! We are lucky to have her as part of our team…


April 16, 2012

Employee of the Quarter: Kathryn Perejo Cormier

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , — Kristi Fredieu @ 9:41 am

Kathryn Parejo Cormier is a Speech Therapist who joined the Therapy Center team in June of last year and has been making quite an impression ever since! Over the past few months, Kathryn has been working as an internal floater between several Therapy Center facilities and the staff in every facility she visits wants to keep her!

Kathryn’s peers describe her as friendly, knowledgeable, and the ultimate team player. Her mentor praises her excellent documentation and willingness to always help wherever she is needed.

Congratulations to Kathryn on being voted by her peers as Therapy Center’s Employee of the quarter!


April 12, 2012

Trip to Wal-Mart Aids in Independence & Therapy

Filed under: Blog,Occupational Therapy,Physical Therapy,Speech Therapy — Kristi Fredieu @ 8:11 am

A therapy field trip with Rio Sol patients was scheduled for Walmart on 4/4/12. During this shopping trip, the following activities were completed which helped to achieve the therapists goals as well as to aid in the patients gain independence:

  • Therapy began with transporting patients in/out of the vans.
  • The patients had a shopping list and had to follow and problem solve on what we needed to make a garden in pots.
  • Patients worked on scanning the environment for items on our list.
  • Patients assisted with picking out plants and then we took the ladies down the makeup isle for them to browse and the men went to look for a kits to make motorcycles and vehicles.
  • Patients assisted with our purchases for check out.

Everyone had a great time, but most importantly the patients enjoyed their trip to Wal-Mart.  Physical Therapy worked on transfers and ambulation while shopping, and Speech Therapy worked on problem solving and sequencing for shopping.  Occupational Therapy worked on socialization and play/leisure exploration and performance for improving their psychosocial and psychological skills while also addressing safety on our trip.

Staff present on the trip included:  Alayna Brewer, PT and Jennifer Nuce, PT student, Amber LaPrairie, OT, Clintin “Spencer” Wallace, COTA, Elise Kelone, OT student, Brooke Normand, ST, Stacy Bordelon, Tech and Althea Benjamin, Tech.  Mrs. Cynthia (social worker); Megan (ward clerk); and Kim (activity director)


April 10, 2012

Therapy Center Student News: Andrea Couvillon, OT Student

Where is your hometown?
Cow Island, LA

School/University are currently studying:
LSUHSC at New Orleans

Where did you complete your rotation with Therapy Center?
Maison Teche in Jeanerette, LA

Why did you choose the field you are studying in?
Desire to help individuals live life to the fullest.

What is the biggest thing that you learned while on rotation with us?
How to maintain independence and function in geriatrics

Favorite part of working with Therapy Center staff:
Energetic staff and wonderful residents

Hobbies/other areas of interest:
Fishing; I can catch a red fish from a kayak!

Andrea and her OT class at LSUHSC New Orleans made this video for Occupational Therapy Month, which is celebrated during the month of April. Check out their entertaining and educational video they made to get on the Ellen show.

The video cannot be shown at the moment. Please try again later.


March 15, 2012

Avoiding COT Situations: Will Your Facility be Covered During the Holidays?

In the wake of the 2012 Medicare Part A regulation changes, administrators and owners need to be aware of the reasons behind End of Therapy (EOT) and Change of Therapy (COT) OMRA assessments occurring in their facilities; most of which are often unnecessary and avoidable.

Without this awareness, valuable patient care and Medicare dollars are being left on the table. Compounding this is the increased burden placed on already stressed MDS nurses created by the need to perform additional MDS 3.0 assessments. Poor planning on the part of inadequately trained and educated therapists by their therapy company can result in unnecessary drops in RUG levels and reimbursement. It is important to remember that there can also be valid reasons for COT assessments and that COT’s can result in increased RUG levels in cases where patient tolerance for treatment improves between regularly scheduled PPS assessment windows.

It is now more critical than ever before that your therapy provider understands the intricate details associated with the 2012 SNF Final Rule to ensure adequate reimbursement.

Therapy companies who have historically struggled with staffing will likely find their staffing issues compounded due to the decreased flexibility for facilities, MDS Coordinators, and therapists, to adjust ARD windows to avoid COT and EOT situations. This will inevitably result in an increase in problems due to the increased demands on staff.

We encourage nursing home administrators to be aware of the challenges posed by the new guidelines and communicate with therapy and MDS coordinators to ensure that additional work and loss of revenue is being minimized.

Therapy Center is prepared. We have provided our therapists with detailed training on COT’s and EOT’s – both the benefits and the risks. Our dedicated Compliance Department serves as another layer of support to work through patient scenarios to avoid negative COT or EOT situations. Our managers are constantly monitoring patient treatment for potential issues, coordinating staff where needed and taking a proactive approach to ensure that EOT OMRA’s and negative COT’s are minimal or negated completely.

Call us to find out how we can help your facility.

Kristi Fredieu
Business Development & Marketing Manager
337-384-9791
kfredieu@therapyctr.com


March 7, 2012

Therapy Center Student News: Elise Kelone

Elise Kelone, OT student from LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, LA tells about her experience working in our partner facilities in Avoyelles parish. Stay tuned for more student interviews and news updates…

 

Watch more Therapy Center News student spotlights…


February 28, 2012

Therapy Center Student News: Heather Matte, PTA

Heather Matte, PTA student from Our Lady of the Lake tells about her experience at Courtyard Manor  Nursing Home, Therapy Center’s partner facility in Lafayette, LA. Stay tuned for more student interviews and news updates…

 

Watch more Therapy Center News student spotlights…


February 20, 2012

Therapy Center Student News: Joanne Doan, PTA Student

Joanne Doan is currently studying the Physical Therapy Assistant program at Our Lady of the Lake College in Baton Rouge. Joanne is completing a student rotation with the Therapy Center team at River Oaks Retirement Manor in Lafayette, Louisiana and told us a little bit about herself and what she has learned during her rotation.

Why did you choose the field you are studying in?
The reason I chose physical therapy is because of my brother. He was in a motor vehicle accident 4 years ago that lead to him having a traumatic brain injury. He was in a coma for many months and when he woke up, he had to start from scratch. He couldn’t walk, eat, talk or even remember who we were. Through his many months of recovering, the one main thing I recall the most is when he took his first step in the hospital. My family and I were all in tears because it was such a big accomplishment for him. Because of that day, I decided to go to school for physical therapy. I want to be able to give someone that feeling that I experienced and be able to help others achieve their fullest potential.

What is the biggest thing that you learned while on rotation with the Therapy Center?
I learned that teamwork plays a big role. Not just between physical therapy, but with all of the health care members, such as the speech therapist, occupational therapist/assistant, physical therapy technician and the nurses. By working all together, so much gets achieved which in return helps the patients’ progress towards their goals.

Favorite part of working with Therapy Center staff?
I love working with the Therapy Center staff at River Oaks Retirement Manor because they are so friendly, funny and helpful! These past weeks have flown by so quickly because I got along so great with all the workers here. If I had any questions, they would do their best to help me. They made me feel as part of their group and would always try to include me in everything, even lunch! They didn’t make me feel at all an outcast or a student who didn’t know any better. Even though they are the silliest people you may meet, they are the best therapists I’ve ever met.

See more Therapy Center student spotlights here…


February 7, 2012

A Story of Courage & Determination

Filed under: Blog,Physical Therapy — Tags: — Kristi Fredieu @ 8:00 am

Article written by Gisele Menard, PTA with the Therapy Center

“Our strength will continue if we allow ourselves to feel scared, weak, and vulnerable”-Melody Beattie

Lovenia Abshire’s story is one of courage and determination. When illness struck this winter, she found herself hospitalized for an extended period of time. When she returned home, she was very weak, bedbound, and had every reason to give up. But she was nearing her 92nd birthday, and family members were determined not to let her continue to decline physically. Mrs. Abshire’s daughters set up an around the clock schedule to care for her, teaming with physical therapy to receive training in bed mobility and transfers to sitting bedside.

In just two weeks, she has made miraculous progress. She is now transferring to her wheelchair and is able to walk short distances with minimal assistance from family and therapists. The Abshire family is a wonderful example of what can happen when a team approach to recovery is made. As home health therapists, Amy Deloach and I feel that every patient should be given the encouragement and support to get stronger, even in the later years of life.

Mrs. Abshire is so excited to begin each day, ready to show off her new skills to anyone who comes to visit; she is not ready to give up trying. She is looking forward to the spring time and is determined she will be able to walk outside and enjoy her plants and flowers once again.

Learn more about Therapy Center’s nursing home services, clinic services & mission.


January 31, 2012

Therapy Center News: Wade McFadden, PTA Student

Filed under: Blog,Physical Therapy,Therapy Center Student News — Kristi Fredieu @ 8:16 am

Wade McFadden, PTA student from the University of Arkansas State tells about his experience at Therapy Center’s outpatient clinic in Jennings, LA. Stay tuned for more student interviews and news updates…

 

Watch more Therapy Center News student spotlights…


January 25, 2012

Employees of the Quarter Announced

Filed under: Blog — Kristi Fredieu @ 9:45 am

We want to congratulate two outstanding employees for being chosen as “Employees of the Quarter”!!

