Interview with Matt Ray, Practice Manager of IRC

Today we are interviewing Matt Ray, Practice Manager of Integrated Rehab Consultants (IRC). Integrated Rehab Consultants partners with skilled nursing facilities to provide enhanced levels of care for rehab patients in a sub-acute setting. IRC utilizes a team-based approach to rehab, and IRC’s Physiatrists are dedicated to managing a rehabilitation program that rivals inpatient rehab facilities.

MMMI: Tell us a little about your practice, Integrated Rehab Consultants .
IRC: IRC is a national Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Group (Physiatry). IRC’s physicians are focused on providing a level of care in the post-acute setting that traditionally has only been provided in acute inpatient settings.

MMMI: How is the job market for PM&R physicians? What kind of opportunities are out there?
IRC: The job market for PM&R is competitive. The 2008 data from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R) states:

62% of senior physiatry residents applied for a fellowship.

For those who did not accept a fellowship, their plans were split between heading
into private practice and accepting a position at an institution.

Due to the small specialty of PM&R, there are just under 400 residents coming out a year. The market in major metro areas is competitive and compensation can be as much as 20% lower.

IRC feels there is a huge demand for Physiatry services in post-acute rehab centers, as the trend is to get patients out of the hospital faster. We believe there is significant opportunity for PM&R physicians in this market and are actively growing and establishing a presence across the US.

MMMI: Is your practice currently looking for PM&R physicians and/or other caregivers?
IRC: Yes. In the last year we have expanded into 5 states and have projections to enter into 5 more major markets by the end of 2013.

MMMI: What separates you from your competitors?
IRC: We are 100% Physiatrist-owned and a very efficient operating structure is core to our business. We have a specific program we use when we partner with a post acute facility. We do not just provide Physiatry consulting services, as we look at the facility as a partner, and work with our partners to develop business plans and marketing around the enhanced level of care a full time Physiatrist brings to their organization. This value added service from IRC helps create new business and a best in class facility for the community and all stakeholders.

MMMI: Has your practice transitioned to electronic medical records? How was that transition?
IRC: We have not moved to electronic records at this point, as all post acute facilities have their own processes and it has not proven efficient to IRC due to the variety of facilities our Physiatrists partner with. We are in the process of beta testing several EMR systems to roll out to all of our providers by next year.

MMMI: How do you think the Affordable Care Act will impact your practice?
IRC: IRC provides a more cost effective level of care for patients getting rehab without sacrificing the quality of physician care. The Affordable Care Act has many components that complement our model.

MMMI: Medical malpractice insurance rates in Cook County are higher than other places in Illinois –did you consider setting up the practice in other counties?
IRC: Yes we did. Chicago has been home to our core business for a while and we love the city. We do find it more cost effective for providers outside of Cook County, and are actively looking to expand in business friendly states and counties.

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