CORE Health Care understands the stress and anxiety families experience when a loved one is diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, complex psychiatric disorder, autism or other special need. Having successfully and safely treated individuals for more than 25 years, we have been a guiding light for families and individuals from Texas and across the nation during unpredictable and unsettling times. We believe that every person, no matter their disability or severity of condition, deserves the best options, treatments and facilities in the industry. Whether you choose CORE Health Care or another facility, we want to help you make an informed decision. Consider asking these questions of the facilities you visit:
Can you handle my loved one’s problems with short term memory, impulsive behavior, confusion and medical needs?
A wise person said “If you have seen one brain injury, you have seen one brain injury.” We believe that every injury affects the individuals brain differently and the resulting deficits and behaviors should be treated importantly for each person’s future.
CORE Health Care has over 25 years of experience helping with individuals with brain injuries. Problems with short term memory, confusion, and impulsivity are some of the leading deficits of this type of injury and our licensed therapists and certified brain injury specialists are trained specifically to handle these types of needs. Our goal is to educate residents and their families about compensatory strategies that will improve these difficulties.
Nursing is available for those residents that need assistance with medical problems. Additionally, CORE has the staffing capacity to offer 1:1 care 24 hours a day to residents that may need it for medical or behavioral needs.
Just as each individual with a brain injury is unique so is the individualized treatment plan for our residents. Our licensed professionals provide cognitive, speech, physical, vocational, vision, occupational, and psychological therapies in individual and group formats. Each therapist will evaluate the needs of the resident as they admit to CORE and will make recommendations as to the number of therapy hours needed in each discipline. Therapies take place on the CORE campus and out in the community offering real-world experiences to re-integrate our residents into their former life activities.
All meals are provided in the dining room as a group and therapeutic activities are offered each evening and weekend.
CORE has two programs that offer long-term care:
Our Oak Point house offers 24 hour supervision and private rooms for individuals who have suffered a brain-injury and are unable to live independently.
Our Cedar Point house offers 24 hour supervision and private rooms for individuals who suffer from complex psychiatric disorders, autism and other special needs.
Our safe and home-like long term care environment encourages each resident to achieve higher self-esteem and greater personal growth. Additionally, our residents benefit from a low staff to client ratio allowing time for individualized care, interests and community involvement. Our continuum of care is designed to maximize each person’s well being by emphasizing safety, developing vocational, leisure and social pursuits that the individual finds meaningful and consistent with their life goals.
When can we come and visit our family member? Can we take him or her out for the day or overnight? Some facilities have told us that we can’t come during the first month. Is this true at CORE Health Care?
At CORE Health Care, you can visit your loved one as soon or as frequently as you want. Due to our extensive individualized therapy programs, patients’ schedules are usually very busy, inside and sometimes outside the facility. Therefore, we always appreciate courtesy calls so we can arrange schedules accordingly. Day and overnight trips can be very helpful and therapeutic, but sometimes insurance companies or other funding sources have restrictions on the amount of time that can be spent away from the facility. You may also direct us on who may or may not be appropriate visitors.
We have limited resources that need to last for our loved one’s lifetime? Can CORE’s long-term care programs provide a plan that fits our life care plan?
It is not in our practice to utilize an individual’s financial resources to exhaustion, allocating no available funds for life-long care or medical emergencies. CORE makes every effort to deliver the most robust service for the price of care. If a resident comes to us requiring stabilization, there will be a period of higher cost until symptoms and/or functional ability improves. Once more stability is achieved, costs will drop to an efficient rate. As our residents achieve higher levels of independence, the cost of care also decreases.
We have extensive experience working with trust officers and trust departments within banks. If a loved one’s difficulties will prevent them from ever living independently again, then we encourage all our families to explore the option of creating a special needs trust will a skilled attorney. These complex trusts allow an individual to set aside and preserve funds for life-long care, while maintaining government aid eligibility. CORE has a short list of trusted attorneys we can share with you.
What are the costs for care? Will my insurance cover the cost? For what charges will the family be responsible?