Candice “Candi” Cooley has been essential in the successful operations at Jeff Davis Living Center. She always goes above and beyond to help with anything she can.  Candi is a Therapy Center advocate at all times, never complains and is a model employee!!  CONGRATS CANDI!!!

Susan Webb is an employee in our Marksville Clinic. Susan has been going above and beyond in helping get set up their new system “CLINICIENT” ready!! Susan has been contributing alot of her weekends, holidays, and taking work home to make sure that this program was ready to begin on January 3rd. She has been dedicating herself to the clinic’s success in being prepared for this big change in computer systems!! WAY TO GO SUSAN!!!

Here is a full list of all employee nominees:

Elisha Duhon
Susan Webb
Kimberly Lacombe
Amber Craft
Jodi Landry
Lisa Parker
Hollie Bonin
Kelli Gremillion
Jodi Regan
Melinda Chenevert
Greta Gremillion
Callie Soileau
Roschelle Scallan
Candice Cooley
Corrie Walton

 



January 24, 2012

Therapy Center Student News: Marianne Daigle, PT student

Filed under: Blog,Physical Therapy,Therapy Center Student News — Kristi Fredieu @ 2:58 am

Marianne Daigle, PT student from LSU-HSC in Shreveport tells about her clinical rotation at Therapy Center’s outpatient clinic in Jennings, LA. Stay tuned for more student interviews and news updates…

 

Watch more Therapy Center News student spotlights…


January 17, 2012

Therapy Center Student News: Jeremy Johnson, PTA Student

Filed under: Blog,Physical Therapy,Therapy Center Student News — Kristi Fredieu @ 8:44 am

Jeremy Johnson, PTA student from the University of Arkansas State tells about his experience at Therapy Center’s outpatient clinic in Jennings, LA. Stay tuned for more student interviews and news updates…

 

Watch more Therapy Center News student spotlights…


January 10, 2012

Therapy Center Student News: Kimberly Morris, PT Student

Kimberly Morris, PT student from the University of St. Augustine, tells about her experience at Therapy Center’s outpatient clinic in Jennings, LA & what she’s learned! Stay tuned for more student interviews and news updates…

 

Watch more Therapy Center News student spotlights…


January 3, 2012

Therapy Center Student News: Spotlight on Lauren Quinn

Lauren Quinn, from Lafayette, Louisiana is attending the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She recently completed a clinical rotation at our partner facility, Maison Teche Nursing Center in Jeanerette, Louisiana and Lauren shares what she has learned from her experience.

Why did you choose the field you are studying in? I love working with people, especially those in need of assistance in some way. Speech Pathology has always interested me.

What is the biggest thing that you learned while on rotation with us?
I learned firsthand, how to work with the geriatric population and those cognitively impaired.

Favorite part of working with Therapy Center staff?
I thoroughly enjoyed the personalities of each of the team members working in close relation with speech therapy. They had unique characteristics and ways of doing their job that contributed and expanded my overall knowledge base. The atmosphere was light hearted, and I felt comfortable being there.

Hobbies/other areas of interest:
I am relieved to say that after working this semester, I am still just as interested and maybe even more so, in working with this population and in the nursing facility. I am interested in the medical aspect of Speech Pathology, especially in the areas of swallowing and cognition.

Anything interesting about yourself that you want others to know:
I will be graduating from graduate school in May 2011 with a readiness to get into the work force and enthusiasm to put into practice the knowledge I’ve acquired throughout my educational years.

See more Therapy Center News student spotlights…

The Truth Behind Speech Therapy


December 15, 2011

Therapy Center Student News: Spotlight on Jennifer Champagne

Filed under: Blog,Physical Therapy,Therapy Center Student News — Tags: , — Kristi Fredieu @ 9:32 am

Jennifer Champagne, PTA student from Our Lady of the Lake tells about her experience at Therapy Center’s partner skilled nursing facility, Maison Teche, in Jeanerette & what she’s learned! Stay tuned for more student interviews and news updates…

 

 

Read more Therapy Center News student spotlights…


December 13, 2011

Therapy Center Student News: Spotlight on Teela Faircloth

Teela Faircloth, from Lafayette, Louisiana is currently studying Speech Language Pathology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Teela is completing a student rotation with the Therapy Center team at Jeff Davis Living Center in Jennings, Louisiana and told us a little bit about herself and what she has learned during her rotation.

Why did you choose to be a speech therapist?
To be perfectly honest, I have always enjoyed helping others. I know this sounds cliché for one to say; however it is what describes me the best. Speech therapists help individuals from many different populations improve quality of life and regain the ability to communicate. They possess the ability each and every day to make a positive difference in the life of a patient, whether it is regaining speech after a stroke or speaking for the first time with a speaking valve after a tracheotomy or eating foods by mouth following return of a functional swallow with elimination of tube feeding. This career I have chosen will benefit me just as much as the people I will treat. There is no better feeling than knowing you have made a positive impact on another person’s life. My grandmother would always tell me the way to lead a fulfilling and meaningful life is created through service to others in need and as a future Speech Language Pathologist, I intend to keep this in perspective.

What is the biggest thing that you learned while on rotation with us?
This past semester I had the honor of completing my rotation with the Therapy Center at Jeff Davis Living Center. As a student, working with the elderly and older adults has taught me many things. Foremost, the greatest thing I have learned from this rewarding experience is my dedication to this population. Daily life becomes a challenge as people age and I want to help alleviate their burdens.

Favorite part of working with Therapy Center staff?
The Therapy Center staff provides meaning to the old saying “respect your elders” as it is demonstrated in their admirable delivery of services to each and every resident. I had the privilege to shadow the facility’s Speech Therapist, Candice Cooley, who in my eyes possesses all the positive qualities a future clinician should strive to acquire. Her knowledge about the field, dedication, and empathy for others is communicated through her work. Her willingness to take the time and talk to patients to find out what is bothering them is admirable. Often times I watched as she would peek her head in a resident’s room just to say hi, providing the idea that yes someone cares and hasn’t forgotten about them. She listens and asks questions to understand each individual’s concerns. She has shown me to always implement laughter and love as an objective in each therapy session. Not only will this improve the quality of life in others, but I too have felt in just a short period of time the fulfillment in life that is created through service to others. I will follow in the footsteps of this great clinician.

What are your hobbies and other areas of interest?
I am very interested in observing and learning more about Modified Barium Swallow Studies. These studies are designed to test the safety of different foods and liquid consistencies.  I enjoy viewing the anatomic structures, the motions of these structures, and passage of the food through the oral cavity, pharynx and esophagus. The results of an MBS help determine the safest foods/liquids that patients can consume orally as well as appropriate exercises to be utilized in therapy.  I am also fascinated by individuals with memory loss and overall cognitive impairments. I look forward to helping those with dementia use strategies to preserve communication and cognitive functioning for as long as possible.  Below is a beautiful poem I found online and wanted to share with the Therapy Center.

Anything interesting about yourself that you want others to know?
I am the first person in my family to attend, graduate, and further my education in college. I have held a full time job since I was old enough to work and have paid my way through college while obtaining some debt along the way. I have experienced hardship and struggle; however the experience I obtained while working has taught me responsibility, courage, compassion, appreciation, teamwork, and humility. These are qualities I will demonstrate in my future career as a Speech Language Pathologist.

Dedicated to every family whose parent is suffering with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Living With Dementia
© Annabel Sheila

She’s trapped inside the prison walls
That used to be her mind.
The woman that she used to be,
Has long been left behind.

There are times she’s quite alert,
Her memory’s still intact.
Then there are days when she disappears,
And we know it’s not an act.

No longer able to care for herself,
We couldn’t leave her alone.
Her safety had to be assured,
So we placed her in a home.

Good days are when we visit her,
And she calls us by our name.
She’s grateful for the company,
And thankful that we came.

Most of the time it’s difficult,
To see our Mom that way.
All we can do is love her now,
As we take life day by day.

Source: Living With Dementia, Aging Poem, 5 Stories http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/living-with-dementia#ixzz1fBUOL42m
Family Friend Poems

Other related Articles:
- The Truth Behind Speech Therapy

- Check out other student blogs here


December 8, 2011

Is Your Facility Ready if Targeted for a RAC Audit?

Filed under: Blog,Compliance — Tags: , — Kristi Fredieu @ 8:30 am

Article posted by RACMONITOR.com (visit their site here...)

CMS Announces New Demonstrations to Help Curb Improper Medicare, Medicaid Payments

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced it will launch demonstration programs beginning in January 2012 targeting some of the most common factors that lead to improper payments. The cost saving projects will help protect Medicare and Medicaid, according to a news release posted on its site yesterday.

