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

For older adults, recovery times often lengthen as they age. Surgeries, accidents and illnesses may require more rest. They may also carry a risk of hospitalization and rehospitalization. Short-term rehab bridges the gap between these initial incidents and returning to independent living.

We hope this guide will help you through the process of selecting the right short-term rehab facility that will accommodate your needs or those of your senior loved one.

What is Short-Term Rehabilitation

After a major health event, doctors may recommend seeking a short-term rehabilitation center. One part of a skilled nursing facility, these centers offer post-operative care, including physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy.

As patients continue through their recovery, a team of highly qualified health professionals oversees their care closely. Therapists guide them through individualized treatment and goals. Nurses and aides tend to their needs throughout their stay. Short-term rehabilitation facilities offer comprehensive accommodations, amenities and treatment plans to ensure patients receive quality care and a simple-as-possible transition back to a home environment.

Curious about other types of senior care? Click the button below to download our guide to “Different Types of Senior Care Defined,” to see what might make the most sense for you or your loved one.

Questions 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 which skilled nursing facility best suits you or your loved one’s specific healthcare needs.

  1. Is my insurance accepted, and what steps do I take to ensure my stay is covered?
  2. What will be my out-of-pocket cost?
  3. Are there additional expenses (internet, phone, television)?
  4. What forms of treatment are available?
    • Physical therapy?
    • Speech therapy?
    • Occupational therapy?
  5. Can the facility accommodate my specific medical needs?
  6. How often will I receive therapy?
  7. What is the staff-to-patient ratio?
  8. Is the facility rated by Medicare?
    • If so, what is the current rating?
  9. What amenities and services are available to me during my stay?

Feel free to bring this list to an admissions counselor, who will help give you the answers you need. If you’re looking for additional information, Medicare provides a checklist for looking at a skilled nursing facility. Click here to check it out!

While having these answers provides great preparation, there’s nothing quite like seeing these elements for yourself. Particularly as part of a planned procedure, don’t be afraid to tour the facility before admission. Concordia offers free, guided tours of all of its facilities. Click here to schedule a tour today.

RELATED: Man from Maryland Chooses to Rehab at Concordia

Costs Involved in Short-Term Rehab

On average, a typical patient’s stay at a short-term rehabilitation center is less than 30 days. If you have Medicare Part A (Hospital) Insurance, you may qualify for coverage after a qualifying three-day hospital stay (not including time spent in observation) followed by a referral from your doctor.

After admission, coverage differs between three “benefit periods” dictated by your stay’s duration. 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.

  • After admission: Medicare will cover all costs related to your stay for the first 20 days, except for personal convenience items (phone, cable, internet, etc.)
  • After 20 days: The patient pays a daily copay of $200 (2024 estimate), while Medicare covers the rest.
  • After 100 days: The patient begins paying for all costs associated with care.

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 those in need, Medicare offers some assistance in the form of savings programs. Click here to learn more.

Evaluating Amenities in a Skilled Nursing Facility

Skilled nursing facilities offer many amenities to their short-term rehab patients. These amenities vary from facility to facility and depend on the care and restrictions of a patient.

Many skilled nursing facilities have a variety of daily planned activities and therapy equipment, including onsite pools, fitness centers and more. Some may have more specialized equipment or services.

Some Concordia skilled nursing facilities offer occupational therapy simulation and wellness programs. These services typically complement treatment plans and create an environment tailored to the patient’s recovery.

Not all amenities are aimed at treatment with some offered purely for comfort. Concordia locations typically offer patients free Wi-Fi, nutrient-rich meals, social functions and spiritual care, among others.

To learn about specific amenities offered at each facility, ask an admissions counselor about what is available to you during you or your loved one’s stay.

RELATED: The Benefits of Aquatic Therapy in Rehabilitation

Ensuring Quality Care

Medicare constantly keeps up with skilled nursing facilities, and one way they help their patients is through a rating system. Their ratings focus on four different areas: health inspections, safety, quality of resident care and staffing.

You can ask each facility’s admissions department to provide a copy of the Medicare ratings report. Keep in mind that Medicare ratings change regularly and may not provide the clearest picture of a facility. But, the ratings are valuable when paired with other forms of evaluation.

Beyond the ratings, take note of the facility’s atmosphere. Make sure you find the environment comfortable and welcoming, and look for an attentive staff willing to make accommodations for you.

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 724-352-1571 or message us through our online contact form.

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