By Mark Kaelin
1. Tour multiple facilities. “Depending on the timing of your procedure, there might not be a bed available at your first choice so it’s important to have one or even two alternatives,” says Michelle Kelly, clinical liaison for Green Valley Care Center in New Albany, Indiana.
2. Check a facility’s quality rating here. You can see how Medicare grades this facility on patient outcomes, staffing ratios, and health inspections. “The more information you have, the better you’ll feel about where you go,” Kelly says.
3. Learn all you can about billing and costs. “Medicare typically only covers 21 days of inpatient rehabilitation. After that, many patients have to pay out of pocket,” says Shawn Williams, physical therapist and Orthopedic Program manager at Almost Family. “Make sure all your financial questions are answered,” Kelly added. Rehab is hard enough without being concerned about your finances.
4. Be ready to work — hard. “The goal of rehab is to maximize your level of function after a procedure,” Williams says. While you’ll have ample time to recuperate, a rehab facility’s primary goal is to get you up and moving.
5. Find out about visitation times and if a family member can stay with you. “At Green Valley, all our rehab spots are in private suites so there’s ample room for a family member to stay,” Kelly says. “However, that’s not the case everywhere.”