CORE will work diligently to pre-certify as many services for which your loved one is eligible under insurance benefits plans. We work with most major insurance plans, multi-state workers’ compensation plans and have a contract with the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) to provide both comprehensive rehabilitation services and vocational rehabilitation. Costs vary greatly depending on the facility, level of need and degree to which a resident can live independently. The frequency of therapy needed; type of therapy needed; amount of medical services required; and the level of additional supervision and attendant care needed for safety, impulsivity, daily living assistance or instruction; determines each individual’s cost of care. Frequently, we can provide bundled and prompt payment discounts in order make efficient use of funds. We can also provide bundled discounts for long-term care to fit within a loved one’s life-care plan.
We do not live in Texas. Do other families live out of state? Can you provide escorts for our loved one to travel back home?
About half of our long-term care families live outside Texas. Many families come to CORE after becoming disillusioned with other providers and facilities throughout the country. We frequently escort our long-term care residents back home for extended travel with family and residents’ personal vacations. We can also provide an escort for your loved one when you visit and enjoy the sites of Austin and Central Texas. Once a year, CORE hosts “Family Day” at various special places in the Austin area. Most recently, CORE reserved the luxury suites at the Dell Diamond to enjoy watching our own minor league baseball team, The Round Rock Express, with families, residents and employees.
Each resident should have enough seasonal clothes to last about seven days. (Summers here are hot and last until mid-October. Winters are mild, but we do have an occasional hard freeze in the Hill Country). Also, bring personal hygiene items, (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, brushes, Depends, feminine hygiene supplies, etc.), comfortable walking shoes, a wrist watch, a laundry basket and an alarm clock. TV’s are provided in our recreation rooms, so we typically discourage residents who may have a tendency to isolate themselves from bringing their own. Radios, small stereos and computers are welcome as are any other personal items that will make our residents feel more at home (a favorite chair, books, a wall hanging, a family quilt, etc.).
As each resident’s deficits will differ, so will the chores during their rehabilitation stay. Each resident will have a scheduled time each week to complete their laundry cleaning. If they are unable to complete the task on their own, our staff will work with them to complete the activity.
While any of our residents may have outbursts from time-to-time, CORE does not admit people who are overtly aggressive. Our employees are trained in de-escalation techniques and, as a last resort, safe physical restraints may be used to protect our residents and staff. CORE does not use mechanical restraints or seclusion rooms.
In many of our family member’s past placements, it seemed as though the doctors and therapists didn’t really want our input and didn’t make much time for us. Will this really be different at your facility?
At CORE we have a culture that values your opinion and actively solicits your input. Indeed, we cannot achieve any successful outcome without a family’s participation and support. We know leaving your loved one in the care of others is initially worrisome, so we encourage families to become as much a part of the treatment process as they wish. Typically, teams at the post-acute facility meet during treatment reviews once per month and either every six months or annually for long-term care. Residents’ families are a part of the team and we appreciate your participation, even if it is via conference-call. Additionally, our case managers are available to receive your input between treatment reviews.
See How To Choose A Healthcare Provider or Facility for more information.
Unfortunately, our family member has a number of problems, not just one diagnosis. Is CORE still an appropriate placement?
CORE has always specialized in helping residents who have not succeeded in other treatment settings. The majority of our residents have multiple diagnoses and complex difficulties, but we will find a way to build on your loved one’s strengths. What we want are the same things you want for your loved one: to be happy, healthy and as productive as possible.
How do we figure out where he or she will go after discharge from the post-acute rehabilitation facility? How will it be paid for?
Discharge planning for relatively short stays at the post-acute program begins almost immediately. During the early stages of an individual’s stay at CORE’s post-acute program, our case managers will refer residents to other placements and resources following discharge based on their individual needs and prognosis. One resource that our case managers often assist families with is signing up for medicaid waivers. These waivers are an extension of the general medicaid services and often can pay for long-term care placement, respite services and home health care. For more information:
In addition, CORE provides long-term care, apartment living and outpatient day services for those leaving the post-acute facility. Our goal for families is education during and after their stay at CORE Health Care.
