Frequently asked questions
What is acute rehabilitation?
Acute rehabilitation is a medically-based, multi-disciplinary team approach to the treatment of stroke, brain and spinal cord injury, amputation, neurologic diseases and other injuries or illnesses.
Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital draws on the expertise and experience of a team of doctors; nurses; physical, occupational, speech and recreation therapists; neuropsychologists; dietitians; case managers and other clinical and support staff to best meet your needs.
Our comprehensive adult and pediatric rehabilitation programs are designed to restore strength, improve physical and cognitive function and promote independence in daily activities, including self-care skills such as dressing, grooming and eating.
Why should I choose acute rehabilitation?
Studies1 have shown that where an individual chooses to go for rehabilitation can make a difference is his or her recovery. An acute rehabilitation hospital, like Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital, offers patients a more specialized, intensive program than those available at skilled nursing facilities or nursing homes. As a result, patients generally achieve better outcomes and enjoy greater independence upon discharge from an acute rehabilitation hospital.
1Assessment of Patient Outcomes of Rehabilitative Care Provided in Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs) and After Discharge. Dobson DaVanzo & Associates, LLC. 2014
What types of therapy does a patient receive in an acute rehabilitation hospitalPatients engage in a minimum of three hours of physical, occupational and/or speech therapies per day, five days a week. Depending on a patient’s tolerance and ability to participate, 15 hours of therapy may be provided over a seven-day period. Therapies are tailored to your individual needs and rehabilitation goals and incorporate advanced treatment, technology and research. Your progress will be carefully monitored and the plan of care will be adapted accordingly.
When can a patient begin acute rehabilitation?
Evidence2 shows the sooner individuals begin rehabilitation, the stronger their outcomes are likely to be. For that reason, Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital clinical liaisons and admissions representatives work closely with the referring hospital, physician and/or case manager to facilitate a timely transfer to our hospital, as soon as a patient is ready.
2Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP). "Rehabilitation After Spinal Cord Injuries: The Sooner, the Better." ScienceDaily. 18 February 2016
How long can I expect my stay to be?
Length of stay is determined by your individual medical and rehabilitation needs, goals and progress. It’s important to keep in mind that rehabilitation takes time and you will progress at your own speed. Your case manager at Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital will work closely with you, your family and/or caregiver and treatment team to coordinate a safe, timely and successful discharge. Our goal, like that of every patient, is to have you return home as soon as you are deemed ready.
To build on the gains made as an inpatient, many individuals will continue their rehabilitation as an outpatient at Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital’s outpatient center.
How would you describe a typical day at Penn State Rehabilitation Hospital?
From breakfast until the lights are turned off at night, patients are busy working toward rehabilitation goals. You will participate in therapy, typically divided into morning and afternoon sessions. The skills and strategies you gain during therapy are reinforced by your nursing team and by your participation in the recreational and leisure activities offered during the day and early evening. You’ll also find time to pursue personal interests.
Rehabilitation is an active process. It can be physically and mentally demanding, which is why your schedule includes time for rest and relaxation, and visits with family and friends.
When will I have tests? Are these covered by my insurance company?Medical testing may occur throughout your stay to ensure your health and well-being. Your assigned case manager will help to guide you throughout your stay, prepare you for discharge and answer your insurance inquiries, including questions about medical testing.
Who provides the care and treatment at a rehabilitation hospital?
At Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital, a physiatrist, a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation, leads a team that includes rehabilitation nurses; physical, occupational, speech and recreation therapists; neuropsychologists; case managers and other clinical professionals and support personnel.
How frequently does my Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital physician visit? Can my personal physician visit me here?
An assigned Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital physician will visit you on a regular basis with frequency of visits determined by your medical needs. Personal physicians may visit as often as they like, but they are not able to provide treatment or write any medical orders while you are at Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital.
What if I want a second opinion?You have the right to seek a second opinion. If you seek a second opinion from an outside physician, it is your responsibility to make these arrangements. We will assist you with any questions you may have about process.
Is Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital an accredited rehabilitation hospital?
Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for adult and pediatric rehabilitation. It also received special accreditation in stroke and spinal cord injury by CARF.
More information can be found on our accreditations page.
If I have to leave Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital unexpectedly, will I return to the same room?Whenever possible, we do our best to return you to the same room. Your personal belongings will be safeguarded in the Security Department until you return to our hospital or a family member is able to retrieve them.
How do I get to outside medical appointments and tests? Is transportation provided?The mode of transportation used is based on your condition and level of mobility. If you are able to transfer by car, your family will be asked to provide transportation. If not, we will arrange for a specially-equipped van to transport you in nonemergency circumstances. Please note: there may be an out-of-pocket expense associated with off-site transportation for medical appointments and tests.
What time is discharge? Will I be charged extra if I leave later in the day?Discharge is scheduled for 10 a.m. Please discuss this with your family prior to the scheduled discharge date. If an alternate time is required, please notify the nursing supervisor and your case manager. Discharges later in the day do not incur additional charges.
What happens as part of the discharge process?
Discharge planning starts at the time of admission. Your Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital team will make recommendations for discharge based on your medical needs, individual goals and level of functional ability. Your case manager will guide you and your family and help coordinate your post-discharge needs to ensure a safe transition home or to the next level of care.
How will I get home? Is there transportation?
Typically family or friends will provide transportation home. However, if you need assistance home, your case manager will help arrange this service. There may be a charge for transportation depending on your insurance.
Do you have additional questions about Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital programs and services, policies or practices?