Functional Mobility Assessment: We Invite YOU to Participate

Posted on in Service Solutions

By: Kayla Mahler, U.S. Rehab

U.S. Rehab signed an exclusive contract with the University of Pittsburgh in April 2015 to be able to use the Functional Mobility Assessment (FMA) in the marketplace. Since then, U.S. Rehab has been working with a small pilot group of providers to develop a data collection website and teach them how to use the FMA in their businesses.

What is the FMA?

The FMA is the only provider-centric scientific tool currently available for measuring how consumers self-report their ability to function using their equipment. It measures a person’s mobility-related activities to daily living (MRADLs) when the person is being evaluated for new equipment and again at specific follow-up points: 21 days after delivery of the new device, 90 days, six months, one year and every year thereafter until new equipment is received. This quality assurance tool provides client-reported information on their ability to function with their current means of mobility. The FMA also tracks demographic and seating-related health information, such as the device, manufacturer, accessories, falls, transportation, hospitalizations and the development of skin breakdown.

The information is being compiled to be able to show that when mobility and rehab equipment is provided, the client’s disease state or condition is better managed. We hope to show evidence of healthier days for the client and an overall reduction of health care expenditures.

Currently, there is not a national database of complex rehab data of any kind after patients leave their rehab or hospital stay. U.S. Rehab is breaking ground in the development of this data. With the current pressure on our industry to be the niche industry in the Medicare spectrum to save money, the FMA and the data collected from this project will be of the upmost importance.

“Right now, we are one industry that does not have data to show that we are helping with cost containment,” said Greg Packer, president of U.S. Rehab. “We will not sit on the sidelines any longer. We are going to prove the worth and benefit of a good ATP and complex rehab provider.”

U.S. Rehab advocates for our independent rehab providers every day in Washington, D.C. Policymakers continually ask for data and scientific research showing why CRT is important.

“We need the data to be able to show CMS that certain CRT equipment is the appropriate equipment to provide for certain disease states,” said Packer. “For example, we don’t even have the data to say that a person with ALS should be prescribed a Group 3 power wheelchair, as it is the most appropriate equipment for that disease state. It is appropriate because there is evidence to show that it provides a better patient outcome and patients are more satisfied with their mobility.”

We want YOU to get involved!

Beyond collecting data, the FMA can also help your business. Our FMA program is now in full swing, and we invite every U.S. Rehab member to participate. We are already seeing the benefits of our program for participating members. Follow-ups with participating clients are completed routinely, which allows for minor problems to be addressed quickly.

“In one case, we completed a 21-day follow-up with one of our provider’s clients,” said Ron Turzy, VP of Complex Rehab for U.S. Rehab. “The client said she was not using the chair because her feet were falling off the footplates. We let the provider know of this issue. With a simple fix of minimal cost, we were able to potentially save the client from further injury, while preventing an unnecessary increase of costs to the Medicare system.”

Not only does it add another level of service to your clients, the FMA can also be used for your accreditation policies and procedures, quality assurance and when it is time for you to be resurveyed for accreditation. Outcomes are the way of the future. Since the Affordable Care Act, health care systems have three primary goals: improve outcomes, reduce re-admission rates and reduce length of stay. If you can show you help with these goals, you will be ahead of your competitors. Also, if insurance companies aren’t asking for outcomes now, they will in the near future.

Learn More at Heartland Conference

Do not miss Greg Packer, Ron Turzy and Kayla Mahler’s session at Heartland Conference: “Applying the FMA to Your Business” today, Wednesday, June 15 at 2:45-3:45 p.m. Learn how the FMA can be used in your business and how the use of the FMA can lead to better patient outcomes.

In conjunction, pilot data collected from U.S. Rehab members will be presented at Heartland Conference tomorrow, Thursday, June 16 at 10:45-12:15 p.m. during Dr. Mark Schmeler, Dr. Richard Schein, Dr. Andi Saptono, and Vince Schiappa’s presentation, “Update on the Functional Mobility Assessment Registry: Review and Preliminary Data Analyses.”

If you want to participate in the FMA program, please contact Ron Turzy at 844-295-0264 or [email protected]. You may also click here to fill out a form if you have questions or would like to participate.