Another way that providers have made marketing inroads with families, patients, and physicians to secure new business in the rehabilitation space is by pre-booking people who have scheduled elective procedures in a hospital. Carol Spedaliere, administrator of the Port Chester Nursing & Rehabilitation Centre in Port Chester, N.Y., says pre-booking has proven to be a huge success and taken some of the confusion and worry out of the discharge planning process.

“People are very selective about choosing their doctor and their hospital, but many get left out of a rehab facility because they just don’t know,” she says.

To remedy the situation, the Port Chester team gives good information to patients and their doctors—many of whom are orthopedists for elective surgeries—about their short-stay rehabilitation offerings, “eliminating anxiety” when the time comes to leave the hospital, she notes. The reception for pre-bookings, which the facility has done for around six months, has been excellent, with “patients and doctors really liking the idea of one care plan” covering pre-hospital, hospital, and post-surgery, Spedaliere says.

Weiss sees this trend as well, saying in many communities there is a waiting list for patients to get into an appropriate SNF.

“Hospital discharge planners are reserving space before the patient even enters the hospital,” say for spine surgery, Weiss notes. “A number of hospitals are also contracting with SNFs to secure a number of SNF beds exclusively for their patients.”

Since many of the rehab patients are in their 60s or early 70s, the time they spend at Port Chester can act as another tool for marketing in case the short-stay resident needs SNF care down the road.

“Absolutely, the 60-something-year-old can begin to look at what long term care can be when they are in their 80s or 90s,” Spedaliere adds.​