While residents often have successful outcomes through post-acute rehabilitation in the United States, China still relies on extended hospitalizations to treat illness, injury, and impairment, with minimal community support post-discharge. As a result, patients may stay in a hospital for the duration of their recovery.

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This was a valuable lesson for Genesis HealthCare, which expanded its therapy operations to China in 2015. Through its Genesis Rehab Services (GRS) division, it started with a full Americanized model of subacute rehabilitation, leveraging and applying strategies and expertise from its U.S.-based operations. Then, it became clear that a different approach was needed.

“In order to be successful, we needed to blend our model with traditional Chinese medicine that has been used for centuries,” says Dean Feick, senior vice president of international operations for GRS. “This blended model, which required us to develop training and education for practitioners, allowed us to better adapt to China’s current needs.”

Adapting to Future Needs

And adapt it did. Throughout its expansion and with the support of the Chinese government, Genesis gained knowledge and acceptance of the “blended” rehab approach, while working with the regulatory and reimbursement landscape in China. Today, GRS has 12 facilities in Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Beijing, Qinhuangdao, and Shanghai.

GRS has developed strong relationships with clinical partners in China, an achievement it credits to a collaborative approach led by Genesis’ international operations management team. The provider’s team of clinical operations experts consists of its China clinical partners, China-based clinical team, American expatriates who reside in China, and its U.S.-based clinical operations teams.

“Entering into China, we knew that there would be some challenges,” says Feick. For example, introducing a Western-based therapy company and building trust in Genesis’ health care services took some time. “We needed to remain aware and nimble, continuously adapting to policy, regulatory, and reimbursement changes,” he says.

The future looks bright, as Genesis continues to plan for development.

“Based on our outcomes and our proven ability to work with strategic health care partners in China who share our vision, we believe that there are endless possibilities to promote the development of China’s rehabilitation and post-acute care system with our blended approach,” Feick says.