Home Office

477 N. Lindbergh, Suite 310

St. Louis, Missouri 63141

Increased access to medical care has led to prolonged life in the United States. With the increasing aging population, many people turn to physical therapy for improved quality of life. When faced with the possibility of rehabilitation there are often two choices: inpatient or outpatient rehab. These two options are similar but still have their distinct differences.

What is inpatient rehab?

Inpatient rehabilitation refers to patients who reside in a skilled nursing facility or inpatient rehab facility during their rehab journey. This stay often occurs following a hospitalization for a medical event such as serious illness, surgery, or injury. Rehab is then used to return the patient to their highest possible function to go about everyday life with minimal assistance. The level of care required for these types of health events cannot be provided at home so they must relocate to receive the best care according to their current function.

What is outpatient physical therapy?

Outpatient therapy or rehab offers all the same benefits as inpatient therapy with a few additional perks. Outpatient rehab gives patients the ability to fit sessions into their everyday lives. Rehab includes a wide range of specialties including physical, occupational, and speech therapy. This service is ideal for patients looking to improve their daily quality of life but are independent enough to continue living in their own homes.

Outpatient vs. inpatient rehab physical therapy

Outpatient rehab and residential inpatient rehab overlap in quality and type of care, but the separation comes about in everyday life. Some differences include:

Living space

Outpatient physical therapy allows you to continue living at home.

Level of independence

Outpatient rehab allows you to come and go according to your schedule. Inpatient offers further skilled nursing care beyond your due to your therapy needs.

Different Medicare coverage

Medicare Part B covers outpatient rehab therapies including physical, occupational, and speech. In 2018, Congress repealed Medicare caps for necessary therapy. Alternatively, Medicare Part A covers inpatient costs.

Which option is better?

There’s no right or wrong answer for everyone. The decision to go with outpatient or inpatient rehab is situational and up to your physician. They may assess your ability to live independently based on your physical wellness or determine that you need additional assistance in a skilled nursing facility. Arbor Court in Mount Pleasant, Iowa caters to both residential patients and those seeking outpatient services with their new outpatient rehab program. Regardless of what is best for you and your situation, Arbor Court and their physical therapist partners at Reliant Rehabilitation are ready to help you regain control of your life. For more information on outpatient and inpatient services at Arbor Court, call 319-385-1400 or submit a contact form so a representative can reach out.