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Moments with Marty

Written by: CSP-Admin

Three weeks ago, I attended the Leading Age national conference in Philadelphia. Leading Age is the organization that represents the not-for-profit eldercare providers in the United States and Canada. Over 7,000 people attend the conference each year.

Shortly after I landed in Philadelphia after the 5-hour flight from Portland, I learned of the horrific attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. As I walked through the terminal, I was struck by the large groups of people that had gathered around the tv monitors in the waiting in the areas. I, too, stopped and watched for a few minutes. Looking around, I noticed several people in tears. “How can something like this happen in our country?”, was the refrain I heard repeated several times.

Needless to say, the attack and its aftermath had me mournful. It was not a night to socialize. I stayed in my hotel room and watched the news.

I awoke the next morning still feeling somber. The first session of the conference started at 8:00 am Sunday morning. I had signed up for a 4-hour session on hospice. An important topic, but I wondered whether this was really the subject I needed to hear about that morning. I entered to conference to find the seats were filling up quickly. I took a seat at a table with one seat remaining. We all introduced ourselves. It turned out that my tablemates were from Lutheran, Methodist, and Catholic mission-based organizations in the east and mid-west. When I told them, I was from a Jewish organization, all three immediately expressed their condolences on the shooting in Pittsburgh. One even asked me what she could do that day to help. My spirits were lifted hearing their kind words to this total stranger. In retrospect, I should not have been surprised. This was after all a Leading Age conference, an organization of diverse senior care providers, whose missions are based on compassion and caring.

When I returned to CSP later in the week my spirits were lifted yet again by the generosity of spirit shown by a group of residents from Mary’s Woods, the Catholic mission-based life plan community. A group of residents had sent a beautiful note of condolence to the residents of Rose Schnitzer Manor. It appears below.

Dear Residents of Cedar Sinai Park,
It is with great sadness that we reach out to you
today in response to the shooting at the Tree of
Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. We stand in
solidarity with you as you mourn the loss of your
brothers and sisters in faith. We offer our thoughts
and prayers in hopes that it will bring you comfort
in this terrible time.

Our deepest condolences,
Residents of Mary’s Woods

As it happens, I recently finished reading the book, The Compassionate Achiever, by Christopher L. Kukk, Ph.D., a veteran of the United States military and intelligences services, and currently a college professor in Connecticut. In the book Kukk writes about making the world a more compassionate place. He speaks about starting at the local level with our day-to-day interactions. “All of your personal interactions are like small stones of compassion dropped into a pond, creating ripples that reach far beyond you.” I couldn’t help but think about my conversation at that table in Philadelphia, the offer to help, and the beautiful note from our friends at Mary’s Woods. The ripples from the kindness they showed reached across the country and back. “Compassion is contagious” wrote Kukk. “Your acts of compassion will make others more likely to act with compassion.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Sincerely,

Marty Baicker, CEO
Martin Baicker signature


Studies Show the Benefits of Post-Acute Rehab

Written by: CSP-Admin

A Research Recap for Medical Professionals

Where patients choose to recover after they leave the hospital can make a significant difference in the quality and speed of their recovery.

Although there has been a significant amount of new data being reported about post-hospital care as part of the Affordable Care Act’s changes, it can make comparing outcomes of similar patients difficult. Some of the increased data reports have made it hard to assess whether there is any advantage to one type of post-hospital care over another. One of the reasons for this is that the standard data doesn’t take into account the starting health condition of the patient.

Detailed Studies Show Improved Outcomes with Post-Acute Rehab

Recent detailed studies that have separated and analyzed the data based on health conditions show that patients who were treated in post-acute rehabilitation facilities fare better than patients of similar conditions that received traditional nursing or in-home care.

A study commissioned by ARA Research Institute, an affiliate of the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association, found that patients receiving post-acute rehab services live longer, spend more days at home and fewer days in healthcare institutions, and have fewer emergency room visits than those who receive traditional nursing care.

An analysis reported this summer at Rollins School of Public Health Conference for Health Economists also indicated that while in-home care can be a very good option for stronger, healthier patients, higher care in-patient settings lead to fewer re-hospitalizations.

The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association’s Guidelines for Adult Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery, published in 2016, noted there is strong evidence that organized, medically-supervised stroke rehab not only reduces mortality rates and the likelihood of institutional care and long-term disability, but also enhances functional recovery and increases independence in daily living activities.

SW Portland’s Newest Post-Acute Rehab Center is Delivery Results

The benefit of post-acute rehab drove Cedar Sinai Park to expand its campus in 2017 and introduce the New Robison Health & Rehabilitation Center.

