What is Contract Therapy? What are the Benefits?

What is Contract Therapy? Understanding Therapy Management in Long-Term Care

Long-term care facilities currently face several significant challenges that impact both residents and their operations. From staffing shortages to reimbursement changes, navigating all options and understanding the complexities of today’s climate can be overwhelming. One crucial aspect to consider is whether or not contract therapy can help facilities navigate those challenges. For some, it may emerge as a valuable option for facilities like Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs), Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), assisted living, and even independent living communities.

What is Contract Therapy?

Contract therapy, also known as therapy management services, is an arrangement where long-term care facilities partner with external therapy providers to deliver specialized services to their residents. These providers are typically companies or agencies that manage a team of qualified therapists, including:

  • Physical therapists (PTs): Assist residents in regaining and improving functional abilities through exercises, gait training, and balance programs.
  • Occupational therapists (OTs): Help residents regain independence in daily activities like bathing, dressing, and eating.
  • Speech-language pathologists (SLPs): Address communication and swallowing difficulties.

The contract therapy company becomes responsible for recruiting, hiring, scheduling, and supervising the therapy team. They also handle administrative tasks like billing and documentation, taking a significant burden off the long-term care facility.

Benefits of Contract Therapy for Long-Term Care Facilities:

While opting for in-house therapists might seem straightforward, there are numerous benefits associated with choosing contract therapy for long-term care facilities:

1. Access to Specialized Expertise:

Contract therapy companies often have a larger pool of therapists than a single facility can employ. This allows them to secure specialists in various areas, such as geriatric rehabilitation, wound care, or even specific neurological conditions. This ensures residents receive the most targeted and effective therapy based on their individual needs.

2. Continuity of Care:

Contract therapy companies prioritize building continuity of care for patients. This means residents often see the same therapist consistently, which fosters trust and builds a stronger therapeutic relationship. This consistency in care is crucial for positive treatment outcomes.

3. Cost-Effectiveness:

Hiring and managing in-house therapists come with various overhead costs, including salaries, benefits, equipment, and training. Contract therapy companies handle these expenses, offering long-term care facilities a potentially more cost-effective solution. Additionally, contract companies may bring streamlined administrative processes and purchasing power, leading to further cost savings.

4. Reduced Administrative Burden:

Long-term care facilities already juggle several administrative tasks. By outsourcing therapy services, they offload tasks like recruitment, scheduling, payroll, and compliance to the contract therapy company. This frees up valuable staff time to focus on resident care and facility operations.

5. Flexibility and Scalability:

Contract therapy provides flexibility in therapist availability. Facilities can adjust the number of therapists based on resident needs or seasonal fluctuations, ensuring optimal staffing levels. Additionally, contract companies allow facilities to easily scale up if therapy needs increase or downsize if residents regain independence.

6. Risk Management and Regulatory Compliance:

Contract therapy companies handle the professional liability insurance for their therapists and stay updated on the latest regulations and licensing requirements. This mitigates risk for the long-term care facility and ensures they operate within compliance guidelines.

Contract Therapy in Different Long-Term Care Settings:

  • Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs): Contract therapy is a crucial service in SNFs, where residents often require intensive rehabilitation after illnesses or surgeries. Specialized therapists can help residents regain functional abilities and return home safely.
  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs): CCRCs offer a continuum of care, including independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing. Contract therapy allows CCRCs to provide consistent therapy services across different care levels, ensuring seamless transitions for residents.
  • Assisted Living Facilities: Residents in assisted living facilities may require various therapy services, from managing chronic conditions to maintaining mobility. Contract therapy allows these facilities to offer a broader range of services without the burden of managing their own therapy staff.
  • Independent Living Facilities: While independent living focuses on maintaining independence, some residents may benefit from preventive or maintenance therapies. Contract therapy companies can provide these services on an as-needed basis, allowing residents to stay active and independent for longer.

Choosing the Right Contract Therapy Provider:

When considering contract therapy, long-term care facilities should thoroughly evaluate potential providers. Key factors to consider include:

  • Experience and reputation in serving similar facilities.
  • Range of therapy services offered.
  • Therapist qualifications and specializations.
  • Communication and responsiveness.
  • Cost structure and billing practices.
  • Compliance with local and federal regulations.
  • Opportunities for revenue enhancement and solution-driven services.

TMC is Your Preferred Contract Therapy Provider

Contract therapy is a valuable tool for long-term care facilities, offering a range of benefits. By providing access to specialized expertise, ensuring continuity of care, and reducing administrative burdens, contract therapy companies can significantly contribute to the well-being of residents throughout their journey. By understanding the benefits of contract therapy and its role in addressing staffing challenges, long-term care facilities can leverage this valuable service to provide comprehensive and specialized care to their residents, ensuring a higher quality of life and fostering a supportive and enriching environment for all.

If you would like to speak to TMC about the benefits of contract therapy, we would be happy to discuss why TMC is a preferred contract therapy provider throughout the country. Feel free to visit our contact page, or call 800-804-9961 to discover how TMC can help you provide superior care to your residents while creating new opportunities for growth and revenue enhancement.


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