Short-Term Rehabilitation

Short-Term Rehabilitation/Skilled Nursing

A short-term rehabilitation/skilled nursing facility provides both long-term and short-term rehabilitation care for elders needing an in-patient stay. Skilled services are utilized when a patient is in need of comprehensive care for a limited period of time. This includes daily acute medical therapy and/or rehabilitation therapy needs. For example, dressing changes after a post-operative hip replacement, as well as physical and occupational therapy. Upon completion of these rehabilitation services, patients are expected to return home.

How to Choose a Skilled Nursing Facility

Organizing a tour with a facility’s admission staff is an important place to start when researching short-term rehabilitation/skilled nursing facilities. This allows the client and family members/caregivers to ask specific questions, get a sense of the atmosphere there, and to see firsthand how the residents of that facility are cared for. Clients should also be aware of the CMS Five-Star Rating System, which is designed to help measure the quality of the facility, and are based on assessments covering health inspections and staffing, as well as sixteen other physical and clinical measures to further highlight their success. This rating system is not definitive, however it is a great tool in clarifying information and assisting with decision making. Availability at skilled nursing facilities can be limited, and waitlists are common. More information can be found at Medicare.gov.

Payment Options

  • Private pay — Applies to both short-term rehabilitation and long-term stays.
  • Medicaid — Covers custodial care only.
  • Medicare — Covers skilled care only, and often only covers the first 100 days of a patient’s stay.
  • Managed Medicaid (UHC, NHP, Tufts) — This can cover both skilled and long-term, depending on the product.
  • Commercial Insurance — Covers skilled care only.
  • Long Term Care Insurance — Depending on the policy, the patient may have to pay privately first, and then will then be reimbursed by the insurance company. Usually these policies have a set monetary limit.

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