Nurse turns shaping personalized health care into successful business
When Feinberg started her Farmington Hills-based business, Feinberg Consulting, 15 years ago, Feinberg knew there was a need for coordinated and personalized care for patients recovering from catastrophic illnesses or injuries. Families were overwhelmed by organizing the support systems necessary. What Feinberg didn't realize was just how large that demand would prove to be, raising her employee count from two in 1996 to 35 today.
"It just snowballed," said Feinberg, a registered nurse, who is a member of the Nurses Council of Hadassah.
Larry and Jayne, from Farmington Hills, have experienced the strain first hand of caring for a loved one first hand. Larry's older brother, Norman, 77, has suffered from Parkinson's disease for 10 years and requires myriad hospital visits and doctor appointments.
"It is so helpful to have someone making sure that he is getting the right treatment," said Larry, who wished to withhold his last name for privacy. "We don't have the background or knowledge to make sure that the hospital is doing everything it is supposed to be doing.
"Feinberg's nurses check Norman's records and make sure that everything is covered. It has been wonderful having their help for everything, even organizing the transportation."
Jayne agreed: "We really wanted to share our experience in order to help other families who may be facing similar situations. Hopefully, our story will let them know that they can get help, advice and support, too."
Last year, Feinberg Consulting opened an office in Palm Beach County in Florida, providing a service to snowbirds whose families are elsewhere in the country. "In this economy, it is very difficult for people to travel to be with their parents when a parent is ill," Feinberg said.
"We can organize treatment, transportation and look at social and psychosocial needs. We basically act as their advocate so they can live life to the fullest."
Feinberg Consulting has recently hired a nurse care manager in western Michigan to cater to the catastrophically injured and elderly population in that part of the state.
For people of all ages who are recovering from serious illnesses, or who have been in a devastating accident, Feinberg Consulting's Catastrophic Care Service steps in to help a family dealing with medical issues, vocational rehabilitation and daunting Social Security and Medicare applications. Rehabilitation nurses, certified case managers, social workers and psychologists react to a family's unexpected crisis with the required expertise.
The company's newest service aims at reducing hospital readmission rates for the elderly. Just last year, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed 20 percent of hospitalized Medicare patients returned to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged. In half of these cases, patients had not seen a doctor between admissions, suggesting follow-up care had not been optimal. The estimated cost for these readmissions: $17 billion.
The Care Transitions Readmission Management Program (RAMP) provides 24-hour monitoring for clients being discharged from the hospital. Components of the program include care transition coach visits at the hospital before patients are discharged and at-home visits after discharge. The program also involves phone calls to ensure medical follow-up, medication management and discussion of the red flags patients should be aware of. State-of-the-art remote health monitoring devices, such as Telehealth and Vital Signs Connect, are also employed.
Why start your own business?
I was a working mom and wanted the flexibility of working for myself so I could be with my family more.
You spotted a need in society?
The need for help is enormous, especially in the senior population. People are living longer; they have more chronic illnesses. Therefore, they need assistance to live independently and with dignity. This can be a tremendous strain for families.
How do hospital stays trigger the need for your services?
When someone goes into the hospital, it is not only a catastrophe for the individual patient — physically and emotionally — but for the entire family. Hospital readmissions are disruptive as well as being expensive.
How can you remedy this?
We are providing a safety net to minimize readmissions. Working with a patient's primary care physician, we are going to do everything we can to keep them out of hospital and prevent a lot of heartache.
Do you have a website?
Yes, it's www.feinbergconsulting.com.