Beginning on January 1, 2012, CMS will conduct demonstration projects that will strengthen Medicare by aiming at eliminating fraud, waste, and abuse.  Reductions in improper payments will help ensure the sound future of the Medicare Trust Fund and protect Medicare beneficiaries who depend upon it, CMS said.  Additionally, noted the agency:

•    Recovery Audit Prepayment Review: The Recovery Audit Prepayment Review demonstration will allow Medicare Recovery Auditors (RACs) to review claims before they are paid to ensure that the provider complied with all Medicare payment rules.  The RACs will conduct prepayment reviews on certain types of claims that historically result in high rates of improper payments.   These reviews will focus on  seven states with high populations of fraud- and error-prone providers (FL, CA, MI, TX, NY, LA, IL) and four states with high claims volumes of short inpatient hospital stays (PA, OH, NC, MO) for a total of 11 states. This demonstration will also help lower the error rate by preventing improper payments rather than the traditional “pay and chase” methods of looking for improper payments after they have been made.

•    Prior Authorization for Certain Medical Equipment: The second demonstration announced yesterday will require Prior Authorization for certain medical equipment for all people with Medicare who reside in seven states with high populations of fraud- and error-prone providers (CA, FL, IL, MI, NY, NC and TX).  This is an important step toward paying appropriately for certain medical equipment that has a high error rate.  This demonstration will help ensure that a beneficiary’s medical condition warrants their medical equipment under existing coverage guidelines. Moreover, the program will assist in preserving a Medicare beneficiary’s right to receive quality products from accredited suppliers.

CMS said the Prior Authorization demonstration would be implemented in two phases. During the first phase (the first three to nine months), the Medicare Administrative Contractors will conduct prepayment reviews on certain medical equipment claims. The second phase, for the remainder of this three-year demonstration, will implement prior authorization, a tool utilized by private-sector health care payers to prevent improper payments and deter the fraudulent provision of items or services.

•    Part A to Part B Rebilling: The third initiative will allow hospitals to re bill for 90 percent of the Part B payment when a Medicare contractor denies a Part A inpatient short stay claim as not reasonable and necessary due to the hospital billing for the wrong setting.  Currently, when outpatient services are billed as inpatient services, the entire claim is denied in full.

This demonstration will be limited to a representative sample of 380 hospitals nationwide that volunteer to be part of the program. This demonstration will allow hospitals to resubmit claims for 90 percent of the allowable Part B payment when a Medicare Administrative Contractor, Recovery Auditor, or the Comprehensive Error Rate Testing Contractor finds that a Medicare patient met the requirements for Part B services but did not meet the requirements for a Part A inpatient stay.  In addition, this demonstration is expected to lower the appeals rate which will protect the trust fund and reduce hospital burden. Beneficiaries will be held harmless with respect to changes in hospital coinsurance liability.

New Projects Build on 2011 Savings

The 2012 projects announced yesterday will build on accomplishments in 2011 to reduce Medicare and Medicaid improper payment rates.
For example, the Medicare fee-for-service improper payment rate dropped to 8.6 percent, or $28.8 billion in estimated improper claims payments.  This rate was calculated using a refined methodology, after consulting with the Office of the Inspector General, that reflects the impact of late documentation and the results of appeal activities that typically occur after the cut-off date.  For consistency and comparison purposes, CMS adjusted the 2010 error rate to 9.1 percent or $29.7 billion. When comparing the adjusted rates, the 8.6 percent error rate for 2011 represents a 0.5 percentage point reduction in the improper payment rate from 2010.

In addition, for 2011, CMS noted the following:
•    The Medicare Advantage (Part C) improper payment rate, based on the 2009 payment year, is 11.0 percent, or $12.4 billion, a reduction from last year’s rate of 14.1 percent, or $13.6 billion.  The Part C improper payment rate dropped 3.1 percentage points (or 21 percent) from 2010, a result of the Administration’s aggressive corrective actions, including ongoing audits – with an emphasis on contract-level risk adjustment data validation audits – designed to recover over payments to Part C plans.

•    The Medicaid improper payment rate is 8.1 percent, or $21.9 billion in estimated improper payments.  This rate reflects a three-year average of the 2009, 2010, and 2011 cycle rates.  The Medicaid improper payment rate declined by 1.3 percentage points, reflecting ongoing efforts by the States and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to educate providers on the root causes of improper payments.
CMS also reported for the first time a composite improper payment rate for the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.  Based on payment year 2009, the improper payment rate is 3.2 percent, or $1.7 billion.  The Part D payment improper payment rate combines five component payment error measures: Medicare Advantage prescription drug payment system error; payment error related to low income subsidy status; payment error related to incorrect Medicaid status; payment error related to prescription drug event data validation; and payment error related to direct and indirect remuneration.

The improper payment rate for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will not be published until 2012, CMS stated.  The agency said it was prohibited from calculating or publishing a rate until six months after the August 2010 Payment Error Rate Measurement (PERM) program rules went into effect.  Due to the timing, HHS began measuring CHIP improper payments under the new program rules in 2011, and will publish the results in 2012, CMS said.

While improper payment rates are not necessarily an indicator of fraud in Medicare, Medicaid or CHIP, they do provide HHS, CMS and states with a more complete assessment of factors leading to error rates and new ways to help prevent them, noted CMS.
The CMS announcement coincided with a news release from the White House yesterday reporting that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced that the Administration had cut improper payments by $17.6 billion dollars in 2011 as part of the Obama Administration’s Campaign to Cut Waste, fueled by decreases in payment errors in Medicare, Medicaid, Pell Grants, and Food Stamps.

Read other related blogs here…


December 6, 2011

Occupational Therapists… Hmm, what exactly do they do?

Article written by Ava Hebert, Recruitment Manager for Therapy Center

After being surrounded by the world of therapy lately, I realized something… Growing up in a small town, I was simply not exposed to many professions and completely unaware of occupational therapy, for one. From that, I have drawn the conclusion that it is simply unfair to make an 18 year old choose what profession they should pursue and study in college as they begin a life of their own. Looking back, maybe I would have chosen a career as an occupational therapist (Nah, too much science involved; anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, oh my! That’s why I stuck with a good ole business degree).

Until recently, I’d never had any personal dealings with an occupational therapist. That all changed on June 19th, when my husband decided to stick his hand under the lawn mower while it was running.  After a trip to the emergency room, several x-rays and doctor visits, surgery to repair a nail bed and tendon, many stitches, three pins, and a husband with injured pride, we met an occupational therapist. My husband tells me that the therapy has been very challenging due to the amount of pain and loss of motion. After exercising his right ring finger for 30 minutes of attempting to write, type, and make a fist, he is dripping with sweat as though he were attempting to run a marathon. But I’m here to say that after a couple of visits to his therapist, several at-home exercises and a lot of determination, he is now using that finger as though the accident never happened. This is why occupational therapists are so very important.

The Difference Between an Occupational Therapist and a Physical Therapist

Many people struggle to understand the difference between an occupational therapist and a physical therapist. I sat down with Lauren Lemoine McCraine, an occupational therapist and Mentor with Therapy Center. She has been with Therapy Center for over seven years and she was very informative regarding the difference between the two professions. “The best way to describe the difference between occupational therapist and physical therapist is that PTs will teach you to walk to the kitchen, but OTs will teach you what to do once you get there. OTs are considered “holistic” therapists, in that we not only treat physical ailments, but we also address the social and psychological aspects of one’s life. We wear many hats on any given day– from OT to social worker, patient advocate to nurse, friend, or family.”

Where and How Occupational Therapists Treat

Occupational therapy is defined as the therapeutic practice of everyday actions in order to establish, recover, or maintain a person’s typical daily living activities. Occupational therapists help others to improve their basic motor functions and/or compensate for permanent loss of function. They are especially helpful to people who have a disabling condition or those recovering from an injury, as they can work with them to regain skills. Occupational therapists can also make the smallest adaptations, and with simple training techniques can give your loved ones the independence they need. For example, OTs can provide assistance for school aged children who suffer from disabilities by helping them to fully participate in school or social situations. In a skilled nursing facility, an OT is well known for providing support to the elderly population who may be experiencing physical or cognitive changes. Activities such as self-feeding, picking out clothes for dressing themselves, and performing grooming/hygiene tasks are all ways occupational therapists help to improve the patient’s quality of life and maintain a sense of dignity.  In all clinical settings, the main goal of an OT is to provide a better quality of life for the patient by helping them to achieve independent and productive daily functions.

Common Conditions Occupational Therapists Treat

Within her 7+ years of skilled nursing experience, Lauren tells me that the most common conditions she has worked with include strokes, osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, fractures, poor vision, COPD, depression, and age related decline. I wanted to know what types of exercises are commonly incorporated into an OT treatment plan, and what purpose these exercises serve. Just like other therapists, an occupational therapist will conduct assessments and evaluations to determine the areas in which a person may need help. But from there, how does an OT treat these conditions if they aren’t all physical? As Lauren explains it, “The thought behind this is that if an OT can discover an activity that is purposeful and meaningful to someone through conversations or evaluations, then there is more commitment to the task, it’s useful and familiar to the patient in regards to returning to prior level of function, and it can help build rapport between the therapist and patient. A simple task such as folding clothes while standing is something familiar, yet purposeful to the patient and can help to build motor skills, balance, and range of motion, among other things.”

