U.S. Rehab gets behind outcomes tool

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

WATERLOO, Iowa – U.S. Rehab has negotiated an exclusive license agreement with the University of Pittsburgh to give its members access to an up-and-coming outcomes tool.

Developed by Mark Schmeler and Margo Holm, both professors at UPitt, the Functional Mobility Assessment tool tracks data on the ability of patients to function with their assistive devices like walking aids, prosthetics and wheelchairs.

“Eventually, we will be able to track patient outcomes and prove that better equipment provides more patient healthy days, which leads to a better quality of life,” stated Greg Packer, president of U.S. Rehab, a division of The VGM Group, in a press release. “Better equipment will help manage disease states, which will reduce the overall life cost of patients over time.”

U.S. Rehab and UPitt are currently conducting a pilot project, but they hope to roll out the tool to U.S. Rehab’s entire membership in 2016.

UPitt has already collected preliminary data from other pilot studies, but the agreement with U.S. Rehab will “take this to a large level,” stated Schmeler, Ph.D., OTR/L, ATP.

“Policymakers need these research results to make better policy determinations based on evidence,” he said. “Although it’s been a long road to get to this point, the journey is far from over and the timing is right. Health care has shifted to accountable care with a focus on patient-centered outcomes supported by data to promote evidence-based practice.”