Contributors: James F. Richter, WG ’95 and Ann Pereira-Ogan
To learn more about James and Ann, click here.
Numerous for-profit healthcare companies combine the provision of an important and high-quality product or service for individuals in need, with the execution of a business model yielding returns for owners, employees, and financial investors. Many such companies have shown sustained success while also creating opportunities for further growth and value creation. These companies are “Doing Well by Doing Good,” and we will take the opportunity to highlight their efforts in this and future editions of the Wharton Healthcare Quarterly.
In this issue, we highlight ReMed, a provider of post-acute brain injury rehabilitation services, based in Paoli, PA, just 20 miles west of our beloved Wharton Healthcare Program and University of Pennsylvania campus.
ReMed Background and Philosophy
ReMed was founded in 1984, focusing on the single premise that people with brain injuries have the potential to return to life in the community. The mission of ReMed is to meet the needs of its clients and customers by providing exceptional and innovative neurological rehabilitation and supported living services, and to provide staff with a supportive, educational environment in which to do their jobs.
ReMed’s extensive system of comprehensive services allows access at multiple levels and varying stages of recovery. Whether the injury is mild, moderate, or severe, the company’s philosophy is to meet the individual where the need is.
Brain Injury Facts
According to the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as an alteration of brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, caused by an external force. The BIAA reports the annual incidence of TBI in the United States is 1.7 million and that 25% of such injuries are classified as moderate-to-severe. The association further reports that 5.3 million Americans live with a long-term disability as a result of TBI.
In addition to these facts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that TBI is a major cause of death and disability in the United States, contributing to about 30% of all injury deaths, and that those who survive a TBI can face disabilities which may last the rest of their lives. The CDC cites that in the U.S. in 2010, TBI (either alone or in combination with other injuries) was a diagnosis in more than 280,000 hospitalizations and 2.2 million emergency department visits and contributed to the deaths of more than 50,000 people.
Scope of ReMed’s Post-Acute Brain Injury Rehabilitation Services
For decades, ReMed has been providing residential and outpatient brain injury rehabilitation services in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas, with additional locations being added in 2016 in New Jersey and Maryland. Group homes and apartments that are either owned or leased by ReMed provide a supportive and therapeutic environment. Programs delivered in these residential settings cover the spectrum from short-term intensive rehabilitation services all the way to long-term supported living. Outpatient services are provided in ReMed’s outpatient clinics, and Home and Community Based Services are provided in an individual’s home, community, worksite, or school, as a standalone service or in conjunction with other providers.
ReMed has achieved nine consecutive three-year accreditations from the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). This designation represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization in this clinical arena.
Evolution in Ownership Structure Aiding Expansion
ReMed was independently owned and operated for about 30 years. In 2013, ReMed was purchased by Bregal Partners, a private equity firm. Bregal is unique in that it invests in socially responsible businesses, takes a long-term viewpoint as a function of its source of capital, and has a charitable mission as a key component of its charter. The relationship has proven favorable, as Bregal has offered contacts and expertise, supported the longstanding executive management team at ReMed, and infused resources allowing the company to grow and expand.
ReMed has developed an outstanding reputation for delivering high quality post-acute brain injury rehabilitation services, and the partnership with Bregal is enabling the company to expand its geographical footprint. With this support ReMed continues to deliver superior clinical outcomes, while expanding via a broader array of related services and by entering more regions where there are individuals with brain-injuries in need of high quality services. In addition to organic expansion in contiguous markets, the company seeks to acquire other high-quality providers of post-acute brain injury rehabilitation services in the U.S.
The “Doing Well by Doing Good” Equation
Time spent with the staff at ReMed demonstrates quickly that the “Doing Good” part comes first. Genuine compassion and deep dedication permeate the organization. All staff receive Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) training, in order to exercise non-violent crisis intervention techniques when needed. This ensures the team is versed in optimally handling situations that can arise from neurobehavioral issues, commonly resulting from traumatic brain injury. Over 120 employees are Certified Brain Injury Specialists (CBIS’s), a credential demonstrating commitment on the part of the company and its employees to gain a deeper understanding of the etiology of traumatic and acquired brain injuries and of incidence and prevalence, treatment philosophies and advances, and nuances relating to the field of brain injury rehabilitation. At all levels within the organization, it is common to find staff with tenures of 15 to 20 years or longer. In 2007, employees of ReMed also were instrumental in founding an affiliated non-profit organization, the Council on Brain Injury (CoBI). The mission of CoBI is to fund education related to brain injury, conduct and support research for more effective treatment, and advocate for improved services.
ReMed is characterized by a desire to help a group of individuals for whom the company’s expertise and dedication are a major need. Very few individuals or families have awareness of the challenges and ramifications of dealing with traumatic brain injury until it happens to them. It takes a unique collection of employees to develop the expertise required to deliver top-notch care in this specialty, and to do so with the compassion and respect that clients and their families desire and deserve. Any financial success (i.e, the “Doing Well” part) that results for investors and employees at ReMed is a function of the deep passion throughout the organization to maximize the quality of care delivered to these individuals living with and recovering from a brain injury.
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