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Hospital for Special Surgery Community-Based Rehabilitation Network, Oldest in U.S., Marks 20 Years Serving Patients

New York, NY—April 8, 2014

After orthopedic surgery or an injury, rehabilitation is often a critical factor on the road to recovery, and where to go to receive quality care is an important decision. The Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) Rehabilitation Network, marking its 20th anniversary this year, has become a valuable resource for individuals looking for a facility in their community that meets the highest standards of care.

“We are the first and oldest hospital-based rehabilitation network in the United States,” said JeMe Cioppa-Mosca, vice president of Rehabilitation at Hospital for Special Surgery. “Many patients travel to HSS for care. The goal of the Rehab Network is to provide people with a resource with which they can easily and confidently find a therapy provider in a convenient location, which is generally close to where they live or work.”

Rehabilitation at Hospital for Special Surgery enjoys a stellar reputation, offering the most advanced treatments and closely collaborating with hospital physicians to achieve excellent outcomes. But it is difficult for many patients who do not live in the area to attend therapy at the hospital facility several days a week, and the Rehab Network has proven to be a valuable resource for these individuals, according to Robin Benick, the Network’s clinical supervisor.

The Network has grown from 36 members when it started to 144 member sites today in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Florida. More than 700 therapists in the Network serve thousands of patients each month. Information about Rehab Network practices is accessible on the HSS website, so it is available to everyone, even those who are not patients at HSS.

"Our goal was to form a partnership with community-based, privately owned PT practices, and it’s a wonderful collaboration,” Benick explains. “The program benefits our patients; our doctors, who want the best for their patients; and the practices that are part of the Network.”

Applicants must prove their credentials and fulfill certain criteria in order to join the Network. Membership criteria were designed with the patient in mind to ensure both quality and continuity of care, according to Benick. Such factors as scope of service and clinical experience are carefully considered. There is a site visit, as well as a review of policy and procedures and which insurance plans are accepted. Geographic location is also taken into account. The practice must be independent, accept Medicare and be open for more than 12 months. It cannot be owned by a physician or medical practice.

Once a therapy practice is accepted into the Network, it is reevaluated to ensure that members maintain a consistent level of quality. Practices are revisited every 12-18 months by an HSS site surveyor.

In 2013, more than 100 applications were requested by therapy practices in the tri-state area and Florida. After reviewing the requirements, about one-quarter of the practices sent it back and six new members were added last year.

Members of the Network enjoy a number of benefits. “We place a high value on connecting high-quality clinicians with each other. They have the opportunity to network and collaborate with one another at Network-exclusive events, as well as at other HSS programs,” said Cioppa-Mosca.

Educational opportunities for members abound. HSS offers ongoing continuing education courses that members can take at a discount. They have access to weekly HSS Sports Medicine conferences, clinical discussion forums and an HSS Rehab Network e-newsletter. The HSS Rehabilitation Department has its own Grand Rounds each quarter -- the only CME-accredited Grand Rounds at HSS that is not physician-based -- and Network practices can attend in person or live-stream it.

“The combined expertise of the medical and rehabilitation professionals at HSS and of our Network members, along with our emphasis on professional education and advanced research efforts, place our Network at the highest level of excellence in rehabilitation,” said Cioppa-Mosca.

The department has also published a textbook, Postsurgical Rehabilitation Guidelines for the Orthopedic Clinician, designed to help therapists provide rehabilitation based on best practices and evidence-based research. Members of the Network can purchase the textbook at a discount.

Member practices have the option of displaying a plaque indicating they are part of the HSS Rehab Network. John Dugan, PT, owner of Farmingdale Physical Therapy East on Long Island, has been a member from the beginning. He characterizes HSS continuing education programs as “top-of-the-line.” He says it is gratifying to be a member of the Network on both a personal and professional level.

"Knowing that you meet the HSS Network’s high standards, to be associated with that caliber of care, is of great personal value,” he said. “From the standpoint of the patient, it’s like receiving the ‘Good Housekeeping’ seal of approval.”


About HSS | Hospital for Special Surgery
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the ninth consecutive year) and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S.News & World Report (2018-2019). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has one of the lowest infection rates in the country and was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. The global standard total knee replacement was developed at HSS in 1969. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State. In 2017 HSS provided care to 135,000 patients and performed more than 32,000 surgical procedures. People from all 50 U.S. states and 80 countries travelled to receive care at HSS. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Global Innovation Institute was formed in 2016 to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The culture of innovation is accelerating at HSS as 130 new idea submissions were made to the Global Innovation Institute in 2017 (almost 3x the submissions in 2015). The HSS Education Institute is the world’s leading provider of education on the topic on musculoskeletal health, with its online learning platform offering more than 600 courses to more than 21,000 medical professional members worldwide. Through HSS Global Ventures, the institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally.


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