What to Look for in a Short Term Rehabilitation Center

Today, short term rehabilitative care has become the preferred choice for easing the transition between hospital and home for individuals who have been hospitalized and require a period of medical monitoring or rehabilitation before safely returning home. Short term rehabilitation, which is normally less than 30 days, can be highly beneficial after a surgery or a hospitalization following a stroke, injury or other serious medical problem.


Short term rehabilitation centers, which are often part of skilled nursing centers that also provide longer term care, offer several advantages over traditional hospital-based rehab places. Benefits include lower costs, a less institutional, more home-like environment and pleasing amenities. However, as with most things, “short term rehab centers are not all created equal” so it’s worth taking some time to make sure the center you choose is best suited to you or your loved one’s individual needs and preferences.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Short Term Rehab Facility

Important factors to evaluate when making this important decision include licensure and certification, care services provided, staff credentials, “curb appeal,” personal amenities, general reputation and family involvement.

Licensure and Certification

State licensure and certification by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid are important quality indicators and serve as “the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” for placesthat provide healthcare and short term rehabilitation services. You can assess each center’s ratings by using Medicare’s compare tool at: www.medicare.gov/NHCompare, which offers ratings for health inspections, staffing and quality measures. Be sure to look for centers that have a four or five rating.

“Look and Feel”

If you have the time, it’s a good idea to visit the center to get a sense of its current state and general ambiance. Does the center look modern, clean and inviting? Is it a place you would feel comfortable calling “home” for a short period of time? Are private rooms available? Many skilled nursing centers are older and may not have the state of the art services or “evidence-based design” to optimize your recovery. If you cannot visit the center, look for pictures on the centers website

Costs and Insurance Coverage Accepted

Always ask about how costs for services are handled. Certain services may be considered “extras” beyond the basic services. Make sure the center is approved to accept Medicare and Medicaid and/or accepts the private insurance coverage you or your family have.

Comprehensive Rehabilitative Services

Always be assured the center provides the appropriate nursing care as well as the physical, occupational and speech therapy services you may need. In addition, does the center use the latest technologies to speed and improve your recovery? How are prescription drugs administered so they are provided in a safe and timely manner?

Special Amenities

Does the center offer pleasing amenities that make you feel more at home such as: private rooms with private bathrooms; free Wi-Fi service for your computer; flat screen TVs; private phones; a quiet, soothing environment; quality food service and dining options?

Staff Quality

Does the center employ a full time medical director? What are the staff members’ professional qualifications? Have they received special training and been credentialed for the care and services they provide?

Overall Reputation

Does the center have a good reputation in the community for providing quality care, positive results and high patient satisfaction. Has the center received any special awards or honors that recognize the quality of its services?

Family Involvement

Are direct caregivers and other family members welcome at the center, and are they encouraged to participate in the plan of care for the patient? Are they offered a role in the recovery process?

Plan Ahead. It’s Worth Your Time.

Considering the above factors can be very useful when selecting a short term rehabilitation facility for yourself or a loved one. Taking a personal tour and asking appropriate questions of the management is always the best approach. If that is not possible, give the center a call and interview the administrator over the phone. By doing your “due diligence” up front, you will greatly improve your chances of finding the “right fit” and achieving the best possible rehabilitation experience and medical results possible!

We Invite You to Get to Know Us!

Luthercare’s short term rehabilitative services assist patients in reaching their optimal level of functioning, while improving strength and independence. Each resident who receives rehabilitative services is assured of an individualized plan, designed to maximize abilities and enhance quality of life.

We are dedicated to providing the highest quality care for our residents and ensuring that they continue to enjoy a fulfilling lifestyle. Our services include:

  • Short-term and postoperative rehabilitation
  • Physical, occupational and speech therapies
  • 24-hour skilled nursing care

We welcome you to learn more about the short term rehabilitation and healthcare services available at our Luthercare communities by contacting us at 717.626.1171 or http://www.luthercare.org/contactus for a no obligation consultation and a personal tour. We look forward to meeting you!

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