Why Care Settings Matter: Advantages of Inpatient Rehabilitation for COVID-19 Recovery and Beyond

Ensuring patients receive the right level of care at the right time in their care journey is especially critical in today’s environment. Post-acute care has played an important role during the pandemic and will continue to be a part of the solution as more patients recover and work to regain a high quality of life. All post-acute settings are not created equal, as recently acknowledged by the American Hospital Association.1 Each setting has value, but are designed for specific and different patient types. This guide breaks down the key differences between the levels of post-acute care, the unique benefits of inpatient rehabilitation in treating COVID-19 patients, and the opportunity to optimize your rehab program or start a new program.

The impact of COVID-19 has challenged all healthcare providers and will continue to do so for years to come.2 By quickly adapting and incorporating new techniques to successfully treat the entire patient population – especially those recovering from COVID-19 – hospitals can ensure the highest quality outcomes across the care continuum.

The Unique Benefits of Inpatient Rehab

“The pandemic has highlighted the uneven patient care abilities across the four PAC settings, with regard to physician leadership and oversight, the contributions of other specialists and clinicians, infection control reliability, and patient outcomes,” according to the AHA. Since each setting is designed for a unique patient population, it is important to understand the key differences and the impact on patient recovery. This delta has the greatest consequence for medically-complex patients and those recovering from COVID-19.1

“Early rehabilitation of COVID-19 patients can enhance pulmonary, respiratory function, reduce complications, improve function, cognitive impairments and quality of life,”3 according to a recent Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine study.

Inpatient rehabilitation offers a variety of resources and programs that help hospitals deliver quality care, reduce readmissions and improve overall facility operations. These include:

Employing specially-trained Registered Nurses (RNs) who are fully equipped to treat patients with various care needs.

Employing specially-trained Registered Nurses (RNs) who are fully equipped to treat patients with various care needs.

Hospital-level infection control measures.

Hospital-level infection control measures.


Daily physician oversight and a multidisciplinary therapy team providing daily therapy tailored to each patient

Daily physician oversight and a multidisciplinary therapy team providing daily therapy tailored to each patient.

By increasing patient access to inpatient rehabilitation, hospitals are better able to deliver high-quality outcomes in a safe environment.

This focus on quality is evident in that inpatient rehabilitation units treat sicker patients yet produce better outcomes than other post-acute care settings.4 Recent studies found that while treating a more complex patient population, inpatient rehabilitation operations maintain a higher discharge to the community rate of 70%, which is 37% higher than SNFs on average. The care provided in the inpatient rehabilitation setting continues to benefit patients even after discharge as they experience a lower rate of potentially-avoidable hospital readmissions of 4.3% compared to 22% of SNF patients who were re-hospitalized after admission.4


Key Benefits of Inpatient Rehabilitation

Below is a care graph that further breaks down the key benefits inpatient rehabilitation provides for patients and what sets it apart from other care settings.

Download Key Benefits of Inpatient Rehabilitation Care Graph

Importance of Partnerships in Post-Acute Recovery

Strong coordination between an acute episode and the next level of care is more important than ever because of the unique and positive role rehabilitation units play in pandemics, and specifically treating patients recovering from COVID-19.3

Many hospitals are partnering with Kindred Hospital Rehabilitation Services (KHRS), as their rehabilitation expert, to help them optimize their rehabilitation unit and relieve the burden of self-management. KHRS’ decades of experience and national footprint has enabled hospital partner facilities to experience a faster rebound with greater agility compared to self-operating, while improving quality outcomes and delivering greater patient access.

To learn how KHRS can help your hospital provide the best possible care for patients recovering from COVID-19 and beyond, visit www.kindredrehab.com.




To learn how KHRS can help your hospital provide the best possible care for patients recovering from COVID-19, contact KHRS today.



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References

  1. Nickels, T. (2020, June 24). AHA Letter on Resetting the IMPACT Act in Next COVID-19 Relief Package: AHA. Retrieved June 29, 2020, from https:// www.aha.org/lettercomment/2020-06-24-aha-letter-resetting-impact-act-next-covid-19-relief-package
  2. Wade, D. T. (2020, June 09). Rehabilitation after COVID-19: An evidence-based approach [PDF]. Clinical Medicine.
  3. Fary Khan, MBBS, MD, FAFRM (RACP), Bhasker Amatya, DMedSci, MD, MPH, “Medical Rehabilitation in Pandemics: Towards a New Perspective,” Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, Vol. 52, Issue 4, April 9, 2020
  4. Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities Fact Sheet [PDF]. (2015). American Hospital Association.

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