Rehabilitation Hospital: What are 7 Important Questions

Published: 23rd September 2008
Views: N/A

If you (or a loved one) are about to be released from the hospital, you may need additional care before going home. The usual places you may go after a hospital are a rehabilitation hospital, a skilled nursing facility, or assisted living facility. A rehab hospital may be the best choice for you if you need additional treatment in order to recover from an illness or an injury and you will be returning to live in your home.

1. How much therapy will I receive?

At a rehab hospital, each patient is placed in an intensive therapy program, based on individual needs. A patient will often receive several hours of therapy per day to aid in recovery, which may be a combination of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

2. Why is a rehab hospital being recommended for me?

In most cases, you are sent to a rehab hospital when you are too "well" for the acute care hospital but not yet strong enough to return home. Usually, you will receive more therapy in a rehab hospital than you would receive in a skilled nursing facility. (You will also receive more therapy in a skilled nursing facility than in an assisted living facility.)

3. How many days of insurance coverage you will have at the rehab hospital?

Do not assume that because you have Medicare and supplemental insurance that all of your days of admission will be covered. And conversely, the rehab hospital may be reluctant to let you go before all of your days are used up. It is astounding, but sometimes family members have to argue to get a patient discharged before all of the days are used up.It is often a delicate balance to determine how much time in a rehab hospital is "enough." If you leave the hospital before staff recommends it, you may have to sign documents acknowledging that you are signing out "AMA" or "against medical advice." Be sure that if you are leaving "AMA," you have the support systems in place to assure your care upon release.

4. How much therapy does my insurance cover? How many visits? How much per visit?

You cannot assume that all of your therapy charges will be covered-ask this before you get transferred there. See if your insurance requires therapy preapproval, and if so, how many visits will be covered. In some cases, you may end up with a bill for the unpaid therapy services. You will want to confirm whether you will be required to pay any residual balance after your insurance(s) have paid.

5. Which rehab hospital is being recommended?

You may have a choice on which rehab hospital to choose, depending on where you live. There could be a rehab hospital that specializes in brain injuries, for example. If you had head trauma, it might make more sense to reside there and get the utmost benefit available, and maybe have a shorter stay than one at a rehab hospital that does not have the same experience and expertise. If you have a choice to make about which rehab hospital to choose, you will want to gather some information about each. You will want to get the name, address, phone number, and name of the contact person for each facility. See if the facility specializes in treating people with your particular diagnosis. You will need to know what therapy services are being recommended for you, and if they are available at each facility.

6. What should I bring?

The rehab hospital will provide the medical equipment and other adaptive devices to aid in your recovery. You may want to bring other items to add to your comfort and ease. If you brought clothing and toiletries with you to the acute care hospital, you may want to bring them to the rehab hospital. Things you might consider bringing include the following: robe, socks, sweater, scarf, headband, slippers, pillow, blanket, sleep mask, ear plugs, earphones, razor, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, books, magazines, DVDs, DVD player, radio, and basic toiletries. Bring several sets of loose and comfortable clothes, and don't forget sturdy walking shoes. You will be expected to be dressed each day, so your bathrobe and slippers are for nighttime only.

7. Should I bring my prescription medicines?

It is also a good idea to have a 2- to 3-day supply of your medications to bring with you to the rehab hospital. In this way, in case there is a mix-up of some kind, you are assured that you will not miss any doses of medicine.

In conclusion, a stay at a rehab hospital will give you the chance to recover from your illness to the greatest extent possible. The services provided are tailored to your needs, and will get you to the point where you can return home with increased mobility and functionality.


Smalltown Duo, owned by Sibyl Day and Mary Benson, specializes in medical and legal books for consumers. They publish a popular book called "What Did the Doctor Say? A Guide for Leaving the Hospital." The book covers topics such as questions to ask about your diagnosis, medications, choosing a rehabilitation hospital, and avoiding common medical errors. If you or someone you know will soon be in the hospital, this book helps with every step of the way. For more information, visit their website at

Report this article Ask About This Article

More to Explore