Today’s health systems are under immense pressure. In response to declining reimbursement rates, many are looking for new ways to position their businesses for growth while cutting costs. The most successful health systems are turning towards collaborative partnerships to help them deliver quality care and gain a competitive advantage.
Today, we’re taking you behind the scenes with Scott D. Boden, M.D., director of the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center and vice president for business innovation at Emory Healthcare, to learn more about their partnership with Luna. We’re also covering some important topics like the benefits of rehab at home, the importance of quality physical therapy, and how to stop referral leakage.
Could you introduce yourself and how you got connected with Luna?
"I’m an orthopedic surgeon, and I’ve been at Emory for 29 years now. I’ve also served as vice president for business innovation for innovative strategic partnerships. The Luna opportunity intersected with me personally for two reasons: one was in my role as running the orthopedic service line, and the other was evaluating potential strategic partnerships of value to Emory Healthcare."
Why did Emory Healthcare decide to work with Luna?
"We were interested in Luna’s model as a way to potentially provide physical therapy to patients who traveled from far away to get our medical and surgical services but for whom it wasn’t practical to travel that distance for physical therapy multiple times a week. There were a number of patients who (for a variety of reasons) ended up choosing not to use our therapy shops. We saw Luna as an opportunity to keep some consistency of that care and keep it at least partly within our system."
Why is quality physical therapy an important part of the recovery process?
"Whether someone is trying to avoid surgery or trying to recover from surgery, rehabilitation is an important component. Having the ability to have greater control over those protocols over a greater geographic area and a higher percentage of our patients seemed like a great opportunity for Emory Healthcare."
How does rehab at home benefit both health systems and their patients?
"I think it depends on the health system. In some cases, they don’t have the capacity to manage their own internal rehabilitation needs, so rehab at home offers an easy and quick way to expand capacity. In our situation, it was more a question of expanding geography and convenience to patients and extending the ability to have some touch with rehabilitation services that are tied to our healthcare system as opposed to just potluck closer to where they lived or work."
When patients don’t seek care in their health system, where do they usually go, and what can be done to address high referral leakage?
"If patients are not staying in the system, it can be for several reasons. One is if there’s not good access. If the wait time is too long for a patient to get that initial appointment, you lose them. For some healthcare systems, and certainly ours, you have patients who will travel many hours to see physicians or have a procedure or surgery, but it’s not practical to routinely travel for rehab. That’s another reason for referral leakage—where they live and work isn’t convenient for something that’s repetitive with a relatively short visit time like physical therapy or rehab."
How does Luna help solve the referral leakage problem?
"I think by giving our patients the option to go to one of our physical therapy offices (if it’s convenient to them) or have the option of having physical therapy at home just extends another opportunity for them when it’s not practical for them to be coming in multiple times a week to one of our therapy clinics. It allows us to have a better continuum of care with a larger number of patients that we otherwise wouldn't have reached when it came to rehab."
Luna partners with world-class health systems to help them innovate their care models with on-demand physical therapy. If you’re interested in learning more about Luna and how we can help you delight patients with this convenient form of care, contact us today.