Rehab After Surgery Medicare Coverage

After undergoing major surgery, it’s normal to want to return to your old routines as quickly as possible. But pushing yourself too hard too fast could lead to medical complications or serious injuries. Easing back into day-to-day life is often the best approach – and an inpatient rehabilitation center can help you recover safely and effectively.

While you may be concerned about financing, many inpatient rehabilitation programs accept health insurance and offer manageable payment plans. If your doctor recommends inpatient rehab after your surgery, Medicare may cover many of the associated costs.

The Goal of Inpatient Post-Surgical Rehabilitation

Whether you’re recuperating from a hip or knee replacement, heart or lung surgery, or a cancer procedure, post-surgery rehab can help you to:

  • Increase mobility and flexibility

  • Prevent injuries

  • Regain strength

  • Manage pain

  • Facilitate speedy healing

Depending on the type of surgery you’ve had, you may require anywhere from several weeks to several months of rehabilitation. Your specialized team of doctors, nurses, and therapists will work with you to devise a plan that meets your individual needs.

What Happens During Post-Surgical Rehab

No two rehab plans look exactly the same, but services commonly used in post-surgical rehabilitation include:

  • Physical therapy

Major surgery, particularly those involving joint replacements, can weaken your muscles, and limit your range of motion. Through regular exercises and mobility training, physical therapists help you regain your strength and improve your flexibility.

After surgery, you may find it difficult to complete ordinary tasks of daily living, such as walking, getting dressed, or climbing the stairs. Occupational therapists work with you to develop strategies so you can overcome these difficulties and regain your independence.

  • Speech therapy

Surgery involving the head, neck, or mouth can impair speech, as well as make it difficult to swallow. Speech-language pathologists help you regain the ability to speak, eat, and communicate clearly.

  • Pulmonary rehabilitation

Patients who’ve had lung surgery work with respiratory therapists to improve their lung function, learn breathing strategies, and build endurance.

Inpatient facilities make it easy to coordinate your care between different medical professionals, as well as provide you with round-the-clock supervision and a safe, comfortable place to rest while your body recovers.

Medicare Eligibility for Rehab After Surgery

For those who need assistance paying for inpatient rehab after surgery, Medicare may help cover the costs. Medicare Part A covers hospital stays, including stays in a hospital rehab unit, but it will also cover rehab in a skilled nursing facility if it meets the following criteria:

  • The care is deemed medically necessary; that is, the services provided in the skilled nursing facility are required to treat your current condition

  • You have already completed a three-day hospital stay to treat the same condition for which you’re undergoing rehab

Prior to receiving approval for Medicare benefits, your doctor must certify that your medical condition requires intensive inpatient rehabilitation.

What Medicare Covers and What Medicare Doesn’t Cover

Your individual out-of-pocket charges will vary based on the specifics of your Medicare deductible and benefit period. In general, though, you should receive financial assistance for any of the following services:

  • Rehabilitative care, including physical, occupational, speech, and respiratory therapy

  • A semi-private room

  • Meals during your stay

  • Nursing care

  • Medications

  • General hospital supplies

However, Medicare will not cover any of the following:

  • A private room, unless deemed medically necessary

  • Private duty nurses

  • In-room telephones or televisions

  • Miscellaneous personal items, such as clothing or toiletries

Rehab after surgery at Bella Vista Health Center

If you’re planning to undergo major surgery, consider spending your recovery period at Bella Vista Health Center. Our five-star skilled nursing facility offers a comprehensive post-surgical rehabilitation program in a safe, comfortable, and nurturing environment. We accept Medicare, as well as most major insurance carriers, and will help you to determine the best method of financing your stay.

To schedule a tour of our beautiful San Diego facility, call us at (619) 399-7920.