Through my time with Therapy Center, my knowledge about occupational therapy has grown tremendously. I’ve learned that therapists in this field can develop a treatment plan out of almost any daily task; whether it be sweeping a room, putting a golf ball, painting, fishing, writing letters, brushing teeth,  and even making coffee, all of these activities are purposeful and meaningful to someone. Occupational therapy truly helps patients, young and old alike, maintain dignity and develop skills that help them live more independently.

To learn more about occupational therapy as a career, see the following articles.

•    Check out the following link to learn why occupational therapy was named one of the best careers of 2009: http://money.usnews.com/money/careers/articles/2008/12/11/best-careers-2009-occupational-therapist

•    To learn more about occupational therapy and find a school program near you, visit this link: http://www.aota.org/

•    And, if you’re an occupational therapist who is looking to expand your career and learn from the best, please visit this link:  http://therapyctr.com/employment-opportunities/current-job-openings


December 2, 2011

Who is Appropriate for Women’s Health Physical Therapy?

In continuation of our focus on women’s health PT, the article, “Physical Therapy for Your Lady Parts“, discusses what situations may warrant intervention from a women’s health physical therapist …

Here are six situations where a women’s health PT might be able to help you.

Incontinence

“Fifty percent of adult women will have incontinence at some point,” says Jennifer Klestinski, MPT, communications director for the Section on Women’s Health of the American Physical Therapy Association, who has a private practice in Madison, Wisconsin. “Because of anatomic differences, the effects of pregnancy and childbirth, and the effects of decreasing estrogen, women leak far more often than men. But with proper strengthening, the data shows there’s an 85-percent chance of complete resolution.”

The regimen: Weak pelvic muscles are a major factor in incontinence, so in addition to Kegel exercises, Klestinski recommends doubling up: “Engage the pelvic floor muscles while doing other daily core exercises—like Pilates—to strengthen the abs, back and hips.” Another surprising cause is osteoporosis, because a rounded back causes our thoracic cavity and abdomen to press on the bladder. A WHPT would recognize this during an evaluation and could prescribe appropriate exercises for bone density loss.

Organ Prolapse

Think of prolapse as a hernia that mostly affects women. When the muscles that hold the pelvic organs become weak or stretched, the organs—the bladder, uterus, small bowel, rectum—can drop from their normal spot and push against the wall of the vagina. As many new mothers know, pregnancy is the most common cause of prolapse. However, it’s not just the trauma of the childbirth that’s a factor—it’s also the extra pounds. “There could be 15 to 25 pounds plus the weight of a baby pushing on the perineum,” says Klestinski. This means that excessive weight gain (no baby necessary) can also put you at risk. Weight maintenance is key to avoid risk of prolapse.

The regimen: Klestinski explains how a WHPT would take a holistic approach to address organ prolapse. “We work from the top down and from the bottom up. From above you may have extra body weight and extra downward pressure from poor posture, dysfunctional bladder habits or from adhesions due to prior surgeries or injuries. From the bottom up, we have the pelvic floor muscles, which act as a supportive hammock to the pelvic organs.” Many WHPTs can help women work on weight management through exercise. To further improve the “top down” issues, the therapist would use manual techniques, patient education and posture training. At the other end of the, um, spectrum, she’d put the patient through workouts to strengthen and tone the pelvic muscles. This gives us yet another reason to do those darn Kegels.

Pregnancy and Recovery

Pregnancy causes profound anatomical and hormonal changes to our bodies. “Some women’s bodies accommodate those changes quite well, and some women require a fair amount of work and assistance,” says Jill Boissonnault, WCS, PT, PhD, past president and founder of the International Organization of Physical Therapists in Women’s Health.

The prenatal regimen: Pushing out a baby is never going to be easy, but some WHPTs say that massaging the perineum with a lubricant, as well as stretching the hip and pelvic muscles, can help a woman “open up” during delivery, which could make her less likely to tear. There’s also evidence that pregnant women can be taught how to bulge and flex their pelvic muscles correctly during labor, which can help avoid C-sections.

The postpartum regimen: “There are things a woman can do to mitigate some of the risk for future dysfunction, like strengthening her pelvic floor with Kegels throughout her pregnancy and after she delivers,” says Boissonnault. She adds that in France, where postpartum wellness visits are included under national health coverage, new mothers are likely to be advised by a WHPT about strengthening their pelvic floor muscles, their abs and their posture.

Pelvic Pain

Because many women avoid talking about this with their friends, family members and even their sexual partners, pelvic pain can be emotionally exhausting as well as physically unbearable.

Vulvodynia: An excruciating affliction of the vulva which affects an estimated 16 percent of women at some point in their lives, vulvodynia is described in this video from the Dr. Oz show as feeling like “acid burning the skin” or a “constant, knife-like pain.” It can be caused by trauma to the pelvis, which may result from chronic yeast or bacterial infections, physical force, accidents, surgery, or physical or sexual abuse.

I know a woman in her mid-20s who has suffered from vulvodynia since childhood. She suspects the cause may have had something to do with an ill-fitting waist harness on a forceful carnival ride. In her quest for relief, she was referred to gynecologists, dermatologists and psychologists, and tried topical anesthesia, antidepressants, talk therapy and the patronizing advice to “have a glass of wine and you’ll be fine.” She was finally told that pain-free sex would require surgery, and her doctor advised her to visit a women’s health physical therapist to prepare for the procedure.

“Many doctors assume that women’s health physical therapy can only take you to a certain point,” says my friend’s therapist, Gopi Jhaveri, PT, DPT, co-owner of Brooklyn Health Physical Therapy, “but we know it can take you all the way to recovery.” Jhaveri discouraged the surgery and instead worked with my friend to develop a rehab program. Four months later, my friend joyfully credits Jhaveri with her “cure.”

The regimen: This varies depending on the patient’s anatomy and type and severity of symptoms, but treatment often includes regular in-office manual therapy, at-home stretching using dilators, exercising daily to strengthen the pelvic muscles, avoiding harsh cleansers like soap in favor of sweet almond oil, and using a local anesthetic like lidocaine during sex.

Vaginismus: A 2010 episode of MTV’s True Life featured three women in their 20s whose pelvic conditions prevented them from having intercourse. Tali, an aspiring singer, had a condition called vaginismus, which involves painful, involuntary spasms and tightening of the vagina. As part of Tali’s treatment, Isa Herrera, MSPT, clinical director of Renew Physical Therapy in Manhattan, showed Tali and her boyfriend how to manually stretch Tali’s vagina (it was more clinical than kinky).

Herrera specializes in intra-vaginal massages to release tight or uncooperative muscles, and also in teaching patients and their partners to do this as home. “One out of three women has some sort of pelvic pain,” says Herrera, who is also the author of Ending Female Pain: A Woman’s Manual. However, she says, many women don’t admit it. “I’ve heard excuses like ‘it hurts unless I keep changing positions’ or ‘it hurts because my partner is so big.’ But the vagina is a wonderful thing and should be able to accommodate just about any man.” Herrera says WHPTs empower women to recognize and alleviate their physical discomfort.

The regimen: Techniques vary, but Herrera says she often follows a full pelvic muscle evaluation with manual massage, including trigger-point release technique to “release knots.” Herrera stressed that although the pain may occur in the pelvic area, the most successful approaches are holistic and involve the entire body. “Pain during sex can cause enormous anxiety, which results in the tensing up of different muscles groups, from the pelvis and the legs to the neck and back.” An important aspect of treatment includes diaphragmatic breathing and relaxation techniques to help the patient deal with the anxiety as well as the pain.


Contact one of our clinics today if you are interested in talking with one of our women’s health professionals.

Visit our Women’s Health section on our blog…click here


November 30, 2011

Pet Therapy: Helping Residents Live Healthier & Happier, the Story of Abbey & Jeanne

Filed under: Blog,Team Member News — Tags: — Kristi Fredieu @ 8:23 am

Article written by Jeanne LeBeouf, Speech Therapist for Therapy Center.

On Thursday, July 7th, I noticed an article in the Gueydan newspaper about a dog who was looking for a “forever home”.  Her foster parents were concerned that she may never be adopted, and resorted to putting an ad and photo in the newspaper seeking a family for her. I’ve never owned a dog, and didn’t consider myself to be a “dog person”; however, I was wrong. It was love at first sight.  I learned that Abbey, the Border Collie mix, had been surrendered by her owner at the local animal shelter and was scheduled to be put to sleep due to her age and the need for space at the shelter.  Second Chance Paws, a volunteer organization dedicated to help give rescued dogs a second chance, pulled Abbey from the shelter the day she was scheduled to be euthanized. She was given that second chance.

