Communicating the benefits of the services provided by your inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) or unit continues to play a vital role in your program’s overall growth. Understanding who to communicate your value to and what specific value to highlight will help determine a hospital’s potential for growth as it pertains to patients served, program optimization and more. Further, the exceptional quality offered by an inpatient rehabilitation program is superior to many care settings, making it critical for stakeholders to recognize and understand the short- and long-term value these programs provide.

A recent article published by the Advisory Board1 details the three key stakeholders an inpatient rehabilitation program should promote its service values to, and how each stakeholder can benefit from the services offered. These stakeholders include:

1. Referral Sources: Key priorities when communicating your value to current or potential referral sources include:

  • Showcasing your program’s ability to reduce readmission risks.
    • For example, recent studies and guidelines have shown that the IRF level of care leads to better outcomes than those in Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) for certain patients, like stroke and trauma patients.Such care can reduce the chance for readmission to the hospital, therefore saving money in the long run and falling in line with a value-based care model.
  • Demonstrating referral review time by efficiently and effectively determining whether to accept a patient and admitting that patient in a timely manner. This frees up bed capacity during a time when availability is critical.

2. Payers: Similar to current and potential referral sources, payers see value in a hospital’s ability to produce efficient and effective care models and improve facility operations.

  • Producing shorter lengths of stay (LOS) for patients following their transition into the inpatient rehabilitation setting. This ensures a patient is receiving high quality care in the appropriate care setting and hospitals aren’t expending unnecessary resources.
  • When high quality care is prioritized and LOS is shortened, care costs are ultimately reduced.
  • Further, with high-quality care at the center of an inpatient rehabilitation program’s operational model, a patient is more likely to discharge home instead of another care setting. This creates an overall better patient experience – a quality that payers value as it addresses both patient outcomes and facility efficiency.

3. Patients and Families: A combination of referral and payer satisfaction helps lead to overall patient and family member satisfaction. This is due to the fact that:

  • The high-quality care provided to a patient translates to higher engagement rates throughout their care journey and successful discharge to the community.
  • Acute hospitals and rehabilitation programs value patient and family member feedback, which is why facilities should look to facility reviews for a clear understanding of patient experience. Additionally, these reviews aid in the overall decision process for potential patients and family members to help determine if they want to receive treatment within inpatient rehabilitation.

Although there are similarities in each stakeholder’s list of expectations, the ability to demonstrate a particular value to meet the individual needs of each is crucial for facility success and growth. Through expertise and support from a joint-venture or acute rehabilitation management agreement, Kindred provides superior value customized to each stakeholder through innovative program optimization, leading strategy development and more.

Discover how Kindred helps promote and successfully provide these values to each audience by visiting


  1. Metrics to engage market stakeholders [PDF]. (2021). Washington D.C.: The Advisory Board.
  2. Ickpyo Hong, P. (2019, December 04). Functional status among patients in inpatient rehabilitation vs skilled nursing facilities. Retrieved March 16, 2021, from
By Kindred Rehabilitation