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Aegis Acute Rehab Orthopedic Centers of Excellence Meet Growing Need.

FORT SMITH, Ark. -- Aegis Acute Rehab has announced the opening of six new Orthopedic Centers of Excellence (OCE). Locations include Philadelphia, Pa.; Farmington, Mo.; Shelbyville, Ky.; Louisville, Ky.; Foley Ala.; and Fresno, Calif.

Orthopedic Centers of Excellence -- located within skilled nursing facilities -- meet a growing need created by changes in government regulations. Under new rules from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), individuals who require single hip or knee replacements may not qualify for inpatient rehab services. This creates an opportunity for these patients to receive their therapy needs in a skilled nursing facility.

By opening Orthopedic Centers of Excellence within nursing homes, Aegis Acute Rehab is providing new options for treating joint replacements, fractures and other orthopedic injuries. Patients with these conditions typically require specialized therapy. Orthopedic Centers of Excellence typically consist of a separately identified 16-24 bed unit.

Working as a partner with nursing home administrators, Aegis Acute Rehab provides skilled nursing facilities with the management services and therapists needed to operate an OCE.

"We're pleased with the widespread interest in our new Orthopedic Center of Excellence concept," said Maurice Arbelaez, President of Aegis Acute Rehab. "The Centers fill a real need that is not being addressed elsewhere. Now, patients who otherwise would have been affected by the new CMS ruling will be able to get leading-edge rehabilitative therapy with proven outcomes."

New Orthopedic Center of Excellence locations include:

--Camelot Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Farmington, Mo.

--Golden Slipper Health and Rehabilitation Center, Philadelphia, Pa.

--Masonic Home of Shelbyville, Shelbyville, Ky.

--Hillcreek Manor Rehab and Nursing Center, Louisville, Ky.

--Beverly Healthcare, Foley, Ala.,

--Beverly Healthcare Center, Fresno, Calif.

"We're excited to be among the first to add an OCE to our nursing home," said Marilyn Miller, RN, Administrator of Camelot Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Farmington, Mo. "This advanced rehab capability is a real benefit to our community. Most patients have their surgery at a hospital that is some distance from here. Now, they will be able to recover and receive their rehab therapy closer to home," she added.

"The Orthopedic Center of Excellence gives us capabilities that no other skilled nursing facility in our area can offer," said Doug Kosmin, President of Golden Slipper Health and Rehabilitation Center in Philadelphia. "In addition, we especially like the fact that our OCE will be staffed by Aegis therapists, who are among the best-trained and most highly qualified in the country. Aegis is recognized for its excellent therapy outcomes, and their commitment to quality patient care matches our own."

CMS "75 Percent Rule"

With the recent changes in the CMS 75 Percent Rule, admissions for replacement of lower extremity joints (single hips and knees) will no longer be a part of the approved 75 percent population for an acute rehab unit. Historically for some Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs) 40 percent to 50 percent of their total patients were single joint replacements. This patient population creates a need for the Orthopedic Centers of Excellence (OCE).

The intention of CMS was to ensure that patients who have clinical conditions appropriate for care outside of an IRF get needed care in other more appropriate and less costly settings.

The impact has been significant. According to a study by The Morgan Company, IRFs treated 10,152 fewer patients with lower extremity joint replacements in 2005 than in 2004 (83,622 total in 2005 compared with 93,744 in 2004). The study indicates that patient attrition from IRFs could be even greater in 2006 than it was in 2005.

This shift as a result of changes to the CMS 75 percent rule represents an opportunity for skilled nursing facilities to meet the needs of patients no longer being served by IRFs.

"This is a great opportunity not only for Aegis, but also for the nursing home clients we serve," said Cindy Susienka, President and Chief Executive Officer of Golden Gate Ancillary, LLC, parent company of Aegis Acute Rehab. "By adding more advanced rehab capabilities, nursing homes can significantly increase the number of patients they are able to serve. In addition, having an Aegis Acute Rehab Orthopedic Center of Excellence is a real competitive differentiator for our clients while providing their patients with quality clinical protocols that are measured to ensure success."

About Aegis Acute Rehab

Aegis Acute Rehab (www.aegisacuterehab.com) is a division of Aegis Therapies, the country's leading contract rehabilitation company. In addition to developing and operating Orthopedic Centers of Excellence in skilled nursing facilities, Aegis Acute Rehab provides inpatient rehabilitation services in acute care hospitals and medical centers. For information about Aegis Acute Rehab and the Orthopedic Centers of Excellence, call 1-800-388-4891.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 6, 2006
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