Abbey immediately displayed love and affection for her new family.  She was very attentive when spoken to and was easily trained in basic obedience skills.  With 3 children, I quickly noticed that Abbey preferred to be in a calm, quiet room of the house where she could nap in peace.  At times when the children accidentally stepped on her tail or bumped into her, Abbey was able to walk away without showing aggression toward them. Abbey was reliable with her good manners and social skills.  Although I thought Abbey was going to be our family dog, Abbey decided that she wanted more…

After a wonderful weekend of getting to know and love Abbey, I returned to work on Monday raving about her!  The Gueydan Nursing home had a “pet” once before, a cocker spaniel who lived outside the therapy room.  However, he was so mischievous and rambunctious that he hardly stepped a paw into the nursing home.  Fortunately he was adopted by a family and loves his new home!  Knowing the kind of dog my Abbey was, I spoke with our administrator and staff at the nursing home about the possibility of Abbey joining me at work.  With their blessing, Abbey has been coming daily to Gueydan Memorial Guest House with me for the past four months! Upon veterinary exam, Abbey was guessed to be about 8-10 years of age. And as a senior citizen herself, Abbey fit right in at the nursing home!

Abbey’s expressive eyes confirmed what I felt all along.  She wanted to be a part of something bigger.  In the nursing home, Abbey was embraced by dog lovers of all ages, and she was able to become part of the Gueydan Memorial family.  Abbey’s story quickly spread throughout the nursing home, and many residents brought their families and loved ones by the therapy room to see her.  Abbey’s presence in the nursing home had many residents reminiscing of their former pets and sparked a joy for animal lovers. At that time, Abbey’s role in the therapy setting was both casual and unstructured. Abbey was able to “socialize” within the nursing home community as a companion to those around her.

With her changing role in the nursing home, both Abbey and I will be participating in a series of tests in order to become a “trained human-animal team” through Pets for Health and Delta Society Pet Partners.  These organizations provide strict guidelines, training, evaluations, registration and liability insurance for Abbey and I to become a registered therapy team.  As a therapy team, we will be trained and tested in the Canine Good Citizen Test, which consists of nine parameters including accepting a friendly stranger, sitting politely for petting, appearance and grooming, walking on a loose leash, walking through a crowd, sit and down on command/staying in place, coming when called, reaction to another dog, and reactions to distractions.  As Abbey’s handler, I must complete either a Delta Pet Partner Weekend Workshop or a Home Study Course, pass a written exam, and pass the Aptitude and Skills Test with Abbey. In addition to re-evaluation every two years, and continuing education requirements, Abbey will be required specific inoculations as suggested by LSU Veterinary School, and a systemic medication regime for heart worms, fleas, etc.  As a team, we will be trained to provide volunteer services including Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) and Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT). Typically AAA involves visiting in hospitals, nursing homes, pediatric units, emergency rooms and intensive care units where we would bring joy, comfort and compassion to those in need, while AAT is typically goal oriented.  In my case, as a Speech Therapist, I would direct the interaction between Abbey and the patient as a therapeutic modality, such as assisting with memory skills and increasing social interactions.  Examples of these human-animal teams are seen during the week in places such as Lafayette General Medical Center’s inpatient rehabilitation unit, Our Lady of the Lake, Women’s and Children’s Outpatient Rehabilitation, as well as several other hospitals and nursing homes.

Every morning when we arrive at Gueydan Memorial, Abbey greets the residents with a friendly sniff and a wagging tail! In the past four months, several residents in Gueydan have purposefully participated in Abbey’s care by supervising her outdoor activities, brief dog-sitting, and grooming.  Because we work in the “Duck Capital”, Abbey has been invited on several hunting trips in the marsh and has posed with resident hunters and their trophies for photos. In a way no medication or no one else could, Abbey has brought meaning and purpose as well as joy to one particular woman suffering from depression.  Another patient suffering from severe Alzheimer’s disease and has difficulty expressing meaningful speech, was able to speak directly to Abbey with love and was easily understood.

Abbey has a huge heart and just wants to give love to those around her. Although it would be easy for me to take the credit in Abbey’s good behavior and mannerisms, the truth is, she is so attentive and eager to please that she simply trained herself to be the perfect dog for both my family and the Gueydan Memorial family. Every time I think about the joy she brings to all of those around her, and how grateful I am for finding her, I know Abbey is even more grateful to continue her life and share it with those around her.

A special thank you to my employers at Therapy Center, the administration and staff at Gueydan Memorial Guest Home, the volunteers at Second Chance Paws, and the volunteer coordinator at Pet’s for Health, Ms. Merlyn C. Hering.  Abbey and I are grateful to have this opportunity to increase public awareness of the therapeutic benefits of human-animal teams in the rehabilitation setting.

Please continue to follow Abbey and Jeanne’s story on our blog.

Here are a few other interested links to the therapeutic benefits of pets.

The Therapeutic Benefits of Pets

5 Ways Pets Can Improve Your Health


November 28, 2011

Therapy Center News: ST Student Spotlight on Lindsey Winder

We are excited to introduce you to Lindsey Winder, speech language pathology student at UL Lafayette. He recently completed a clinical rotation with us and tells about his experience at Therapy Center’s partner skilled nursing facility in Lafayette! Stay tuned for more student interviews and news updates…


November 23, 2011

Is your current therapy provider prepared for 2012 PPS changes?

As expected, the month of October has brought great change to the landscape of therapy reimbursement in Skilled Nursing Facilities. The 2012 PPS changes primarily impact the way therapy providers deliver services and hold therapists to a higher standard if current RUG rate reimbursement is to be maintained. Here is a breakdown of what these changes will mean for SNFs and therapy providers:

New Calculation of Group Therapy Minutes

The new calculation system on group therapy requires that, regardless of group size, the minutes provided to a group of 2-4 patients be divided by 4, making group therapy an inefficient way to deliver treatment unless absolutely necessitated by the patient’s condition. In addition, the new rule calls for increased documentation requirements requiring therapists to justify the use of group as opposed to individual treatment. This regulation could result in the need for increased staff to provide the same level of care.

End of Therapy Tracking (EOT)

New 2012 PPS rules now consider all SNF providers to be 7 day per week facilities, meaning if therapy is missed on a Monday or Friday without any therapy over the weekend, the SNF is required to perform an EOT OMRA resulting in the patient’s RUG level to fall into a Nursing PPS RUG. If therapy is not resumed within 5 consecutive days, therapy must discharge their patient and a SOT OMRA will be required to continue the patient under Part A therapy. Planning patient care and appointment tracking are critical to ensure avoidance of EOT OMRA situations. Weekend, holiday, or evening coverage may be required to avoid these default situations.

Change of Therapy OMRA (COT OMRA)

The  Change of Therapy (COT) OMRA forces the monitoring of delivered days and minutes every 7 days beginning the day after the last scheduled or unscheduled PPS assessment. Under this new regulation, patients are essentially in perpetual assessment and if a patient falls into a lower or higher RUG category in each 7 day look-back, and additional assessment will be required. Payment will be impacted for the previous 7 days and potentially into the future.

Increased flexibility and availability of full-time therapists is a MUST!

Has your current therapy provider discussed their pans for coverage at your facility to ensure that you will be minimally impacted by these changes?

Therapy Center has remained proactive in preparation of the changes and has provided on-going training to our partner facilities and team members.

Call us to find out how we can help your facility.

Kristi Fredieu
Business Development & Marketing Manager
337-384-9791
kfredieu@therapyctr.com


November 17, 2011

Nursing homes report SNF PPS rule to result in layoffs; reduced wages, benefits

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , — Kristi Fredieu @ 8:49 am

The following article was published by Long-Term Living Magazine on 11/7/11.

Nursing homes plan to lay off an estimated 20,000 workers nationally in light of the final SNF PPS rule for FY2012 that went into effect on October 1, according to a new Avalere Health survey conducted for the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care.

The facilities surveyed also reported cancellations of facility expansions or renovations, and nearly 50 percent expect to make cuts in staff benefits. An earlier analysis by Avalere Health LLC, also found the new CMS regulation will reduce Medicare funding to the nation’s SNF sector by $79 billion over 10 years.

The survey, held from October 3-17, generated 292 responses representing at least 2,932 facilities, according to Avalere. Small providers (fewer than 100 beds) comprised 37 percent of the respondents; medium providers (100-1,000 beds) 44 percent of respondents; and large providers 19 percent of respondents.

Specifically, the new survey of SNFs reports the following:

●  Staff reductions. More than one-third (36 percent) of facilities plan layoffs, which include a reported 113 registered nurses, 125 licensed practical nurses and 458 certified nursing assistants.

●  Postponed hiring. More than one-third (37 percent) of facilities replied “yes” regarding the postponement of hiring direct service staff; 40 percent of facilities replied “yes” regarding corporate or other non-direct service staff.

●  Postponed/canceled expansions and renovations. Almost one-fourth (24 percent) of facilities will put off an expansion or renovation project in light of the PPS rule, which represents a delay or cancellation of 80-85 facility projects.

●  Changes to staff wages. Almost three-fourths (74 percent) of facilities will modify staff wages, including wage freezes, across-the-board percentage cuts to wages, cuts to therapy wages, reductions to starting salaries for new employees and elimination of bonus plans. Fifty-eight percent of those respondents indicated that they were already under, or were likely to implement, a wage freeze or reduction in annual increases.

●  Changes to staff benefits. Nearly half (48 percent) of facilities will reduce or eliminate contributions to 401(k) plans, reduce or freeze contributions to health insurance premiums, and increase cost-sharing for employee health insurance plans, among other changes.

