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Acute Rehab vs SNF

  • Patients have various options to meet their rehabilitation needs, however it is essential that they be educated on the differences in those options. For patients who are seeking rehabilitation services, there are typically two options to select: Acute Rehab or Skilled Nursing Facility. Below is a chart to detail the differences between these options to allow for the patient to determine what option meets their current medical and rehabilitation needs.  

    Services   Typical Inpatient Rehab Hospital Typical Skilled Nursing Facility  
    Physician Visits Daily 1 to 3 X per week
    Type of Physician Physiatrist – 24 hour availability Geriatrician, internist, family practitioner – limited availability
    Consultants All specialties readily available Limited specialist availability
    Radiology & Lab On site Limited- usually contracted service
    Nursing Hours of Care 5.5 and higher hours per day primarily RN’s; 24 hour availability 2 – 3 hours daily, primarily CNAs
    Nursing Skill Mix Professional registered nurses specializing and certified in Rehabilitation Nursing Non-professional nursing assistants certified in long-term care with LPN and RN supervision
    Function Complex level of care
    Patient and Family education
    Basic level of care
    Integration of care Coordinated multidisciplinary team directed by physician Several individual disciplines,
    Typical Length of Stay 10 – 35 Days, depending on diagnosis 24 – 60 Days
    Therapy Intensity 3 – 5 hours daily 1 – 2 hours daily
    Team Meetings Coordinated multidisciplinary team meetings lead by physician  and includes family. Several individual disciplines
    Neuropsychologists Full time Limited
    Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy Registered Physical  & Occupational Therapists PT Assistants and Aides
    COTA deliver much of the care
    Audiologist, Therapeutic Recreation, Social Worker Full time Limited
    Speech Language Therapist Full time Limited
    Accreditation JCAHO and CARF None
    Quality Improvement QA/UR, Program Evaluation Programs None
    Driver Training Full time None
    Prosthetist/Orthotist Full time Limited