Inpatient Rehabilitation Myths Debunked

Inpatient Rehabilitation Myths Debunked

09-16-2019

This week we celebrate National Rehabilitation Week. In honor of that I’d like to take the opportunity to debunk some myths surrounding the Inpatient Rehabilitation. For those who are not familiar, this service provides comprehensive and intensive inpatient rehabilitation plus ongoing medical management to patients with functional impairments following disabling illnesses and injuries. Let’s expose some misconceptions about these rehab programs and help more people.

Myth: It’s depressing to be in rehab

Truth: The truth is, there's little in medicine so uplifting and inspiring as seeing someone who has overcome great hurdles achieve their goals in rehab! It can be an uphill battle riddled with frustration and the occasional tear, but it’s also where patients go once their conditions improve enough to work on regaining their independence. It can be hard work, but worth every drop of sweat!

Myth: Medicare patients must have a three-day hospitalization before transferring to an Inpatient Rehabilitation facility

Truth: This rule does not apply to patients going to inpatient rehab. Medicare patients must have a qualifying hospitalization of three or more days before they may be covered for care in a skilled nursing facility, but not inpatient rehab. Once it is deemed medically appropriate, a patient can participate in, and benefit from, a therapy program, that patient can be admitted at any time. We even admit patients directly from home when warranted!

Myth: Short term therapy is just physical therapy

Truth: There are some significant differences between inpatient physical rehabilitation and therapy offered at your local outpatient physical therapy clinic. While physical therapy is an important component of rehabilitation, inpatient programs offer much more. First, a patient in inpatient rehabilitation will be treated with a personalized and comprehensive treatment plan, formulated by a multidisciplinary team of rehabilitation experts and designed to provide the unique care that patient needs to get the most out of recovery. Additionally, depending on the specific needs of each patient, services may include treatment by rehab professionals, physical and occupational therapists, nutritionists, respiratory therapists, counselors, social workers, along with 24-hour skilled care provided by nurses and a physician who specializes in rehabilitative medicine.

Myth: Going to a nursing home is the same as Inpatient Rehab

The differences, both in terms of the type of care one can expect and the goals of that care, between short term inpatient rehabilitation programs and long-term skilled nursing care are significantly different. Both types of programs offer comprehensive, 24-hour care in a hospital-type atmosphere, but that is about all they have in common – even when rehabilitation programs are based within a skilled nursing center. The goal of short term rehab is to get patients on their feet – strong, stable and healthy. These programs are geared towards helping patients make their best recoveries from surgery, getting them back to their normal, everyday, independent lives as quickly as possible. In short, long-term placement is not the plan.

Myth: Three hours of therapy is too much

First, therapy is scheduled throughout the day - not three hours at once - to make sure you receive enough rest to aide in your recovery. While St. Mary’s Medical Center is an intensive Inpatient Rehabilitation Program where you are asked to participate in three hours of therapy each day, five to six days a week, the schedule and activities are adapted to match your unique abilities and goals.

Myth: A Physician won’t be part of my Inpatient Rehab Therapy Program

Our Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation Physician and our Hospitalists will follow you throughout your journey at St. Mary’s Medical Center Inpatient Rehabilitation. Your physician will lead your care along with a skilled Rehabilitation Nurse and Therapists.

Myth: If I’m in another facility, I can’t ask to be transferred to St. Mary’s Inpatient Rehab

I cannot stress this point enough – you have a right to choose your rehab provider. If you are not already at St. Mary’s Medical Center or have not been given St. Mary’s Medical Center as an option, you can request a referral to St. Mary’s Medical Center. We have a full time Admissions Coordinator who can work with your current case manager/discharge planner to assist in getting you to our facility.

Myth: You can do it on your own

While you may be motivated, very few are equipped to perform rehab by yourself and therapy is critical to healing after surgery. When you work with specially-trained professionals, they ensure your energy is focused on the necessary steps to recover. Once you’ve received proper instruction, some of your rehab therapy can be done at home. However, most procedures require the skilled assistance of someone trained in rehab therapy. Plus, it is proven that you will recover more quickly by going to a rehab facility after your surgery.

If you’d like to learn more, our compassionate and knowledgeable Admissions Navigator can assist you with:

  • A free, no obligation consultation and/or tour of our facility
  • Advocate for authorization with your insurance company
  • Admissions/transfer process
  • Any additional questions

St. Mary’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Programs are about you and your goals and you have choice. Why would you settle for anything less than your hometown provider? Let St. Mary’s Medical Center provide you with amazing care to get you back to your home and daily tasks!

You can reach the Admissions Coordinator for St. Mary’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Center by calling 816-655-5628.

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