Avalere noted that survey respondents were self-selected and the survey itself distributed via associations representing nursing facility providers, therefore casting doubt on whether the findings are a representative sample of all facilities nationwide.


November 15, 2011

Therapy Center News: OT Student Spotlight on Sara Taylor

Sara Taylor grew up in Grand Lake, Louisiana, a small town south of Lake Charles. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy at the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. Sara recently completed a one week rotation with Therapy Center in the in-patient rehab at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Jennings. We asked Sara to tell us about her experience while on her first rotation and here is what she had to say!

Why did you choose Occupational Therapy for your career?
“From a very young age, I knew that I had a desire to work with people in the medical field, but I wanted to choose a field in which I could interact with others on a personal level to reach their goals. Enabling clients to recognize their worth and their abilities, even in the presence of disease or disability, is very important to me. Occupational therapy strives to be client-centered and recognizes the needs of the client in their everyday environment – in the home, workplace, school, or community – to guide each client’s therapy goals. Utilizing this approach, occupational therapists must remain dedicated to the unique situation of each client and form creative approaches to best treat each individual.”

What is the biggest thing that you learned while on rotation with us?
“During my rotation, I learned so much about therapeutic activities and interventions, but the lesson that will remain with me the most is the importance of communication – both with clients and among staff members – to deliver the best possible treatment to each client.”

What was your favorite part of working with the Therapy Center team?
“Every Therapy Center staff member that I had the opportunity to work with treated me with a great deal of respect and was eager to answer my questions, teach me something new, and guide me to discover things about myself and how I worked with others. More importantly, each staff member treated his or her clients with the same level of respect and enabled them to play an active part throughout their rehabilitation process.”

What else you should know about Sara Taylor!

When Sara is not in school, she enjoys running, water sports, golfing, spending time with her family, and going to festivals and community events in New Orleans. She has a special interest in community wellness promotion, and hopes to someday incorporate her experience and knowledge into working with families or corporations who desire to lead healthier lives.

Read more Therapy Center News student spotlights…


November 10, 2011

Music: Food for the Mind, Body and Soul

Article Written By student guest blogger: Tess Autin
Music Therapist, Board-Certified
Master of Occupational Therapy Student, LSU-HSC New Orleans

Music has long been a fundamental part of each and every culture across the globe as a means of interaction and expression. Therapeutic benefits of music were first noted after World War I and World War II when musicians began singing and playing at hospitals for war veterans with physical and emotional trauma. Administrators observed noticeable positive changes in patients and commenced hiring musicians to deliver “therapy” using music. Since then, music therapy has formed into a profession with formal training through an accredited college curriculum, and the scope of practice has expanded to nearly every healthcare and educational setting. Although music therapy is now recognized as a credentialed and specialized occupation, there are several ways that anyone may utilize music in daily life to enhance experiences.

The next time you need to remember something, try singing it out loud or to yourself to a familiar tune. Chances are that you will be able to remember exactly what it is and it will remain engrained in your memory for some time. Why is this? Certain pathways of the brain are stimulated by music. These same pathways are responsible for memory and learning. That is why we often associate familiar songs with specific events in our lives. Even individuals with dementia are often able to sing along to familiar songs although communication may be impaired and they are unable to remember much else. Music may be used to promote wellness, manage stress, alleviate pain, express feelings, improve memory and communication, and promote physical rehabilitation.

Suggestions for therapeutic activities using music include, but are not limited to: music listening for meditation and distraction; lyric discussion; singing of routines for memory retention; movement to music for range of motion and exercise; and instrument playing. Not only can the above goals be achieved, participants will have opportunities for social participation, emotional expression, positive reinforcement, and relaxation.  Make an effort to encourage the use of music in everything you do, after all, it is the only language that binds all of us through the gift of rhythm and melody.

For more information on the profession of music therapy, please visit the American Music Therapy Association’s website at www.musictherapy.org


November 7, 2011

Therapy Center News: Student OT Spotlight on Tess Autin

Tess Autin is from Baton Rouge, LA and is currently studying at LSUHSC- New Orleans for a Master’s degree in occupational therapy. She recently completed a rotation with us at our partner skilled nursing facility, Maison Teche in Jeanerette, with mentor/OT Danielle Keyser.

Why did you choose the field you are studying in?

“I found occupational therapy as an undergrad through my experience in music therapy. I have always wanted to work in the therapeutic setting to provide services that pursued the highest quality of life possible in each individual. As soon as I learned about occupational therapy, I was hooked. I like that occupational therapists work in a variety of settings, and the scope of practice is focused on treating the whole person, and not just the specific problem or disability.”

What is the biggest thing that you learned while on rotation with us?

“I learned a lot about the recent changes in Medicare and how it affects healthcare professionals. That was extremely important to me, because I haven’t been exposed to it in any of my other fieldwork experiences. I now feel more informed on how to advocate for the importance of reimbursement for therapy services.”

What is your favorite part of working with the Therapy Center team? “Every team member I encountered was eager to include and educate me on everything he or she was doing. It is obvious that the employees love what they do and are passionate about quality patient care!”

What else you should know about Tess!

Tess has a huge passion for music. She sings, plays guitar, and plays piano. Tess also a chorister with the New Orleans Opera! She pursued music therapy as an undergrad and is now a board-certified music therapist. She hopes to utilize music-based interventions in future roles as an occupational therapist. Tess says she is almost equally as passionate for New Orleans Saints and LSU football!


November 4, 2011

Employee of the Quarter: Bo Deal

Filed under: Blog,Team Member News — Tags: , , — Kristi Fredieu @ 8:55 am

Our first Employee of the Quarter is Bo Deal.

Bo Deal, PT/OT, has filled a gap in the Jennings area by covering both rehab and OT home health in a very large radius.  Bo has always been a team player and filled whatever need the Jennings area presented.  Despite the challenges of his new environment, Bo’s attitude has been positive and his adventures in swimming, biking, and running have been an inspiration to all.  He is training for an Iron Man competition in the near future.  We wish him well and thank him for his commitment as a team player for the Therapy Center.


November 3, 2011

Landmark Study: Direct Access to PTs Associated With Lower Costs, Fewer Visits

The following was announced by the APTA on October 13, 2011.

On behalf of APTA and its sections on Health Policy and Administration (HPA) and Private Practice (PPS), we’re pleased to announce the release of a new study that we expect will have positive implications for our profession and the association’s efforts to achieve direct access to physical therapists. Funded by a grant from APTA, PPS, and HPA, this study examined non-Medicare claims data and compared self-referred episodes of physical therapy to physician-referred episodes of physical therapy.

Published ahead of print September 23 in the journal Health Services Research (HSR), the study suggests that “the role of the physician gatekeeper in regard to physical therapy may be unnecessary in many cases.” Patients who visited physical therapists directly for outpatient care had fewer visits and lower overall costs on average than those who were referred by a physician, after adjusting for age, gender, diagnosis, illness severity, and calendar year. In addition, overall related health care use — or care related to the problem for which physical therapy was received, but not physical therapy treatment — was lower in the self-referred group after adjustment. Examples of this type of care might include physician services and diagnostic testing. The study also found that individuals were similarly engaged with the medical care system during and after their course of physical therapy care, suggesting that continuity of care did not differ between the 2 groups. A news release on this study was distributed to the national media earlier today and provides more detailed information.

We believe the results of this study will support our efforts to work with legislators and physician groups to establish policies that reduce unnecessary regulations, improve access, and build models of delivery that best serve our patients and the health care system.

Earlier research has supported direct access to physical therapists as safe and cost effective, but the new HSR study is by far the most comprehensive to date. Not only did it look at a far more extensive number of episodes than previous research, but it also controlled for illness severity and other factors that could have affected the patients’ outcomes.

In the coming weeks, you will be hearing more about this landmark study as APTA, HPA, and PPS roll out a comprehensive communications plan to members, the media, and the public. In addition to our news release referenced above, we will be developing sample presentations and talking points for you to use in your community outreach. You also will learn more through interviews, podcasts, and other educational opportunities for members.

We hope you are as excited about this new research as we are, and we look forward to working with you to educate decision makers on this study and its positive implications for patients and the health care system.

Sincerely,
R. Scott Ward, PT, PhD
President, American Physical Therapy Association
Thomas DiAngelis, PT, DPT
President, Private Practice Section
Rick Gawenda, PT
President, Section on Health Policy and Administration


October 31, 2011

Introducing Our Women’s Health Professional: Katherine Prevost

Katherine Prevost originally from Rayne, Louisiana received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Kinesiology from University of Louisiana Lafayette and attended LSU-HSC in Shreveport for her Doctorate of Physical Therapy.

Katherine recently joined the Therapy Center team in 2011 as a PT in our Jennings outpatient clinic. She also works in the inpatient rehab and home health settings in Jennings. Katherine has a passion for women’s health and is excited for the opportunity to be able to pursue that through the Therapy Center.

When asked what the most rewarding part of her job is, she says, “It’s when my patients tell me that I have helped them overcome something in their life or helped them with something that they thought was impossible.  It is the most rewarding feeling to know that you had an impact in someone’s life.”