No family can ever adequately prepare for a loved one to suffer a brain injury. Once the initial medical crisis is over families can be faced with a myriad of behaviors and problems that can be difficult to understand and disruptive to everyday family life. CORE Health Care developed the CORE Family Trainer , an instructional DVD and manual, so that families can train like those personnel who work in the field of brian injury rehabilitation. This resource illustrates common problems families might encounter at home with their loved one’s who survived brain injuries. CORE Family Trainer
The CORE Family Trainer DVD is available for free to all of our discharged residents’ families.
CORE employs licensed professionals for individual therapies on both a salaried and contractual basis. This arrangement allows us to provide the necessary amount of quality care at the most value to you. The team includes neuropsychologists, psychologists, social workers, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, cognitive specialists and licensed professional counselors. The program supervisors are also certified assisted living managers.
We want our current physicians to stay on the case. Can they help with the treatment at CORE facilities? Can you provide information to keep them updated?
CORE operates with an open medical model, meaning we use a variety of local physicians and would welcome the experience of working with family doctors. William Loving, M.D., a psychiatrist with extensive brain injury and chemical dependency experience, has been affiliated with us since 1983. John Bertelson, M.D., a neurologist, joined the team in 2005. Dr. Ziba Rezaee is the newest member of our medical team.
Treatment reviews are typically held every 30 days, with a written summary mailed to families following the review. For our long-term residents, treatment reviews may only be conducted every six months or annually, as needed. We always encourage families to visit their loved ones; CORE staff is happy to answer any questions you have during your visit.
A number of our residents have their own computers and enjoy e-mailing with their families. We offer one public computer at each house and encourage residents to sign up with a free e-mail service, such as Yahoo or Hotmail. We offer wireless networking in many areas throughout the houses.
We hear time and again that families agree with our treatment approach, love the facilities and feel like partners in the treatment process. But, the most appealing characteristic of CORE is our people. It is a collaborative of individuals who view their jobs as vocations, not just work. CORE is fundamentally different from other programs because of our team’s passion in helping individuals establish meaningful lives and interpersonal relationships through functional outcomes and maximal independence. This not only allows individuals to make the best possible progress but also enables families to unburden the guilt they so often feel as a result of their loved ones’ situation. CORE has specialized therapeutic programs for each resident; highly-skilled and experienced staff; and a very quick response time due to our lack of corporate overhead. Family-owned and operated, CORE is honored to have provided a trusted source of residential care for more than 30 years.
See How To Choose A Healthcare Provider or Facility for more information.
Will my loved one be able to worship at the church of his or her choice? Do you encourage their spirituality?
Like all people, our residents come from many backgrounds and faiths. We are committed to ensuring each person have freedom of choice and expression when it come to their spirituality. We encourage our residents to attend services weekly or as frequently as possible at churches, synagogues, temples and mosques. The Austin area supports many faiths, denominations and beliefs. We can and often implement spirituality assessments to assist our resident in their quest for enlightenment and salvation.
CORE Health Care actively supports a variety of non-profit groups every year with direct financial support, in-kind donations and volunteer hours. Some groups are industry-related such at the Brain Injury Associations of Texas and America and Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance as well as career specific organizations like case management and life care planner groups. CORE also supports smaller organizations such as Dripping Springs schools, local churches and 4H Clubs. CORE also has established a non-profit organization called the CORE Foundation. Through public works and advocacy projects, the CORE Foundation mission is to advocate for people with disabilities in novel ways to hasten the removal of cultural and institutional biases in our society. Two of the first projects will include the construction of an accessible fishing pier in Austin and the creation of an on-line marketplace for artists with disabilities. To read more about the CORE Foundation, please visit the web site at www.corehealthfoundation.org.
Does CORE Health Care share any outcomes data on how successful their rehabilitation and long term care programs are?
CORE Health Care is happy to share our outcomes data. Please review the
CORE Health Care serves individuals beginning at age 16 in a variety of different programs. The C
There is an on-going personal injury claim or lawsuit initiated due to my loved one’s brain injury. Does CORE accept Letters of Protection from my attorney?
CORE is familiar with Letters of Protection (LOP) or liens when a brain injury also involves personal injury litigation. A Letter of Protection is essentially an IOU ensuring that a health care provider will be paid in full if and when the case is settled. In these cases a health care provider may be reimbursed several years after care and treatment was rendered, if at all. So CORE has developed a matrix for deciding which Letters of Protection are reasonable to accept. If you are seeking treatment under a Letter of Protection, please notify Admissions personnel early in the referral process so that we may complete our due diligence in a timely way.
