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Sinai Announces Changes at Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital


Closure of Subacute Services Unit Provides Opportunity to Enhance Patient Experience

and Critical Specialty Offerings



October 15, 2019


CHICAGO, IL – Sinai Health System announced that it has stopped reviewing subacute therapy referrals this month via a temporary suspension application with the State of Illinois. Schwab is planning to redesign its existing space to provide private rooms for patients throughout the hospital, as well as expand areas for specialty services.


The plans come as a result of a change in federal Medicare payment rules that went into effect on October 1. The new Medicare payment rule known as the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) went into effect for skilled nursing facilities nationwide, dramatically changing the way reimbursements are calculated and paid.


“The new reimbursement model no longer places a high value on therapy, but rather medical complexity of patient cases. It will result in unsustainable reimbursement rates for our subacute care unit at Schwab,” said Michelle Gittler, MD, medical director at Schwab. “We came to this decision after a thorough assessment of the needs and trends in the marketplace. There are a number of other subacute providers available for patients needing that level of care. Coupled with the new reimbursement model, this unit was no longer sustainable.”


Schwab stopped reviewing any new subacute referrals starting on October 1, 2019 after filing with the State of Illinois for a temporary suspension of services, and will be working with the State to gain approval for permanent closure by the end of the year. Schwab has had a small, 21-bed unit that is accredited as a skilled nursing facility.


The change will have minimal impact on caregiver jobs. Caregivers including nurses, CNAs, and therapists will be reassigned to other positions at Schwab.


“Closing the subacute unit makes sense both financially and operationally, and it provides real opportunity for us to enhance patient experience at Schwab,” said Mary Gollinger, Vice President of Post Acute Services and Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital. “While closing a unit is never an easy decision, we know that this is the right thing to do to continue to responsibly and effectively serve our patients’ needs today and in the future.”


The additional space will allow Schwab to move to all private patient rooms with enhanced visitor capabilities. Plans are also in development for specialty areas such as a secure brain injury unity with its own gym, as well as options for stroke and spinal cord injury units. These upgrades will enable Schwab to compete better in the marketplace on critical items that influence patient choice.


Schwab Rehabilitation, an entity of Sinai Health System, is a 102-licensed bed facility that provides comprehensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services for adults and children. It is one of only three free-standing rehabilitation hospitals in the Chicago area with a number of physicians named as top doctors in U.S. News and World Report and Chicago Magazine.


About Sinai Health System

Sinai Health System, a Chicago-based private, not-for-profit organization, is comprised of seven member organizations: Mount Sinai Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital, Sinai Children’s Hospital, Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, Sinai Medical Group, Sinai Community Institute and Sinai Urban Health Institute. The system has over 800 physicians on its hospital medical staffs, 654 licensed beds, 100,000+ annual emergency department patient visits and eight physician residency training programs. For more information, visit