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Not All Rehabilitation Is Created Equal
Consider these key factors the next time you’re selecting rehabilitation care for you or a loved one

Inpatient rehabilitation is an essential element to the care plans of individuals with a variety of illnesses and injuries. From complex brain injuries to hip replacements, selecting a high quality provider for rehabilitative care can make a significant difference in a person’s recovery and return to home.

There are many types of providers that offer rehabilitation services, but most often the only type of provider that is certified and provides the level of care necessary to see adequate results, is the inpatient rehabilitation hospital.

Many people also consider Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) for their care, believing they are getting the same level of skilled rehabilitation as a dedicated inpatient hospital, but often this is not the case.

When comparing inpatient rehabilitation hospitals to SNFs, research shows that long-term outcomes for inpatient rehabilitation facility patients are superior—they return home two weeks earlier, have 8% lower mortality rate, 5% fewer emergency room visits and significantly fewer hospital readmissions per year*.

Those who complete care at inpatient rehabilitation hospitals are also significantly more likely to return home. For example, approximately 80% of patients treated at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospitals (formerly known as HealthSouth) return to home after treatment, while the national average rate for SNF patients returning to home and the community is only around 50%**.

“Inpatient rehabilitation hospitals provide more frequent and more specialized rehabilitation than SNF facilities and that leads to better outcomes,” said Scott Bleakley, Director of Therapy Operations at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Sewickley. “We are required to provide our patients with a minimum of three hours of physical, occupational and speech therapy services a day, five days a week, but many of our patients, especially those that are medically complex, receive more than that. SNFs aren’t required and often don’t have the resources to provide that same level of care.”

Inpatient rehabilitation hospital patients also benefit from 24-hour nurse oversight and availability, increased nursing hours per patient and frequent physician visits.

Another factor to consider when looking at an inpatient rehabilitation hospital or SNF facilities is whether they have Joint Commission Accreditation for their therapy programs.

This means the rehabilitation programs underwent an extensive, unannounced, on-site evaluation by a team of Joint Commission reviewers and were evaluated against Joint Commission standards. To earn the certification, rehabilitation hospitals must successfully and consistently demonstrate compliance with national standards and effective use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care for patients.

“The Joint Commission is the gold standard for rehabilitation care,” said Casey Rodak, Director of Therapy Operations at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Harmarville. “It’s one of the first things any patient should ask about when considering a facility for rehabilitation care. It shows that the services have been vetted and you will get the level of care you need and deserve. That’s why we have so many patients demand Encompass Health for their care. They know when they come to us, they are in good hands.”

Bleakley and Rodak said both Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospitals in Harmarville and Sewickley have each earned six Joint Commission Certifications for their rehabilitation programs, including Stroke, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Amputee, Hip Fracture and Diabetes.

For more information about the benefits of inpatient rehabilitation care, visit www.encompasshealth.com/harmarvillerehab or www.encompasshealth.com/sewickleyrehab

*Dobson|DaVanzo analysis of research identifiable 20% sample of Medicare beneficiaries, 2005-2009
**www.medicare.gov, national average rate of successful return to home and community from a SNF.

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