Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospitals (IRFs) and Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) both provide beneficial care to patients, but determining which option is best for your patients can be a challenge. On the surface, there are some similarities between patient populations cared for in both types of facilities, but recent research has shown that certain patients benefit from referral to an IRF over a SNF. Despite efforts to publicize this research, patients may still be directed to the wrong place. Kindred, which operates both skilled nursing facilities and inpatient rehabilitation facilities, can help you decide when and if an IRF is best for your patient.
IRFs, which are licensed as rehabilitation hospitals and carry the same Medicare certification, have been shown to often be the best option for patients who:
Discharge to SNFs, licensed and certified as skilled nursing facilities, may be more appropriate for patients who:
Determining which setting is best for your patients at hospital discharge is critical to their outcomes in the post-acute continuum. When Medicare compared patients with similar profiles, it found that those who went to IRFs had higher functional status at discharge, were walking independently with more frequency at discharge and were transferring independently at discharge, compared to their SNF counterparts. All patients in the study had spent more than 14 days at the facility. (Maintaining Quality Rehabilitation Options for Medicare Beneficiaries, 2007) Kindred can help you evaluate whether your patients have that higher functionality potential.
If you feel your patient meets IRF criteria, or if you are unsure, we encourage you to speak to one of our case managers to help you determine the right route of transfer.
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