U.S. Rehab, Pitt, Sign Exclusive FMA Agreement for Outcomes Tracking

Posted on in VGM News

TopStory WATERLOO, Iowa – An exclusive license agreement will allow U.S. RehabR members to use the University of Pittsburgh’s Functional Mobility Assessment survey, which has been 15 years in the making. Developed by Mark Schmeler, Ph.D., OTR/L, ATP, assistant professor, and Margo Holm, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA, ABDA, professor emerita at the University of Pittsburgh, the FMA is designed to provide outcomes data about patients’ ability to function with their current means of mobility that can include assistive devices such as walking aids, prosthetics, and wheelchairs. “VGM and U.S. Rehab are most concerned with outcomes and giving patients a better quality of life,” said Greg Packer, president of U.S. Rehab, a division of VGM Group, Inc. “The FMA is one of the only complex rehab outcomes measures in the industry. The data we are gathering with our pilot study will be used to validate the FMA as an outcomes tool.” The FMA is used to compare the results of the patient’s satisfaction and mobility capabilities after it is decided new equipment is needed. “Ultimately, the goal now is to collect and track pre- and post-FMA scores on people receiving mobility device interventions, as well as track them over time to make sure the intervention is still working for them. We will also collect a de-identified/uniform dataset on users to perform analyses to see what types of devices improve user satisfaction with Mobility Related Activities of Daily Living (MRADLs) based on factors such as diagnosis, age or living situation,” explains Schmeler. “We can also start comparing how funding sources, geographic locations, and access to services impacts self-reported performance in MRADLs, employment and community participation.” “Eventually, we will be able to track patient outcomes and show that better equipment provides more patient healthy days, which leads to a better quality of life,” said Packer. “Better equipment will help manage disease states, which will reduce the overall life cost of patients over time.” “Policymakers need these research results to make better policy determinations based on evidence,” Schmeler adds. “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 ‘Large Data’ to promote Evidence-based Practice. No tool is perfect to measure everything, but at the end of the day, customers and their satisfaction are perhaps the only thing that really matters. “We’re gotten a lot of preliminary data from pilot studies with early adopters, but this relationship with VGM/U.S. Rehab will allow us to take this to a large level.” U.S. Rehab is conducting a pilot project and plans a complete rollout to its membership in 2016. For more information, contact Read more about outcomes in Greg’s article, The Time for Outcomes is Here.