Frequently Asked Questions

Like many patients and their families, you may have questions about the care at RUSH Specialty Hospital. The following frequently asked questions (FAQs) may help.    

About critical illness recovery hospitals

  • We specialize in treating patients recovering from catastrophic critical illness. Our interdisciplinary teams develop individual treatment plans to meet each patient’s needs, with a goal to improve over time and return to their daily lives. We specialize in helping patients learn to breathe, eat, walk, talk and think as independently as possible.

    Our hospital offers extended care for patients who need more time to recover from a chronic, critical illness. Sometimes called long-term acute care hospitals, these facilities are devoted to caring for patients who have been stabilized in an intensive care unit (ICU) setting, but still require around-the-clock medical attention and more healing time.

    The interdisciplinary teams, led by physicians and comprised of nurses, specialized therapists, case managers, pharmacists, dietitians and other health care professionals, work together to create individualized treatment plans for each patient.

  • Where a patient goes following a serious illness or ICU stay makes a difference. This is especially true for individuals on ventilators.

    Patients who experience prolonged mechanical ventilation (PMV) and discharge to skilled nursing facilities are twice as likely to transfer back to the hospital as those moved to a critical illness recovery hospital, according to a study1.

  • Our hospitals accept patients as early as three days post intensive care. We are equipped to care for medically complex patients, such as those with multiple critical drips, tracheostomies, feeding tubes and significant wound care needs.

  • Patients may receive respiratory, physical, occupational and speech therapy, as directed by their physician. Medically stable patients, including those on ventilators, are mobilized twice a day. Physical and occupational therapy in a critical illness recovery hospital is distinct from other health care settings. Sitting in a bed or chair, or beginning to relearn self-care tasks while in bed, is as taxing for some patients as an exercise routine. While many of our patients return home, it is not unusual for most to need further inpatient care at a rehabilitation facility to continue building strength and stamina.

  • Patients will be seen daily by a physician. In many cases, the physician overseeing your care at the acute care hospital will continue following your case here. Specialists may be consulted, if needed.

  • Length of stay is determined by your individual medical needs, goals and progress. It’s important to keep in mind that patients progress at their own speed. Case managers at RUSH Specialty Hospital will work closely with you, your family and/or caregiver and treatment team to coordinate a safe, timely and successful care plan in which you will be discharged at a medically appropriate time.

  • Discharge planning begins on day one. You will be continually evaluated during your stay, with plans being made for the safest, most appropriate next level of care. Options include inpatient rehabilitation skilled nursing facilities or home.

  • Your case manager will assist you with transportation arrangements. If you are transferring to another facility, an ambulance or medical van will be coordinated. If you are going home, your case manager will discuss transportation options with you and your caregivers.

About inpatient rehabilitation

  • Acute rehabilitation is a medically-based, interdisciplinary team approach to the treatment of stroke, brain and spinal cord injury, amputation, neurologic diseases, orthopedic trauma and other injuries or illnesses.

    RUSH Specialty Hospital - Inpatient Rehabilitation draws on the expertise and experience of a team of doctors; nurses; physical, occupational, and speech therapists; psychologists and neuropsychologists; dietitians; case managers and other clinical and support staff to best meet your needs.

    Our comprehensive care programs are designed to restore strength, improve physical and cognitive function and promote independence in daily activities, including self-care skills such as dressing, grooming and eating.

  • Studies2 have shown that where an individual chooses to go for rehabilitation can make a difference in his or her recovery. RUSH Specialty Hospital - Inpatient Rehabilitation offers patients a more specialized, intensive program than those available at skilled nursing facilities or nursing homes. As a result, patients generally achieve better outcomes and enjoy greater independence upon discharge.

  • Evidence3 shows the sooner individuals begin rehabilitation, the stronger their outcomes are likely to be. For that reason, RUSH Specialty Hospital - Inpatient Rehabilitation clinical liaisons and admissions representatives work closely with the referring hospital, physician and/or case manager to facilitate transfer as early as possible.

