Sub-Acute Rehabilitation FAQs

What happens after someone has a stroke? How do seniors regain their abilities after a hip fracture? The answer is sub-acute rehabilitation.

If you’ve never heard of sub-acute rehabilitation, this article is for you. In this handy guide, we’ll answer the most frequently asked questions about sub-acute rehab.

What is sub-acute rehabilitation?

It’s also known as rehab, short-term rehab, or skilled nursing care. Some major medical events—such as stroke, hip fracture, or motor vehicle accident—can cause loss of basic abilities. Rehab uses physical, speech, and occupational therapy to help patients recover their abilities. Sub-acute rehab is less intense than acute rehab, which is the care given immediately after the major injury. In sub-acute rehab, the patient is stable and now needs to focus on recovering and getting their life back.

What care is given in sub-acute rehab?

When a patient starts rehab, their care coordinator performs a full evaluation and works out a series of rehab goals. The ultimate goal is to resume the life they led before the accident or illness that landed them in rehab in the first place. At Elmwood Hills, our compassionate and skilled recovery team includes doctors, nurses, social workers, and therapists. Together with the patient, they develop a personalized care plan and road to recovery.

How long does complete rehabilitation take?

There are many different factors that determine the length of necessary rehab treatment. How severe the injury was, how compliant the patient is, and the patient’s overall health all contribute to the length of stay. Some patients may only need a week or two, while others will take a couple of months to complete their rehab.

Who pays for sub-acute rehab?

If the patient was in the hospital for at least 3 days before coming to the rehab facility, Medicare will cover up to 100 days of skilled nursing. Private insurance plans and Medicaid will also cover in-patient rehab most of the time. If the major injury was the result of a car accident, the patient’s auto insurance will pick up the tab.

Most insurance plans, including Medicare, will have some level of cost sharing with the patient. That means the patient will likely have to pay a deductible and daily co-payment.

Are patients completely cured when they complete sub-acute rehab?

The answer will depend on the patient. Some patients may never regain their full previous abilities. In their case, their goal would be to become as independent as possible, with a focus on quality of life.

To learn more about Elmwood Hills’ sub-acute rehab program, contact us here.