Understanding the Different Types of Physical Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation occurs at a pivotal point in the recovery process, so choosing the appropriate level of care is important. While many healthcare providers describe their services as rehabilitation, the level and intensity of care can vary greatly from one to the next.

Inpatient Rehab Facility (IRF) vs. Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)

Click the chart below to expand the details and differences between each service.



Acute vs. Sub-Acute Rehabilitation

The next chart provides an explanation of acute vs. sub-acute rehabilitation services. These resources will help determine what is best for you or your loved one. Prior to admission at Sheltering Arms Institute, one of our clinical liaisons or physicians will assess the patient to ensure that he/she can benefit from intensive inpatient physical rehabilitation services and to arrange for the transition to our hospital if appropriate.

Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospital* Skilled Nursing Facility Long Term Care Hospital Home Health Outpatient Rehabilitation**
Length of Treatment Average 10-18 days Average 25 days 25 days or longer Variable, based on treatment plan Variable, based on needs
Therapy Intensity Intensive, skilled care; often integrating advanced technologies Less intensive than inpatient rehabilitation, but not regulated As needed, usually low intensity Variable, based on treatment plan Variable, based on needs
Amount of Therapy Typically 3+ hours per day Typically 1-1.5 hours per day (up to 3 hours) Variable 30-60 minutes per session & discipline, usually 3 times per week 30-60 minutes per session & discipline, 2-3 times per week
Physician Involvement Daily face-to-face assessment and treatment plan update At least every 30 days Available, not on-site daily Provide oversight but no direct treatment As needed to evaluate progress and assess treatment plan
Skilled Nursing Care – RN Care from RN 24 hours per day RN on site for at least 8 hours/day, care typically provided by techs 24 hours/day As needed per treatment plan N/A

* Offered at Sheltering Arms Institute & Research Hospital
** Offered at Sheltering Arms Outpatient Rehabilitation Clinics

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