How to Choose a
Rehabilitation Provider

When you or a family member require medical rehabilitation, how do you decide where to go? With so many options, it's important to consider the quality of care, scope of services and level of expertise offered - and how the specialized program best meets your individual needs and rehabilitation goals.

Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospitals vs. Skilled Nursing Facilities

For patients who are seeking medical rehabilitation services, there are typically two options to choose from: an inpatient medical rehabilitation hospital or a skilled nursing facility.

This document will help detail the differences between the two settings to allow patients to determine what option best meets their current medical and rehabilitation needs.

The following list of questions can help you evaluate the rehabilitation setting that's right for you:

A 12-point checklist for patients and families


Does the hospital offer the advanced therapies, evidence-based techniques and leading-edge technologies as part of a diagnosis-specific program and in a dedicated rehabilitation setting?
Is care provided by an interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation professionals under the direction of a physician who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation or neurology?

Is the medical staff available around the clock to manage complex medical needs and monitor your progress?

Do specialized rehabilitation nurses manage your daily care?

Do experienced physical, occupational and speech therapists tailor a comprehensive treatment plan to your specific needs and provide therapy for a minimum of three hours a day, five or six days a week?

Are neuropsychology services available in order to test for dementia?

Will you and your family meet regularly with the rehabilitation team to discuss goals, progress and discharge plans?

Are patient and family education programs, training and support groups available, as well as recreation and community reintegration activities?

Does the hospital provide a continuum of inpatient through outpatient services, including access to community resources?

Does the hospital offer state-of-the-art equipment, comfortable patient rooms, and other amenities in a dynamic rehabilitation environment?

Does the hospital measure patient outcomes and satisfaction, and do those measures exceed national benchmarks?

Is the hospital accredited by independent, nationally recognized organizations, such as The Joint Commission and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)?