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Your Guide to Choosing a Short-Term Rehab Facility After a Hospitalization

July 23, 2019

After a major surgery, accident or hospitalization due to an illness, your doctor may recommend seeking additional treatment at a short-term rehabilitation center . Most centers that offer post-operative care, including physical, speech and occupational therapy, are part of skilled nursing facilities (SNF). And many of these facilities offer comprehensive accommodations, amenities and treatment plans to ensure you receive quality care and a simple-as-possible transition back to a home environment.

If you are searching for the best short-term rehabilitation center to accommodate your needs, or the needs of a loved one, we hope the following information will help guide you through the process.

Short Term RehabilitationQuestions to Ask Before Your Stay

Before deciding on the right short-term rehabilitation center , consider the quality, cost and levels of care provided. Asking these questions can help you decide on what short-term rehab center is best suited to meet your specific healthcare needs.  

1) What is the cost and what is covered during my stay? Are there additional expenses (internet, phone, television) that will require out-of-pocket payment?

2) Is my insurance accepted and what steps do I take to ensure my stay is covered?

3) What forms of treatment are available and can you accommodate my specific medical needs?

4) How often will I receive therapy?

5) What is the staff-to-patient ratio?

6) Is the facility rated by Medicare? If so, what is the current rating?

7) What amenities and services are available to me during my stay?

Not only should you discuss these questions in advance with an admissions counselor (if possible), but also make touring the facility a priority.

What to Know About Cost

On average, a typical short-term rehabilitation stay after surgery at a skilled nursing facility is less than 30 days. If you have Medicare Part A (Hospital) Insurance, you are covered under Medicare with a qualifying three-day hospital stay (not including time spent in observation) and referral from your doctor. Coverage is broken into “benefit periods” that begin after your hospital admission. There is no limit to how many benefit periods a person can have, as long as they continue to meet the criteria for inpatient care.

Medicare will typically cover all costs related to your stay for the first 20 days, with the exception of personal convenience items (phone, cable, internet, etc). After day 20, the patient is responsible for a daily copay of $170.50 (2019 estimate), while Medicare covers the rest. If you have a private pay insurance provider, check that your insurance plan is accepted and that you meet all insurance requirements while receiving care. For more information on Medicare guidelines related to short-term rehabilitation, visit: www.Medicare.gov.  

Determining What Services and Amenities Meet Your Needs

The benefit to receiving short-term rehab care at a skilled nursing facility is the on-site amenities. Depending on the type of skilled care you may need, ask about different treatment plans and services. Many skilled nursing facilities have a variety of different therapy equipment and amenities for patient use, including onsite pools, fitness centers and planned daily activities. These services typically complement your treatment plan and create an environment tailored to your recovery. To learn about specific amenities offered at each facility, ask about what is available to you during your stay.

Ensuring Quality Care

Medicare rates skilled nursing facilities in four different areas:

1) Health Inspections

2) Safety

3) Quality of Resident Care  

4) Staffing

Check the ratings to determine which skilled nursing facilities provide the best overall quality of care. One thing to remember, though, is that Medicare ratings do change from time to time. Additionally, take note of the facility’s atmosphere. Ensure that the environment is a comfortable and welcoming one and that the staff are attentive and make necessary patient accommodations. You can also ask each facility’s admissions department to provide a copy of the Medicare ratings report.

Your stay at a short-term rehabilitation center should allow you or your senior loved one to focus on regaining wellness and mobility. Many skilled nursing facilities that have dedicated short-term rehabilitation centers offer a range of rehabilitative services, from occupational, speech and physical therapy to nutritional and dietary assistance.

To learn more about short-term rehabilitation care options at a Concordia location near you, visit the care levels and services page of our website for information about our locations in Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and Tampa, Florida. You can also call our headquarters at any time to learn more information at 724-352-1571 or message us through our online contact form.

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