The new Robison Health & Rehabilitation Center offers highly-individualized physical, occupational, and speech therapy programs, a well-equipped therapy gym, and a state-of-the-art facility. Our new rehab center offers 24/7 medical oversight by Nurse Practioners and our Certified Medical Director, Kirsten Carr, MD/CMD. We offer dietitian-supervised therapeutic diets and all private rooms with bathrooms and showers, including specially designed bariatric units. Our patients can enjoy a wide variety of wellness-centered activities on our campus and top-rated food selections for in-room dining.

Independent 2018 data show the new Robison Rehab Center is ranked “best in class” for patient satisfaction and the functional improvement scores of patients were better than the comparison group of 32 Oregon peers. Robison Rehab is Medicare-certified and is approved by United Healthcare and most other leading insurance plans.

About Us

Robison Health & Rehabilitation Center is a part of Cedar Sinai Park, a nonprofit organization founded in 1920 on the core Jewish values of love, honor and respect. Cedar Sinai Park warmly welcomes people of all faiths and also offers Assisted Living, In-Home Care, Adult Day Services and Long-Term Care.

To learn more about our rehab services, inquire about an admission, or take a tour at any time, call 503.535.4300. We have dedicated Admissions professionals ready to help hospital staff and patients make a smooth transition from hospital to recovery.


A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN: IS IT MY BEST BET FOR 2019?

Written by: CSP-Admin

Open enrollment for Medicare runs through December 7, 2018 for plans starting January 1, 2019.

If you want to switch from original Medicare (Part A and B) to a Medicare Advantage plan (called Medicare C), change your current Advantage plan or just understand all your options, now’s the time to do it.

If you are not familiar with Advantage plans, they are a type of Medicare offered by private companies. The companies contract with Medicare to provide you insurance. Most Medicare Advantage plans are health maintenance organizations (HMOs) or preferred provider organizations (PPOs). However, some Medicare Advantage plans are private fee-for-service plans.

An advantage to buying a Medicare Advantage plan is that they can include pharmacy coverage, as well as other supplemental coverage like dental and vision, and you may pay less in monthly premiums than you would for supplemental plans and traditional Medicare.

Don’t ignore open enrollment

If you already have a Medicare Advantage plan, you should have received your annual notice of change from that plan. Medicare Advantage plans are required to tell you of any changes for the upcoming year prior to the open enrollment period. If you don’t make changes by December 7, 2018, you won’t be able to switch until the next open enrollment period unless you face a qualifying life event. A qualifying life event includes a spouse’s death, retirement or change of job.

Your annual notice of change will tell you of any changes in the plan’s costs, benefits, coverages or service areas and rules for the upcoming year. If you are OK with the changes, you don’t have to do anything. But if you’re dissatisfied or want to change to a different Medicare Advantage plan, open enrollment is the time. It’s also time for people with original Medicare to change to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice-versa.
Medicare advantage plans vary on who handles your claims. You can check out the plans available to you in our state and their costs by visiting The Oregon Guide to Medicare Insurance Plans. https://healthcare.oregon.gov/shiba/Documents/or-medicare-guide.pdf.

Another good resource is the US government’s plan finder tool at https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx

Medicare Advantage plan financial trade-offs

According to Insurance.com, Medicare Advantage premiums have fallen over the past few years, making them more attractive. And about half of Medicare Advantage enrollees don’t pay any premiums.

The trade-off to a low premium is that you might have higher deductibles and co-insurance when you need healthcare. Also, you will pay more or may not have any coverage if you use doctors and hospitals that aren’t part of your Advantage plan’s network.

Starting in 2019, Medicare Advantage members will have more access to supplemental benefits. Nationwide, about 270 plans that provide coverage to nearly 1.5 million enrollees will have expanded benefits, including adult daycare services, in-home support services and home-based palliative care. You can learn more about supplemental benefits included in specific plans in Oregon’s 2019 Medicare guide. Some plans will offer other additional benefits, such as reduced cost sharing for people with diabetes and congestive heart failure. Not all plans will have new benefits so be sure to check.

Drug coverage likely included in a Medicare Advantage plan

Most, but not all, Medicare Advantage plans provide prescription drug coverage. If you have original Medicare, you can buy a Part D drug coverage plan separately. However, you can’t buy a Part D plan if you have a Medicare Advantage plan. Instead, look for a Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage.

What to look for when choosing a Medicare Advantage plan

What doctors and hospitals are in the plan’s network?

Provider networks can change each year and even mid-year. If you visit particular doctors or hospitals, make sure they’re part of the plan you choose. Not all providers accept Medicare Advantage. Your long-time doctor may accept Original Medicare, but that doesn’t mean the physician accepts a specific Medicare Advantage plan. It’s best to check with your physician’s office before signing up with a plan just to make sure.

