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Special Programs When You Leave the Hospital

While you are hospitalized, you may hear about home healthcare, homemaker services, rehabilitation, extended care, and subacute care. These terms refer to programs or services for people who are discharged from the University of Chicago Medicine.

Home Healthcare

Home healthcare is one or more services provided to you in your home by an outside healthcare provider after you leave the hospital. These are services--such as a visiting nurse, therapy, or medical equipment--which your doctor orders for you. If you have health insurance, it usually pays for these services in full or in part as long as you are housebound or require skilled care.

Homemaker Services

Homemaker services bring people to your home to cook, clean, shop, and help you with the daily housekeeping chores you may not be well enough to handle on your own. Health insurance does not pay for homemaking help. However, some people are eligible for free or low-cost homemaker services provided by local agencies on aging. There are also homemaker services you can pay for privately.

When You Can't Go Home Right Away

On discharge from the hospital at the University of Chicago, you may go to another facility for rehabilitation (rehab), acute or subacute rehab, or extended care. These facilities offer inpatient programs that provide nursing, exercise, or other therapies that help you return home better able to care for yourself.

  • Rehabilitation: Intense physical, occupational, and speech therapy programs as well as counseling given in a hospital-like facility under a doctor's care. There are three levels of rehabilitation care. Your health provider will help identify which level is best suited to your needs.
  • Acute rehab: Provides patients with four hours of physical, occupational, and/or speech therapy daily, along with nursing and personal care as needed.
  • Subacute rehab: Less intense than acute rehab and provides patients with more nursing care.
  • Extended care: Also called skilled extended care. Provides physical and other therapies but offers more nursing care supervision than acute care.