Katherine chose this career after she had to get physical therapy herself. “I was hurt when I was in high school and had to go to a physical therapist.  I loved my therapist, all the staff, and the atmosphere of the clinic.  I felt that this would be the perfect job for me because I love being around people and making a positive impact in people’s lives,” says Katherine.

Favorite part of working at Therapy Center? The staff.  Everyone is so supportive and willing to help me accomplish my goal of pursuing a Women’s Health specialization.

Hobbies/other areas of interest: I love sports, working out, and the outdoors, but I also love to go shopping and spend money every now and then.

Do you need help with what questions to ask your doctor? Do you want to know if physical therapy can help you? Katherine is available Monday – Thursday from 8-5 and Friday 7-12 at Therapy Center Clinic in Jennings, 337-824-4547. A referral from your physician is needed for these services.


October 26, 2011

Introducing Our Women’s Health Professional: Alayna Brewer

Alayna Brewer, originally from Plaquemine, Louisiana received her Bachelor’s degree from Louisiana College and went on to pursue a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine in Florida.

Alayna began working for Therapy Center in 2010 and  currently works as a clinician in Therapy Center’s partner skilled nursing facilities in Avoyelles Parish. She is also our women’s health professional at Lemoine Therapy Services in Marksville, one of Therapy Center’s outpatient clinics.

Why did you choose the field you work in? I have always wanted to be involved in patient care and the healing process.  I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. I enjoy interacting with people on a daily basis. I chose the field of women’s health because there is such a need for therapists in this area.  It is a specialized area that is very challenging.  Each patient is different and requires one-on-one care. These patients are looking for help and are very grateful to find therapists who are knowledgeable in their condition as well as compassionate.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Seeing patient’s to the end of their treatment program and knowing that I made a difference even in the smallest way.  It’s very rewarding to know that I was able to help improve the patient’s condition and restore their function. The most rewarding part of all is watching a patient achieve a personal goal or do something they didn’t think was possible. For my women’s health patients, the best part is restoring their independence and decreasing symptoms of their condition that are limiting daily activity.

Favorite part of working at Therapy Center? One of my favorite parts of TTC is the camaraderie that is formed with my co-workers especially, as well as the mentors and owners.  The owners have gone above and beyond in my opinion to keep employees happy despite necessary changes in Medicare reimbursements and increased scrutiny of documentation.  They are willing to listen to our individual ideas and concerns and I always feel like my voice is heard.

Hobbies/other areas of interest: Reading my e-reader (I love that thing), taking my daughter swimming, horseback riding, SHOPPING (especially for shoes), photography (but I’m not very good at it yet), watching movies with my daughter and husband, I like killing time in Baton Rouge and trying new restaurants.

Anything interesting about yourself that you want others to know: I love the people that I work with! While in college, I worked at Blue Bayou as a Lifeguard, Supervisor, and Instructor, we have a total of 8 dogs and 2 cats at home, I love QVC! I’m a part of a Krewe in Alexandria and I have a blast with those women, I am not much of a runner but I hope complete a 5K soon (like complete it and not pass out)!

Do you need help with what questions to ask your doctor? Do you want to know if physical therapy can help you? Alayna is available Monday – Thursday from 8-5, and Friday from 8:00am – Noon at Lemoine Therapy Services in Marksville, 318-240-7680. A referral from your physician is needed for these services.


October 24, 2011

What is Women’s Health Physical Therapy?

Oprah.com recently focused on a topic that is rarely discussed…”Physical Therapy for the Lady Parts” ! In conjunction with our October celebration of PT month, we want to explore the profession of women’s health physical therapy and introduce two of our very own practitioners whose passion is helping women of all ages who might suffer from conditions that affect their daily living. Future blog articles will also address who is appropriate for treatment and what conditions can be treated using women’s health PT.

Origin of Women’s Health Physical Therapy (WHPT)

According to the APTA, “the Section on Women’s Health of the American Physical Therapy Association was formed in 1977 by Elizabeth Noble. Originally called the Section on Obstetrics and Gynecology, it was founded to serve as a resource for physical therapists interested in the healthcare of women before, during, and after pregnancy.” The popularity of Women’s Health specialty grew in 1995, when a group of orthopedic physical therapists recognized that their clinics were filling up with women whose concerns weren’t being addressed. Most women think that when they have problems like pelvic pain or incontinence that the only person who can help is their doctor. In many occasions, practitioners of women’s health physical therapy are called in to problem solve for women (and some men) who have problems with sexual intercourse, urination, fertility, pregnancy preparedness, postpartum recovery and cancer recovery.

Why is Women’s Health Rarely Talked About?

Information on this topic is not easily found so it’s no wonder why many individuals have never heard of it. “Women’s Health PT is not well publicized in the U.S. and many women are not familiar with what WHPTs can do to help them. Many issues that women face are delicate topics and not many people like to discuss their incontinence or sexual dysfunction problems with just anyone,” explains Alayna Brewer, WH PT for Therapy Center.

Fortunately though, Women’s Health PT is a growing practice. According to the APTA, many physical therapists have specialized training that can benefit women with a variety of medical conditions. Today’s emphasis on fitness and wellness has brought to women’s attention a need to pay closer attention to their bodies during recreation, work, and throughout life.

Physical Therapy is a less invasive solution

In talking with two of Therapy Center’s very own Women’s Health PTs, its remarkable the passion that both Alayana Brewer and Katherine Prevost have for this field of work. Both agree that physicians and physical therapists can work together to provide the best solution for the patient.

Many people assume surgery is the only fix for their problem.  The fact is that surgery isn’t the only solution! “Our goal as WHPTs is to treat these individuals before going under the knife. Much research has been done in the past 10 years in regards to women’s health PT and how it may be beneficial to our patient population,” Brewer says.

Doctors and Physical Therapists are trained differently in how they treat pelvic floor issues.”I also think it’s very important to have a close relationship with physicians during the course of treatment. Physical therapists evaluate the pelvic floor for mechanical or muscular issues that may be causing pain or dysfunction, but it’s important to also have patients see a physician first to rule out any alternative disease process that may be contributing to the pain,” explains Katherine Prevost, WHPT.

Physical Therapists are trained muscle specialists who know how to strengthen, stretch, and relax muscles in way that the physician may not. PT’s can teach patient’s techniques, exercises and stretches that will allow for the relief of symptoms without relying on drugs, which may have negative side effects.  Therapy can also help a client become more independent while teaching them to manage their condition and symptoms on their own.

To schedule an appointment or for more information, please contact one of the following women’s health professionals located at Therapy Center’s outpatient clinics: (Physician referrals are needed for these services)

Therapy Center-Jennings, LA: Katherine Prevost, 337-824-4547

Lemoine Therapy Services-Marksville, LA: Alayna Brewer, 318-240-7680


October 20, 2011

Everyone Has a Dream: Man in Black is Back

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , — Kristi Fredieu @ 12:43 pm

Roy Doiron, of Jeanerette, was first treated by Therapy Center therapists at Maison Teche Nursing Center. He was able to  return home, following rehabilitation, and achieved a personal goal on September 23rd, when he auditioned for Rox Star at Cypress Bayou Casino. The Man in Black serenaded the audience with an acapella version of Jambalaya. Roy will perform again on November 18th, as his performance qualified him for semi-finals. The Therapy Center congratulates you Roy Doiron! We are proud to see you benefit from all of your hard work! See Mr. Doiron’s performance below.

Story submitted by Danielle Keyser, OT/Mentor, and is pictured left with Mr. Doiron. Danielle accompanied Mr. Doiron to the competition and was part of making his dream a reality. Also pictured left is Mr. Doiron with his supporters and fans!


October 17, 2011

PT Spotlight: Jeff Person

Filed under: Blog,Team Member News — Tags: , , , , — Kristi Fredieu @ 8:41 am

In celebration of Physical Therapy Month in October, we would like to spotlight some of our very own PT’s.

Jeff Person is from Jennings, Louisiana, where the Therapy Center was born! He graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and then pursued his career as a physical therapist at Texas Women’s University. Jeff joined Therapy Center’s team in 2002 and works in our outpatient clinic in Jennings as a clinician.

Jeff is a certified clinical instructor through the APTA and has taken many PT students under  his wing. He likes to share the passion that he has for his profession with PT interns and says that his career as a physical therapist “is a perfect fit”.

When asked what his favorite part of working at Therapy Center is, Jeff said, “I have an incredible team who I am able to work with and continue to grow and learn with.  I feel every day we grow as a team and become a stronger clinic.  I also really enjoy the fun we are able to have working together.”

What is the most rewarding part of Jeff’s job? Patient satisfaction.  He also enjoys gaining knowledge in his profession, whether its through continuing education seminars, learning from others, or sometimes just figuring something out for himself.

Hobbies/other areas of interest: My family comes first!  I am a huge Ragin’ Cajun sports fan and just a sports fan in general.  I enjoy golf and any social activity or gatherings.

