There are a variety of situations in which acute rehabilitation may become necessary after you stabilize from a hospital stay. If your therapy needs are extensive and cannot be met effectively in a home health care or long term care setting, your physician or case manager may suggest an acute rehabilitation facility.

Acute rehabilitation centers offer a complete team of specialists including, physicians, rehabilitation nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, social workers, dieticians, chaplains, recreational therapists, and psychologists. This allows the facility to take an intensive and extremely personalized approach to focus on those skills necessary to regain functional ability in order to be discharged to a home setting.

Acute rehab is sometimes confused with subacute rehab. Simply stated, acute rehab is provided in a hospital setting where as subacute rehab is provided in a long term care setting. Intensity of service and required admission criteria differ with the acute vs. subacute rehab settings as well.

What criteria must I meet?

The admission criteria guidelines for acute rehab are set by Medicare. In general, your medical condition needs to be stable but still need medical management by a physician on a daily basis. The physician works daily with the acute rehab team to coordinate your rehab care. There must be a reasonable expectation for you to improve with the plan to be discharged to a home setting with the anticipated level of support. You must be willing and able to participate in 30-45 minute therapy sessions with a daily total of 3 hours of therapy for five days per week. This therapy consists of bathing, grooming and dressing activities, in addition to communication and swallow(if needed) and activities in the therapy gym to assist with overall movement and function. A physician and/or admission coordinator from the acute rehab hospital must evaluate and approve your eligibility for admission based on Medicare and acute rehab guidelines.