What does the term Subacute Rehabilitation mean?

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Subacute rehabilitation

Subacute rehabilitation is a term developed by the health care industry that has been applied to a wide range of programs. Usually, subacute rehabilitation units refer to programs developed to provide inpatient rehabilitation to patients following their acute care hospital stays. Subacute programs are designed for individuals who are discharged from the hospital but are not yet ready to return home. Subacute rehabilitation is an expanded level of services for people at different stages of the restoration process who need short-term care to either begin or continue achieving their recovery goals. Subacute rehabilitation is appropriate for people recovering from joint-replacement surgery, fractures, and other orthopedic conditions as well as for those who may not be medically able to participate in full-day intensive therapy. With the ability to modify therapy using a well managed approach, subacute rehabilitation serve patients who may benefit from a flexible rehabilitation plan after hospitalization. Subacute Rehabilitation will have its own dedicated therapists including Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and a Speech and Language Therapist.


What are all the medical conditions that can be treated in a Subacute Rehabilitation?

Subacute Rehabilitation offers many programs for patients with the following medical conditions:

  •  Orthopedic & Fracture Recovery Program
  •  Pain Management
  •  Stroke Rehabilitation
  •  Brain Injury Rehabilitation
  •  Neurological Deficit Management
  •  Fractures
  •  Diabetes Management
  •  Dysphasia Management
  •  Continence Improvement Program
  •  Alzheimer's and other related dementias
  •  Cognitive Specialty Program
  •  Contracture Management
  •  Comprehensive Wound Care Management
  •  Cardio - Pulmonary Specialty Program
  •  Orthopedic conditions such as hip and knee replacements, amputations and multiple traumas
  •  Spinal cord injury
  •  You do not have access to view this node, such as Parkinson’s disease and Guillain-Barre
  •  Parkinson's disease


What are the different therapies offered?

There are 3 different therapies that are offered:

  • In physical therapy, a patient focuses on increasing strength, walking on even and uneven surfaces, gaining balance, negotiating stairs, and building endurance.
  •  In occupational therapy, patients work on increasing strength and endurance to improve their activities of daily living including: bathing, dressing, and personal hygiene. Occupational therapists also help patients improve their home management skills such as preparing meals, doing laundry, and light cleaning.
  •  In speech therapy, patients work to improve their swallowing and memory deficits, voice dysfunction, and language barriers. If restoration of function is not possible, therapists work with patients and their families to help them use compensatory techniques to achieve their highest possible functional levels.


What are the goals of Subacute Rehabilitation?

  • The Subacute Rehabilitation Program is designed for patients who do not require comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation, but who do require inpatient medical and nursing care and an interdisciplinary inpatient rehabilitation program before returning home.
  •  The primary focus of Subacute Rehabilitation is to rehabilitate each patient to their highest function level possible.
  •  Apart from traditional therapy, they have a complete Therapeutic Recreation department which works to achieve these exact goals.
  •  The goals of the program are definite to each patient and injury, but overall are aimed at restoring, enhancing and supporting the patient's maximum level of independence.
  •  The expected outcome for the Subacute patient is a return to home and a dynamic, full life, but for patients recovering from extended hospitalization, the program builds endurance and prepares them for comprehensive rehabilitation services.


What are the responsibilities of the different team members?

  •  Program Coordinator: The Program coordinator manages the overall quality of the patient’s rehabilitation program and provides assistance such as providing information, guiding tours of the facility and being receptive to the patient’s individual needs, ideas and issues.
  •  Physician: A medical doctor focuses in physical medicine and rehabilitation will communicate with the doctors to ensure the permanence of the patient’s rehabilitation plan.
  •  Physiatrist: Physiatrist who is involved in assessing and monitoring the patient's ongoing care and addresses the modification of each patient's changing needs with the team.
  •  Nursing Care: Rehabilitation nurses provide daily nursing care as well as 24-hour nursing supervision.
  •  Therapy Team: A team of physical, occupational, and speech-language therapist’s work together to develop a complete individualized treatment plan to meet the needs and goals of each patient.
  •  Psychologists: A psychologist will collect information and concerning factors that may influence the patient’s care and You do not have access to view this node, such as emotional status and response to stress. Both patients and support system members may take advantage of counseling.
  •  Continuing Relationship with Referring Physicians: Rehabilitation works closely with referring physicians, including orthopedic and neurological physicians, to keep them informed of their patient’s progress. All care plans and progress reports are shared with the patient’s referring or primary care physician, to whom the patients are sent back.
  •  Case Managers: A case manager will be there to coordinate care and discharge planning for the patient.


What is the average length of stay?

The average length of stay on Subacute rehabilitation Unit will be 30 days with differences based on diagnosis and continued qualification for the Rehabilitation Unit.


What are the costs and financing of Subacute care?

The increasing number of subacute care providers is greatly an outcome of government and private payer coverage and payment policies, and the rising efforts of both payers and providers to find more efficient, less costly alternatives to inpatient acute care. Medicare pays a large share of subacute care, in part because payment incentives encourage providers to discharge patients from the acute care setting to post-acute settings. There is also increasing pressure on state Medicaid programs to increase reimbursement rates for long-term care patients requiring specialty care, such as patients with Traumatic Brain Injury. Government payers, therefore, have a strong interest in determining whether subacute care is truly a cost-effective alternative.

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