  • Patients engage in a minimum of three hours of physical, occupational and/or speech therapies per day, five days a week, with weekend sessions, as needed. Depending on a patient’s tolerance and ability to participate, 15 hours of therapy may be provided over a seven-day period. Therapies are tailored to your individual needs and rehabilitation goals and incorporate advanced treatment, technology and research. Your progress will be carefully monitored and the plan of care will be adapted accordingly.

  • From breakfast until the lights are turned off at night, patients are busy working toward rehabilitation goals. You will participate in therapy, typically divided into morning and afternoon sessions. The skills and strategies you gain during therapy are reinforced by your nursing team and your participation in leisure activities offered during the day and early evening. You’ll also find time to pursue personal interests.

    Rehabilitation is an active process. It can be physically and mentally demanding, which is why your schedule includes time for rest and relaxation, and visits with family and friends.

  • Length of stay is determined by your individual medical and rehabilitation needs, goals and progress. Keep in mind that rehabilitation takes time and you will progress at your own speed. Your case manager will work closely with you, your family and/or caregiver and treatment team to coordinate a safe, timely and successful discharge. Our goal, like that of every patient, is to have you return home as soon as you are deemed ready.

  • An assigned physician will visit you on a regular basis with frequency of visits determined by your medical needs. Personal physicians may visit as often as they like, but they are not able to provide treatment or write any medical orders while you are at RUSH Specialty Hospital - Inpatient Rehabilitation.

  • The mode of transportation used is based on your condition and level of mobility. If you are able to transfer by car, your family will be asked to provide transportation. If not, we will arrange for a specially-equipped van to transport you in non-emergency circumstances. Please note: there may be an out-of-pocket expense associated with off-site transportation for medical appointments and tests.

  • Discharge planning starts at the time of admission. Your RUSH Specialty Hospital - Inpatient Rehabilitation team will make recommendations for discharge based on your medical needs, individual goals and level of functional ability. Your case manager will guide you and your family and help coordinate your post-discharge needs to ensure a safe transition home or to the next level of care.

  • We try to schedule discharges before noon to give you the best opportunity to get home early. However, we will work with you and your family to accommodate a more convenient time, if needed. Discharges later in the day do not incur additional charges.

    Typically, family or friends will provide transportation home. However, if you need assistance, your case manager will help arrange this service. There may be a charge for transportation depending on your insurance.

About our hospital

  • RUSH Specialty Hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission. The Joint Commission's mission is to continuously improve health care for the public, in consultation with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission standards address the organization's level of performance in key functional areas, such as patient rights, patient treatment, medication safety and infection control. We are proud to display the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval in our hospital.

  • You have the right to seek a second opinion. If you seek a second opinion from an outside physician, it is your responsibility to make these arrangements. We will assist you with any questions.

  • Medical testing may occur throughout your stay to ensure your health and well-being. Your assigned case manager will help guide you throughout your stay, prepare you for discharge and answer all of your insurance inquiries, including any about diagnostic testing.

  • At RUSH Specialty Hospital, care plans are overseen by physicians who lead a team that includes nurses; respiratory, physical, occupational and speech therapists; Case managers and other clinical professionals and support personnel.

    Research4 indicates that strong interdisciplinary teams are associated with greater functional outcomes. In other words, by drawing on the expertise and experience of a wide range of specialists, patients generally experience greater improvement.

  • Our staff is here to provide your care and comfort 24 hours a day. Typically, patients and families can make arrangements for overnight stays with the nursing supervisor.

  • Our hospital offers only private-rooms.

  • Whenever possible, we do our best to return you to the same room. Your personal belongings will be sent with you. If that is not possible, they will be safeguarded until you return to our hospital or a family member is able to retrieve them.

Additional Questions?

Do you have any additional questions about RUSH Specialty Hospital programs and services, policies or practices?

1Unroe, Ann It Med, 2010, 153, 167

2Assessment of Patient Outcomes of Rehabilitative Care Provided in Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs) and After Discharge. Dobson DaVanzo & Associates, LLC. 2014

3Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP). "Rehabilitation After Spinal Cord Injuries: The Sooner, the Better." ScienceDaily. 18 February 2016

4American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. 2016