Anything interesting about yourself that you want others to know: I think it is funny that people assume since I am a sports fan that I am a LSU fan.  Couldn’t be further from the truth.  No way, no how.  I bleed red.  Geaux Cajuns! I am also nearing completion of my Manual Therapy Certification.


October 14, 2011

Therapy Center Employee Drawing: Linda Roy Wins!

Filed under: Blog — Kristi Fredieu @ 8:14 am

A huge congratulations goes out to Ms. Linda Roy, speech therapist at Hessmer Nursing Home! We want to recognize Linda for being part of a great team and for going above and beyond for her patients and for Therapy Center!

Watch the drawing here!!

 


October 13, 2011

Therapy Center Employee Drawing: John Romero Wins!

Filed under: Blog — Kristi Fredieu @ 6:28 pm

Kudos to John Romero, therapy tech at Tri Community, who won our employee drawing today! We also want to recognize John for being part of a great team and for going above and beyond for his co-workers and patients!

Watch the drawing here!


Legislative Action Alert: Therapy Cap

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , , , , — Kristi Fredieu @ 7:30 am

Posted by APTA, October 4, 2011: Click here for full PDF version.

Only 88 days remain for Congress to take action on the therapy cap and Medicare payment cuts. It is critical that Congress pass legislation before December 31, 2011 to extend the therapy cap exceptions process and to avoid the scheduled 29.5% cut in provider payments under the Medicare physician fee schedule.

This year, the opportunity to have this devastating payment cut and expiring therapy cap exceptions process resolved will require targeted messaging to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the Supercommittee, is a joint select committee of the US Congress, created by the Budget Control Act of 2011 on August 2, 2011. The 12-member panel, divided evenly among Democrats and Republicans, has until November 23, 2011 to propose at least $1.2 trillion in 10-year budget savings. If it does not propose a package or if Congress doesn’t approve it, $1.2 trillion in automatic budget cuts will be triggered. The Medicare payment cut and the extension of the therapy cap exceptions process will need to be taken care of within the Supercommittee’s package. While APTA is working tirelessly with congressional offices on the hill to protect the profession and our patients from these impending budget cuts, we need your help.

In conjunction with the efforts driven by APTA’s lobby team, APTA Vice President of Government and Payment advocacy Justin Moore, PT, DPT was invited to testify before the United States House of Representatives on Ways and Means Health Subcommittee on the detrimental effect the therapy cap can have on Medicare beneficiaries. In his testimony Dr. Moore provided background on the therapy caps and described the types of patients who are most affected by the caps. Dr. Moore also highlighted several cost saving proposals to address the therapy cap and payment reform under Medicare Part B. Subcommittee ranking member Fortney Pete Stark (D-CA) said some of the provisions, such as the therapy cap exceptions process, “ensure critical access to needy Medicare beneficiaries.”
Help us reinforce our message by contacting your legislator today.

Message:
• Ask your member of Congress to sign onto the Dear Colleague letter initiated by Representative Allyson Schwartz which urges the Supercommittee to include the SGR fix in the Supercommittee’s proposal.
• Request that your Congressman sign onto the Therapy Cap Repeal legislation (H.R. 1546) and support addressing the therapy cap as part of the Supercommittee package.

What You Can Do
• Send an email to your Members of Congress TODAY. For sample letters and easy access to contacting your Members of Congress by electronic means or download and print letters, utilize APTA’s Legislative Action Center.
• Request your patients to contact Congress on this issue through APTA’s Patient Action Center. This site is designed to educate patients on the issue and to provide easy access to form emails and letters for them to contact Congress.
Keep Your Colleagues Informed – Request that your colleagues take action through APTA’s Legislative Action Center and sign up for APTA’s Grassroots Network, PTeam. PTeam will be the main source of information for legislative updates and breaking news on the effort to pass legislation to extend the therapy cap exceptions process and avoid the 29.5% cut.

Thanks for your help in getting the message through to Congress!


October 11, 2011

Life is Always Worth Living

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , , — Kristi Fredieu @ 8:19 am

Article was written by Gisele Menard, PTA for Therapy Center. (Gisele is pictured left with Mary Thibodeaux)

Mary Thibodeaux has been my home health patient off and on for over three years. Because her age is a factor, Mary is not eligible for joint replacement and she needs assistance from physical therapy. As part of her home exercise program, Mary has learned to stretch her hamstrings daily for relief from pain. At first, she could only reach halfway between her knees and ankles, but now Mary can reach her toes on both sides! At age 100, she is so proud of her accomplishments and the relief from chronic pain she receives from stretching.

I had the pleasure of celebrating Mary’s 100th birthday with her on April 13, 2011 in Egan. What a precious lady! My co-worker, Amy Deloach (PT), and I feel so honored to serve this wonderful woman who inspires us in so many ways. Most of all, Mary’s tremendous faith that life, even in the midst of pain, is always worth living.


October 7, 2011

The New COT OMRA: How Will Your Facility Manage?

This article was written by Harmony Healthcare in the October 5th Newsletter Issue:

Effective October 1st, a COT OMRA will be required for patients classified into a RUG-IV therapy category whenever the intensity of therapy changes to such a degree it no longer reflects the RUG-IV classification and payment assigned based on the most recent assessment used for Medicare payment.  CMS stresses that SNFs would be required to complete a COT OMRA only if the intensity of therapy changes to such an extent that the patient’s RUG classification, based on their last PPS assessment, is no longer an accurate representation of the patient’s current clinical condition.  This change in the therapy intensity may be due to scheduled changes or unscheduled changes.  The COT is indicated when the different RUG category is higher or lower than the RUG category in which the resident is currently placed.

If a therapy discipline is discontinued and this results in a patient no longer meeting the required number of therapy disciplines for the patient’s current RUG category then a COT OMRA would be required. In addition, if a patient fails to receive the requisite number of days of therapy required for classification into the RUG category, then a COT OMRA would be required to change the patient’s RUG category as appropriate.

The ARD for the COT OMRA would be set for day 7 of a COT observation period.  Beginning on the day following the ARD set for the most recent scheduled or unscheduled PPS assessment (or the day therapy resumes in cases where an EOT-R OMRA is completed) there will be a rolling 7-day look-back.  For example, if the facility uses PPS day 13 as the ARD for the 14 day assessment, the end of the rolling 7-day look-back period will be PPS day 20.  If on PPS day 20 the minutes are no longer an accurate representation of the previous RUG score, a COT OMRA will be required.

Payment begins the day after the ARD, the beginning of the COT look back period and remains in effect until the end of the payment window for the previous assessment or until a new unscheduled assessment (an OMRA, SCSA, or SCPA) is completed.

Example:

The 14 day PPS assessment ARD was 10/8 day 13, with a RUG category of RU (720 minutes) representing the payment category. The start of the COT observation period begins the day after the ARD of the 14 day PPS assessment (COT day 1= PPS day 14, 10/9/11) and continues to COT day 7 (10/15/11), which is PPS day 20.

The patient may achieve the represented RUG at any time during the look back period (think of it as the same look back period when completing a PPS assessment).  However, the minutes and days may only be looked back upon during that seven day COT look back period.  If a COT is not completed, the next COT observation period will begin the day following day 7 of the previous COT period.  Harmony stresses that it is imperative to monitor the therapy disciplines, days and minutes that are captured within each 7 day look back period for determining if a COT is required.


October 5, 2011

Every Person Has a Story

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , — Kristi Fredieu @ 9:24 am

For most of us, it’s safe to say that we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our day and our brief interaction with others doesn’t allow us to get to know their story. How many people do we come in contact with on a daily basis that are going through a rough time? How about those who are most excited about a new life event? We never know the impact that a simple “hello” or even a compliment can have on a stranger!

Some of us have a daily reminder of the importance of these stories. For example, when visiting our partner skilled nursing facilities, I have noticed the relationships that our therapists build with the patients they are treating. They see and understand who these patients were before they were admitted into the nursing home…No matter if these patients are there for a short stay solely to receive therapy, or if they have chosen to make the nursing home their permanent residence, our therapists recognize that the dignity and independence these individuals have enjoyed most of their lives should be restored and appreciated so their stories can continue on.

The video below can serve as a reminder that no matter how busy we get or sometimes how frustrated we may become with others, we have the opportunity to positively impact their lives.


October 3, 2011

Therapy Tech Spotlight: Monique Lawless

Filed under: Blog,Team Member News — Tags: , , , , , — Kristi Fredieu @ 11:58 am

Join us as we highlight our longest-tenured therapy techs during therapy tech month:

Monique Lawless, originally from Welsh, LA began working with Therapy Center in 2003 as a massage therapist and therapy tech. Monique attended Welsh High School and the Louisiana Institute of Massage Therapy. She chose this field of work because she truly enjoys helping patients feel better by reducing their pain. Monique says that the patients she has worked with are very grateful and express to her how much she has made them feel better, which is the most rewarding part of her job! Her favorite part about working for the Therapy Center is “that we are one big, happy family!”

All of Monique’s co-workers agree that she has been a great team player and always has a smile on her face! Her positive attitude is always recognized by those around her and Therapy Center is grateful to have her on our team!


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