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Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals

Guiding transitions: Madonna’s catastrophic evaluation team

March 08, 2021

No one expects to get hurt on the job, but when an accident results in injury, navigating the stay at an acute care hospital and the transition to a rehabilitation hospital can be intimidating. It requires a great deal of communication with the employer, workers' compensation carriers and sometimes legal counsel, which can take valuable time away from caring for a loved one. 

That’s where Madonna’s admissions team, including the Catastrophic Evaluation Service team comprised of tenured nurse liaisons and RN development coordinators, come in.

The Catastrophic Evaluation Service team works with patients, families, providers and work comp carriers to ensure patients needing specialized comprehensive rehabilitation get the services they need. At Madonna, this team works hand-in-hand with admissions coordinators to determine the appropriate level of care for each patient and facilitate conversations between the sending facility and Madonna.

Melissa Quintero is one member of this team. A registered nurse and development coordinator for patients in Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and nationwide, admits patients who have undergone a variety of medical diagnoses or injuries, but she takes a unique approach with workers' compensation patients. 

“Worker’s Compensation cases are a bit different from other admissions in that I work very closely with the acute care discharge planner and the work comp case manager in these cases,” Quintero said. “And I feel that work comp case managers typically truly advocate for the best care of their patients by referring them to Centers of Excellence such as Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals.”

Quintero’s counterpart, Madonna Stillmunks focuses on Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska. Stillmunks explains that her goal is to make it a seamless transition through frequent communication with all parties and simplifying the process as a single point of contact.

“Because of our relationship with many providers, the work comp carriers and case managers trust us to be their eyes as we gather information and assess their injured worker in person,” Stillmunks said. “We become their key contact and can provide carriers and case managers with information and insight that they may otherwise not have access to.”

That insight and effective partnership helps the case manager create a plan of care to assist the injured worker and aids the employer/carrier in making appropriate decisions for current treatments and future needs. This type of relationship building also eases stress for all parties involved during what can be a challenging transition.

According to Quintero, apprehension is not uncommon for patients transitioning to a rehabilitation facility outside of their home state. Her goal is to ease the nerves of patients who are considering Madonna for rehabilitation, regardless of how close to or far away from Nebraska they live.

“Patients and families begin to trust in the acute care facility that has taken such great care of them and, often, saved their life,” Quintero said. “It is vital that I help to begin to establish trust with the family and patient so that they can be assured that Madonna is the absolute best choice for the next step.”

Stillmunks said in every work comp case she sees, everyone works together to ensure injured workers get the best outcome possible.

“We are advocates for both the patients and employers,” Stillmunks said. “We are able to reassure them that participating in a center of excellence for comprehensive rehabilitation program is a win, win for everyone as their employers want what is best for them.”

Stillmunks and Quintero said their job is to make everyone else’s job as easy as possible.

“I care about the injured workers, trust our work comp partners and passionately believe in the work that is done at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals,” Stillmunks said. 

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