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Hospitals Team Up to Increase Rehabilitation Care

When Oregon Health & Science University found itself in need of more rooms for long-term inpatient rehabilitation, it could have done what many hospitals have done: just build them. But instead, OHSU turned to Legacy Health. Together, the two worked out how they could fill the need without duplicating services in the Portland area. A unique partnership has been formed between the two hospitals that could be seen as a model for other local health care partnerships.

Beginning next month, Legacy, OHSU physicians, and physicians from Rehabilitation Medicine Associates, will work together in caring for patients with spinal cord injuries, stroke, traumatic brain injury and other diagnoses requiring intensive inpatient rehabilitation. Initially, Rehabilitation Medicine physicians will work with OHSU specialists to see patients at OHSU. The patients then will be transferred to Legacy Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon — Good Samaritan in Portland, where they will continue to be treated by Rehabilitation Medicine Associates.

“The most important thing about this model is that the patient will have streamlined, coordinated care, even as they are transferred to a more specialized care facility,” said Jennifer Lawlor, M.D., of Rehabilitation Medicine Associates. The team that cares for patients at OHSU will also be caring for them once they are transferred to the inpatient unit at Legacy, improving continuity of care.” 

The new relationship also works to keep health care costs down overall.

“The partnership with Legacy and the Rehabilitation Medicine Associates physicians allows OHSU to avoid the expense of duplicating services that are already available in the community,” said Peter Rapp, executive director of OHSU Healthcare.

“As health reform takes shape in this country, it’s this type of collaborative effort that will truly make a difference in keeping costs from rising,” said George J. Brown, M.D., president and CEO of Legacy Health.

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