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RELEASE OF NEW STUDY DEMONSTRATES COST SAVINGS IN MEDICAL REHABILITATION

 WASHINGTON, March 23 /PRNewswire/ -- A study released today concludes that medical rehabilitation not only provides quality of life to severely injured people but also is cost effective. Dale Eazell, chairman of The Medical Rehabilitation Education Foundation (MREF) -- which commissioned the study -- said, "At a time when costs have forged a crisis of confidence in America's health care system, a bright light exists -- medical rehabilitation."
 At a news conference today, medical rehabilitation patient Steve Palermo, an American League umpire who sustained a spinal injury from being shot while trying to stop a mugging, said, "This new study convincingly demonstrates why medical rehabilitation must be included in any basic health care reform package.
 "It is vital that everyone understands that medical rehabilitation leads people back to independence, back to work and back to their homes after serious injury and illness. It gives them the opportunity to regain control over their lives and once again contribute to their community, the work force and their families," Palermo added.
 The study released by MREF today shows that for every $1 spent on medical rehabilitation, $7 to $10 are saved in health care costs. Other cost saving findings include:
 -- Overall savings in long-term disability costs to both private providers and public providers, ranging from $1 billion to $2 billion annually.
 -- Reduced hospitals stays estimated in savings of hundreds of millions of dollars.
 -- Ability to return home for 50,000 to 100,000 injured people a year saving the government, families and insurers $500 million to $1 billion.
 Medical rehabilitation involves a multi-disciplinary approach by teams of skilled medical professionals facilitating return to health, productivity and self-esteem for those individuals suffering from injuries and conditions such as stroke, spinal cord, traumatic brain injury, burns, arthritis or chronic pain.
 "While the administration and Congress forge a health care program than can serve all Americans, we want them to be fully aware that medical rehabilitation is one of the few areas that demonstrates proven costs savings," added Eazell.
 Last November, as part of a national education campaign MREF launched 1-800 GET REHAB, a 1-800 number where callers can obtain information on medical rehabilitation and the location of rehabilitation facilities throughout the country.
 MREF is a non-profit organization established for the purpose of increasing public awareness and understanding of the value of medical rehabilitation through a variety of educational and outreach programs.
 -0- 3/23/93
 /CONTACT: Ellen Lathem, 202-944-5101, or Erica Venske, 202-944-5126, both of Hill and Knowlton for the Medical Rehabilitation Education Foundation/


CO: Medical Rehabilitation Education Foundation ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU:

MH-DC -- DC010 -- 8587 03/23/93 10:28 EST
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Date:Mar 23, 1993
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