Choosing a Rehabilitation Unit/CARF

Choosing a rehabilitation facility

Rehabilitation services are provided in many different places, including the following:

  • Acute care and rehabilitation hospitals
  • Subacute facilities
  • Long-term care facilities
  • In the home by home health agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Inpatient rehabilitation centers
  • Outpatient rehabilitation centers
  • Community health settings
  • Private practice
  • Schools
  • Industrial health centers
  • Veterans Affairs medical centers
  • Military health care centers

When investigating rehabilitation facilities and services, some general questions to ask include the following:

  • Does my insurance company have a preferred rehabilitation provider that I must use to qualify for payment of services?
  • What is the cost and will my insurance company cover all or part of the cost?
  • How far away is the facility and what is the family visiting policy?
  • What are the admission criteria?
  • What are the qualifications of the facility? Is the facility accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)?
  • Is the facility well maintained, clean, and safe?
  • Has the facility handled treatment for this type of condition before?
  • What are the staff's credentials?
  • Is therapy scheduled every day? How many hours a day?
  • What rehabilitation team members are available for treatment? How is the patient and family included in planning care?
  • What type of patient and family education and support is available?
  • Is there a doctor on site 24 hours a day?
  • How are emergencies handled?
  • What type of discharge planning and assistance available?
  • What can be done if care is unsatisfactory?

What is CARF?

CARF is a private, not-for-profit organization that accredits rehabilitation programs with some of the following services:

  • Adult day services
  • Assisted living
  • Behavioral health services
  • Medical rehabilitation

CARF helps to promote and assure standards of quality for these programs and focuses on optimal outcomes for persons served.


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