The goal of inpatient rehabilitation is to provide efficient care to
patients with potentially disabling conditions to optimize physical and cognitive
function and to discharge to the least restrictive setting, ideally to home.
To benefit from inpatient rehabilitation, patients must be medically stable
so that ongoing medical problems do not interfere with participation in therapy.
To qualify for inpatient rehabilitation, patients must be able to participate
in at least 3 hours of rehabilitation therapies a day and demonstrate improving
function.1,2 The US Centers for
Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently estimated that 660 000 patients
annually receive inpatient rehabilitation, with 70% funded by Medicare. For
2003, Medicare payments for inpatient rehabilitation were $5.9 billion.1 Despite these large numbers, rigorous information
regarding outcome trends and the impact of changes in CMS regulations for
inpatient rehabilitation is limited.
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