Mary Free Bed Patient Count Up

October 1, 2007
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GRAND RAPIDS — Facing a 26 percent decline in the number of patients over two years, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital has seen a recent spike in admissions.

“Traditionally, the end of August can be busy for us,” said Meg Derrer, director of marketing and public relations. “No one can really say why we’ve gotten busy all of a sudden.”

Randall DeNeff, vice president of finance, said the 80-bed acute care rehabilitation hospital saw an August occupancy rate of 68.6 percent, after a year in which the rate hovered around 50 percent.

“It’s just an extraordinarily higher increase than we’ve normally seen in past years,” DeNeff said.

The increased number of patients has pushed Mary Free Bed closer to meeting Medicare’s “75 percent rule,” which demands that in 2009, 75 percent of patients be admitted for one of 13 diagnoses. Rehabilitation hospitals across the country have been struggling to meet the standard.

DeNeff said that with the additional patients, Mary Free Bed has inched closer to the threshold at about 71 percent to 72 percent.

“Our admissions are still below last year, but by a pretty small number,” he added.

“We’ve still seen a little bit of a decline.”

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