Rep. Griffith and Local Rehab Center Team Up to Tame Healthcare Costs

Jul 17, 2013, 14:22 ET from CCR

RADFORD, Va., July 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) received a first-hand look today at a new effort to improve the quality of health care while reducing Medicare costs and taxpayer burdens.

Radford Health & Rehab Center, along with senior managers of parent company CCR (Commonwealth Care of Roanoke), briefed Rep. Griffith on how they are putting an innovative national Quality Initiative to work. The American Health Care Association (AHCA) launched the Quality Initiative in 2012, with the goal of improving the quality of care in skilled nursing centers. Patients may receive care at a skilled nursing or rehabilitation center after being released from a hospital or other acute care center.

According to Carey Peerman, Administrator of Radford Health & Rehab Center, the goal of the  center is to provide such a level of care that the patient does not return to a hospital. "We are on the frontline in the battle against runaway healthcare costs," she said. Since most of their patients come in after a hospital stay and many are seniors, the quality of care they receive directly affects government programs like Medicare.

"The future health of our nation's long term care system is important to my constituents. The more my staff and other congressional offices can learn about this field of medicine and care, the better informed decisions we can make here in Washington," said Rep. Griffith.

"CCR has always been committed to providing the highest quality of life for our patients, residents and staff," said Deborah Petrine, President and owner of CCR. "The national Quality Initiative helps centers like Radford Health & Rehab monitor and improve the quality of our care even more, especially benchmarked against other centers. But it's not a competition. The better care we provide, the less time our patients spend in hospitals and acute care. That saves them money, and it saves Medicare, as well."

The AHCA Quality Initiative is a nationwide effort that sets specific, measurable targets to further improve quality of care in America's skilled nursing centers. The nation's largest association representing skilled nursing providers, the AHCA launched the three-year program to improve four key areas: hospital readmissions; staff stability; customer satisfaction and the off-label use of antipsychotic medications. For more information on the AHCA Quality Initiative, please visit

Radford Health & Rehab Center, a member of the Virginia Health Care Association and the AHCA, is also pursuing its own improvements. Along with the other CCR centers, it is taking part in a corporate Service Excellence Initiative. "Our own initiatives take the game up a notch," Petrine noted. After surveying patients, family members and employees, CCR developed plans to identify and address areas for improvement. Although Radford and the other CCR centers are early in year three of the three-year initiative, they have already seen improvement. "We've observed higher patient satisfaction and lower turnover among staff," reports Petrine. Both of these areas of improvement are also goals of the AHCA Quality Initiative.

The 90 bed skilled nursing center opened in January, 2002, in Radford, Virginia, and employs approximately 100 full and part-time employees.

CCR (Commonwealth Care of Roanoke, Inc.), founded in 2001, currently operates twelve centers in Virginia.  The core business values – service, commitment and integrity – are the guiding principles of the organization. CCR is recognized as a leader in Virginia for providing quality services and being a stable, compliant fiscal operator. The founder and key managers of the organization are involved in numerous statewide initiatives for culture change, quality improvement and maintaining financial viability for long-term care providers. CCR's senior management group collectively has over 165 years of experience in the senior care profession.  Likewise, the company is a Virginia-based company that is committed to participating in the Medicaid and Medicare programs and caring for the frail and indigent. 

The Virginia Health Care Association represents over 250 nursing and assisted living centers in Virginia which provide care for 29,000 patients and residents. The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represent more than 11,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member centers each day. For more information, please visit or or