What medications am I taking?

If you’re taking prescription drugs, examine the plan’s list of covered medications carefully.

The costs of different medications can vary greatly with each plan. It may be worth your time to set up a spreadsheet with your medications and the costs under your different Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare options.

What are the plan’s maximum out-of-pocket costs?

You may want a plan that has a low out-of-pocket maximum. If you’re healthy and don’t plan to use much health care, you might want to risk a higher out-of-pocket maximum.

You also can call the plan and talk to a plan representative. (See the state guide for contact information.) If you speak with a representative to confirm that the plan you want covers all your drugs and that the doctors, hospitals and pharmacies you want to use are in its network, take notes. Keep a record of whom you spoke with and what was said.

What will my costs be in the long run?

No one can predict what healthcare you may need, but based on your claims this year you can look for the plan that has the best coverage and costs for you.

If you choose a Medicare Advantage plan and find you’re unhappy with it, you have an out. There is an annual disenrollment period from January 1st to February 14th. During this time, you can drop your Medicare Advantage plan and go back to Original Medicare. You can’t switch Medicare Advantage plans during disenrollment, but you can buy a stand-alone prescription drug plan if you drop your Advantage plan.


Moments with Marty

Written by: CSP-Admin

It’s my first spring and summer in Portland and I am astonished at how beautiful the weather has been. Beautiful blue skies and no humidity. Wow!

Since I last wrote you, I had the opportunity to chaperone my son’s five-day school trip around southern Oregon. We camped out near Crater Lake, toured the Oregon Caves, saw two plays at the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, and visited the Redwoods near Crescent City, California. It was an amazing trip. Oregon is incredibly beautiful. As I said to Jacob several times during the trip, “I don’t think we’re in New Jersey anymore.”

Back at CSP, things are moving along. Last week, the new Robison Health and Rehabilitation Center reached its highest census since it opened in October. While the outcomes of care and customer satisfaction continue to be excellent, our seven-month-old program has had some growing pains. As a result, we are focused on improving communication between our staff, patients, and their families.

In spite of these challenges, great things are happening at RHRC.

Here’s a recent example. This is the story of our patient, Lois S.:

On February 5th, Lois S. was admitted to the hospital to undergo tests for what she thought were routine health concerns. Those concerns were anything but routine, and by Saturday, Lois was in the Intensive Care Unit following surgery for a perforated colon which lead to infection and then to sepsis, a life-threatening condition.

With her husband and out-of-town children gathered around her, Lois spent the next 16 days in the Intensive Care Unit. Her family stood by her side as she fought to stay alive while her body battled pneumonia, a gallbladder infection, and ultimately both heart and kidney failure.

Lois fought hard – and won. After a total of seven weeks in the hospital she had recovered from the acute illnesses but was left so weak she was unable to walk or even sit up in a wheelchair.

Lois and her family were faced with a decision about her care and how to best handle her rehabilitation. She had had knee replacement surgery in the past and had experience in a rehab facility with which she was not pleased.

This time, Lois chose Robison Health and Rehabilitation Center at Cedar Sinai Park. Lois and her family had been familiar with Robison from its many decades as a nursing home, and were aware that it had undergone a recent transformation, including the addition of a state-of-the-art rehab facility.

“Robison Health & Rehabilitation Center is quite a gift our community has provided”, Lois shared. “The largest part of my recovery is due to the dedicated therapists and nursing staff at Robison.”

Although Lois entered Robison unable to even sit up in a wheelchair, she left Robison on June 26th, walking tall, with just the help of a walker.

“The staff was devoted to me and my care and showed me an outpouring of warmth and support”, Lois said. “The first time I stood – with the help of a harness and machine – nearly every staff member came to my room and congratulated me. Everyone was so encouraging, and their support made all the difference.”

Lois left Robison Rehab on June 26th but, as with all patients, will be remembered by the staff with whom she formed relationships. With its 44-suites and strong staff-to-patient ratios, Robison is small enough for highly personalized care, and large enough to offer expert care services and therapy.

“I wasn’t a patient to them, I was Lois. They knew me as a person”, Lois added. “They take a personal interest in you. As you walk down the hall, every single person greets you. This attitude from staff added to the excellent care I received, and I would recommend Robison Rehab to anyone.”

Lois’s recovery is not only a testament to her tenacity but also to the professionalism and dedication of the RHRC staff. I want to take this opportunity to recognize the commitment of our devoted staff. We could not do this without them.

Please feel free to contact me directly if you would like a personal tour of RHRC or if I can help you with anything else.

Enjoy the beautiful weather!

Sincerely,

Martin Baicker signature

 

 

Marty Baicker, CEO


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