Sinai Health System plans to close the subacute services unit at its North Lawndale rehabilitation hospital in Chicago due to changes in Medicare's skilled-nursing payment system.
The 21-bed unit within 102-bed Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital serves as a bridge between acute care and home health. It stopped accepting new patients Oct. 1 and will close upon approval from the state, Sinai said in a statement today.
The move comes as Medicare alters how such facilities are reimbursed for services by more closely aligning payments with patient characteristics, rather than the number of therapy services provided.
Medicare's Patient-Driven Payment Model "will result in unsustainable reimbursement rates for our subacute care unit," Schwab's Dr. Michelle Gittler says in the statement. "We came to this decision after a thorough assessment of the needs and trends in the marketplace."
Sinai plans to repurpose the space within Schwab, creating more private patient rooms and expanding specialty areas, including a secure brain injury unit with a gym, the statement says.
"These upgrades will enable Schwab to compete better in the marketplace on critical items that influence patient choice," the safety-net hospital chain says in the statement.
All 30 people working in the subacute unit will remain employed by the rehabilitation hospital, Sinai spokesman Dan Regan says.
"Lower reimbursements lead Sinai to close subacute unit" was originally published in Crain's Chicago Business.