Who provides therapies? May I see a list of therapists, and their licenses? Are they full time, part time or contract employees?
At CORE Health Care, we have 17 licensed therapists on our full-time staff. These therapists are licensed to provide physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, cognitive therapy, vision therapy, psychology and family counseling. Our clients receive 25-30 hours of therapy each week with licensed therapists, and each program is individually designed to meet the client where they are and help them accomplish their goals. Therapies take place individually and in groups, on our campus, and in the community.
At CORE Health Care, we have four houses dedicated to rehabilitation and long term care. When you tour our facility, we will be happy to show you the actual facility where your loved one will reside, as well as point out all the amenities of the home designed to promote independence. Each client will have a private room and in some cases a half bath in their room as well.
In most of our houses, CORE maintains a one staff to four client ratio. At our Draper house, the staff to client ratio is 1:6, as this house is designed to allow the clients the opportunity to test their independent living skills before being discharged. If needed, we can also provide 1:1 staffing for clients who need additional assistance or supervision.
The Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) is the regulatory agency for CORE and other post-acute rehabilitation providers. The DADS website is a wealth of information for comparing facilities, including complaints filed against them, and violations of regulatory policy.
Will I receive a copy of the treatment plan for my loved one? Will the client and I be able to help make decisions about the goals and treatment/discharge plan?
At CORE, the client and the client’s family are an integral part of our treatment team. We absolutely want the client’s input on their goals, as well as to learn about the goals the family has for them as well. We have formal client treatment review meetings every month, but you are welcome to contact your loved one’s case manager at any time to learn more about the treatment plan, gains being made, and goals still to be accomplished. We want you to be involved every step of the way!
CORE Health Care prides itself on the expertise and training of our staff. Many of our staff have achieved the recognition of Certified Brain Injury Specialist, and all of our staff receives extensive training upon hire, and annual trainings to stay up to date on the best practices in brain injury rehabilitation. All of our direct care staff and therapy team undergo 40 hours of classroom training and 40 hours of shadowing an experienced direct care mentor before caring for the clients directly.
All of CORE’s clients visit with Dr. Ziba Rezaee (Psychiatrist) as needed for medication management, and making sure all of the medications they are taking are appropriate at every stage of healing. Additionally, Dr. John Bertleson (Neurologist) consults with clients as needed. Dr. Jose Urquidez (Physical Medicine and Rehab) also sees all of our rehab clients to ensure they are getting the very best in rehab medicine. CORE also has excellent working relationships with physicians all over Austin in just about every specialty, to ensure health and wellness for all of our clients.
How are medical appointments handled? Will my loved one be able to go into the community for recreational and spiritual purposes?
At CORE Health Care reintegration into the community is a large part of our program. We are happy to transport clients to medical appointments related to rehabilitation. Additionally, our weekends are full of recreational activities including sporting events, movies, dinner outings, concerts and much more! Many of our clients have the opportunity to participate in the spiritual activities of their choosing, and attend various religious ceremonies each week.
How often can I visit? What if I’m unable to come to your facility, how often can I communicate with them?
Family involvement is integral to our client’s success. We encourage families to come to the facility as often as possible to observe therapies, join their loved one for lunch, and even take them for family outings on the weekends. If you are unable to come to our facility, we will gladly help our clients call you or even video conference with you so that you can keep in touch.
What kind of funding do you accept? Will you work with my insurance company to ensure prompt payment and correct claims processing?
CORE is contracted with several commercial insurance providers, workers’ compensation providers, the Department of Veterans Affairs (for Veterans with TBI), and with the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS). We can also work with families who would like to pay privately, with a family trust, or special needs trust. We will do all we can to make sure you are informed of your benefits and eligibility, and what your financial responsibility for care at CORE will be.
CORE Health Care is licensed as an assisted living facility by the Department of Aging and Disability (there is not a license specific to rehabilitation in Texas), as well as accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). We would be happy to share a copy of our license with you if you’re interested in this information.