Choosing Between Inpatient And Outpatient Rehabilitation Services

30 October 2015
 Categories: , Blog

You don't always get a choice when it comes to rehabilitation services. Depending on your specific condition, your healthcare professional may send you to an inpatient or an outpatient service. However, when the choice is yours, you'll have to really evaluate your own needs to figure out which type of service is right for you.

The Main Differences Between Inpatient and Outpatient Care

The major difference between the two types of services is the obvious one. Inpatient care requires you to stay at a facility until you're rehabilitated. Outpatient care allows you to stay at home between daily or weekly treatments.

Inpatient rehabilitation services. Inpatient, or residential, treatment can allow you to stay focused on your rehabilitation. In addition, inpatient treatment offers the following:

  • A change of environment
  • Intensive recovery methods
  • Amenities (such as spas, pools, etc.)

One thing to remember though is that inpatient programs are for the dedicated. You will have to spend time at a facility, away from people you know. You will be subject to the sometimes strict rules that govern the facility. This option isn't always convenient, as it requires you to stay away from work, your social life, and everything else while you're in treatment. But in the end, inpatient treatment is often the fastest, most direct route to recovery.

Outpatient rehabilitation services. Outpatient services are like the other side of the coin. With outpatient treatment, you can go to work, stay in touch with family, and do the things you enjoy. With these services, you will have to travel to your facility and maintain a lot of personal discipline.

Your rehabilitation with outpatient services often has a lot to do with your own willingness to make it happen. In addition, that limited amount of time you spend each week on rehabilitation means that it will likely take a far longer time to recovery.

Things that Can Impact Your Choice

Sometimes, you may have no choice in whether you want inpatient or outpatient services. Here are a few scenarios that can effectively take the choice out of your hands.

  • The facility - Some rehabilitation centers only deal with certain types of care on either an inpatient or outpatient basis. For example, many forms of physical therapy are fine for outpatient care. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that all physical therapy facilities have outpatient programs. Some may only have inpatient only programs with the goal of getting you in, rehabilitated, and out without any visits home.
  • Your insurance – Your insurance may only cover one type of service. Even in cases where outpatient service is just fine, your insurance may stipulate you have to go the inpatient route. The opposite can also happen. In these cases, the choice is usually do as your insurance carrier demands, or pay out of pocket.
  • Referral only facilities – Referral-only facilities can limit your options. For example, consider if you would prefer inpatient care, but there's only a handful of facilities that do it. If those facilities require a referral, but your healthcare provider won't give you one, then you have no choice but to use the outpatient service.

Whether it's inpatient or outpatient one thing remains true. You have to choose one. If you need rehabilitative care, don't wait too long to make a choice. There are many rehabilitation services out there. So speak to your primary healthcare specialist first, then start looking at what kind of service can benefit you the most. If you're looking for a rehabilitation clinic near you, visit St. Luke's Rehabilitation.