Blue Sky Therapy Blog

Blue Sky Therapy Culture Puts Family First

by Lisa Chambers, MS, CCC/SLP
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Change is inevitable, and although change is not always welcomed, it is often necessary in order to grow. There have been a lot of questions, comments, and concerns surfacing since the new Patient-Driven Payment Model launched on October 1, specifically about labor cuts in the therapy industry and what this means for the future of the industry. With the recent implementation of PDPM, Blue Sky Therapy has taken this change as an opportunity to develop and deploy new strategies to not only enhance patient and partner outcomes, but also to find ways to keep it's workforce consistent. The significant changes in staffing that have been reported are related to specific company based decisions reflective of factors that may be unique to that company rather than being industry-wide.

There will be some necessary changes such as decreased use of PRN services and/or some consolidation of staff, as these changes are associated with reductions in census, payer mix shifts, in addition to the new Medicare reimbursement system that provides for additional modes of treatment. Blue Sky Therapy’s goal is to minimize as much of the impact on our staff as possible while continuing to keep excellent care to our patients in the forefront of everything we do.

 

According to Renee Halfhill, CEO of Blue Sky Therapy, there are no plans to make company- wide reductions in salaries and/or staffing at this time.

 

Under the new payment model, there will be some natural attrition of minutes due to the removal of arbitrary thresholds and the provision of an additional service mode that allows for group and concurrent treatment sessions. The ability to group patients provides an additional resource to meet patient’s needs clinically and in a setting that is proven to be beneficial to patients.

 

Outcomes have always been a top priority at Blue Sky Therapy and will continue to be a focus as we move into a value based reimbursement system. Robust discharge planning protocols and follow up plans that have been implemented by Blue Sky Therapy will help to reduce hospital readmissions and will be essential to quality patient outcomes. Blue Sky Therapy has put together educational programming for all PT, OT, and ST that support them in navigating through the changes and to make clinical decisions that focus on the patient’s needs that are effective and efficient to progress the patient through the continuum of care.

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