Who Needs Inpatient Rehabilitation?


Rehabilitative services include, but are not limited to, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and psychology. Rehabilitation services can positively impact the health status and functional ability of individuals with challenging medical conditions, including those living with brain injury, heart conditions, multiple sclerosis, stroke, spinal cord injuries, speech and hearing conditions, limb loss, and cerebral palsy.

Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs) offer a unique level of care for patients of any age – highly specialized, medically supervised and carefully coordinated programs that improve a patient’s health, function, mobility and independence. This includes restoring the skills and abilities to perform daily tasks, such as bathing, dressing and eating. Rehabilitation hospitals and units prepare patients to return to home, work, school and community activities successfully.

Levels of Rehabilitation

View the University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute’s excellent short video that outlines the numerous benefits various types of physical rehabilitation.

What Should I Know About Rehabilitation in an IRF?

1How do I qualify for inpatient rehabilitation care?
Inpatient Rehabilitation facilities provide care to individuals who have a condition requiring intensive and interdisciplinary rehabilitation care. Your rehabilitation diagnosis must be medically manageable (such as stroke, amputation, spinal cord or brain injury, or arthritis) and you must be able to tolerate at least 15 hours of therapy per week — generally three hours daily, five days a week. Other admission criteria may also apply.
2How long will I stay in an inpatient facility?
The length of stay depends on diagnosis, functional ability and safety issues. The typical stay in an inpatient rehabilitation facility ranges from 7 to 21 days.
3How often will I receive therapy?
Each patient has an individually designed rehabilitation program that includes at least 15 hours of therapy per week — generally three hours daily, five days a week, based on your medical needs and therapy goals.
4What type of rehabilitation will I receive?
You will receive three hours of some combination of physical and occupational therapy services, and sometimes speech therapy, along with 24-hour rehabilitation nursing care. These rehabilitation services will be provided with the oversight of a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician, who directs an entire team of clinicians in coordinating your individualized plan of care.
5Are visitors allowed?
Your family and friends play an important role on the care team, working to help you regain your highest level of independence.
6Does My Insurance Cover Inpatient Rehabilitation?
Medicare and commercial insurances cover inpatient rehabilitation. To learn more, you can speak to an expert at the facility you are considering.