Beginning Your Rehabilitation Journey – Admissions & FAQ



Getting started with rehabilitation is an important step forward in your healing journey. Whether for yourself or a loved one, knowing what to expect during admissions and in the early phases can help minimize anxiety and prepare you to make the best choices for you or a loved one’s future.

Who Do We Serve?

The patients we serve have temporary, progressive or permanent illness or disability. Typically, it interrupts a person’s physical functioning, communication, thinking and reasoning ability, independent living skills, and/or vocational and economic status. Sanford Rehabilitation in Fargo serves ages 14 and older and in Sioux Falls serves ages 15 and older.

What are our Admissions Criteria?

In order to best serve each patient, we have established admissions criteria that help ensure that our services are an appropriate fit for a patient’s condition and needs.

To be admitted to Sanford Rehabilitation, a patient must:

    • Be evaluated by a physiatrist (physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor) and have their pre-admission screening completed.
    • Remain medically acute with initial testing and evaluation completed for treating diagnosis, and participate in a daily three-hour therapy program or show progress towards tolerating three hours of therapy a day.
    • If traumatically brain injured, demonstrate cognitive functioning at a minimum of Rancho Los Amigos Scale of 4.
    • Demonstrate the ability and desire to improve their physical, cognitive and functional skills: Is unable to do at least 2 of the following:
    o Complete activities of daily living. Move self from place to place
    o Manage elimination needs.
    o Communicate or understand information.
    o Cognitively process information, memory and reasoning.
    • Require an integrated team approach of intensive daily therapies and 24 hour/day rehabilitation nursing care.
    • Have a discharge plan in place prior to admission.

PLEASE NOTE: We do not provide service to those on mechanical ventilation.

If you have questions regarding these criteria, please talk to your physician or contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

We want to provide you with as much information as possible to help you make choices that are right for you, your health and future. Below are some of the questions we are often asked.

Who will be involved on my rehabilitation team?

Your team is led by a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician and routinely includes professionals from rehabilitation nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and/or speech therapy, social services, therapeutic recreation and case management. Each individual has unique needs and additional care may be required from psychology, neuro-psychology, nutritionists, internal medicine or any number of specialists to meet your needs. We work as a team and draw on Sanford’s vast array of highly experienced specialists to meet our patient’s needs.

Why do we need an acute rehabilitation hospital stay?

An acute rehabilitation hospital stay allows you to continue to have your medical needs managed daily by physicians. It provides specialized rehabilitation nursing care and an intensive therapy program to allow you to improve your physical, cognitive and functional living skills, allowing the majority of patients to return to their home and community.

What is the average length of stay?

Length of stay varies for each individual based on their diagnosis and plan of care. On average, the length of stay is approximately 13 days, however each individual's stay may vary based on their diagnosis, recovery and plan of care.

What about follow-up care?

Successful rehabilitation requires a smooth transition from hospital to home, and this may include a return appointment with your rehabilitation medicine doctor and possibly outpatient services. Sanford provides many of the outpatient services from therapy, to home health, to specialty clinics and services. We will work with you to provide care where you choose.

How can we learn more about the rehabilitation process?

Rehab 101 is an informal group discussion that provides an introductory overview for patients and their families to learn about the rehabilitation process, what to expect at the various stages and how to care for your loved one. This informal group discussion is led by a rehabilitation professional to allow family members to ask questions, share concerns and find resources.

We want the best, but can we afford it?

Benefits are verified before admission to the program. Medicare covers rehabilitation as do most insurance plans. If you are underinsured we arrange for consultation with our financial counselors. If you have a question regarding the costs of acute hospital rehabilitation, please contact us at one of the numbers below. We’d be happy to discuss your situation with you.

What about Insurance?

Medicare pays for the cost of inpatient rehabilitation provided you meet the criteria. The physiatrist will make the decision, however it is subject to review by Medicare. Benefits will be verified prior to admission and pre-authorization for admission obtained from Insurance, Medical Assistance and Managed Care.

Self-payment can be arranged through consultation with financial counselors at Sanford Health.

Each patient approved will receive a financial disclosure regarding benefits from the business office.

Case management will consult with your insurance case manager for continued authorization during your stay. They may also guide you in filing for additional financial assistance if necessary.

What if I do not meet the admissions criteria?

For people who do not meet admission criteria, the physiatrist makes recommendations for alternative rehabilitation services and discharge.

We encourage you to ask questions and let us know your concerns. It’s our goal to provide the highest quality care and support to our patients and their families during rehabilitation.

Contact Numbers

Fargo - (701) 540-1135 - Please ask for the Referral Liaison.

Sioux Falls - (605) 333-4560 - Please ask for the Referral Liaison.

Posted Date: September 2011