Getting a Head Start on Stroke Rehab: A Cost and Insurance Guide for Stroke Rehab Centers
Having a stroke can be a life-changing experience, but with the assistance of a physical rehabilitation center, you can get a head start on the road to recovery. You should look at stroke rehab centers once you have already sorted out what your insurance is willing to pay. Rehabilitation centers are not inexpensive, and your insurance company might try to avoid having to pay for it. While having health insurance is certainly important, insurance companies are still known for avoiding paying for things they do not find necessary, and it can be difficult to prove your stroke was severe enough to require treatment at a rehabilitation center. However, you can be prepared to present your case to your insurance company.
How Stroke Rehab Centers Differ from Hospital Rehab Programs
In most cases where a patient has suffered from a severe stroke, the post-stroke rehabilitation process begins within two days of the stroke. Usually, this process begins at the hospital and promotes movement in the patient to counteract the weakening and paralyzing effects a stroke can have on the body. Patients in hospitals have to perform motion exercises and must not stay in one position for too long. However, while the rehabilitation hospitals offer certainly helps patients who have suffered from strokes, the rehabilitation process must continue even after patients have been released from the hospital. Sometimes, patients can enroll in an outpatient rehabilitation program, but inpatient programs are recommended for patients who have suffered particularly severe strokes. Inpatient programs are also recommended for patients who don’t have enough support at home.
Different Rehabilitation Programs Available at Stroke Rehabilitation Centers
Depending on your needs as an individual, your physician will recommend one or more rehabilitation programs at your local stroke rehab facility. Some of these programs feature around-the-clock care by a team of professionals if your stroke has left you with severe disabilities. While this is the most expensive type of program, most insurance companies will readily cover the costs associated with this program due to the extensive damage the stroke has caused. Insurance companies are usually more difficult to persuade when it comes to programs that are less intensive, such as the daily nursing programs offered at rehabilitation facilities that are focused more on helping you get back to normal, as opposed to treating serious disabilities. It may be difficult to prove you require care when your stroke has left you with minor disabilities that do not require constant intervention.
Choosing Between an Inpatient or an Outpatient Stroke Rehabilitation Center
If your stroke has left you with minor disabilities or disabilities that are not likely to improve at an inpatient rehabilitation center, it may be almost impossible to convince your insurance company to cover your stay. However, with the assistance of your physician, you may still be able to persuade them. Bear in mind that your insurance company may recommend an outpatient program instead, such as a home nursing program, especially if you have family and friends who can provide a strong support system for you. In fact, in that case, it may be easier to recover at home, especially if your insurance company is willing to cover a visiting nurse who can make sure your recovery process is going well. Many patients find it easier to go through the recovery process in the comfort of their own homes.
Why Inpatient Stroke Rehabilitation Centers Are Expensive
At first glance, it might seem like inpatient rehabilitation centers are overpriced. However, these centers have a lot of costs to cover that go beyond the costs of equipment, equipment maintenance, and other fees associated with keeping the facilities running. Most inpatient stroke rehabilitation centers have highly trained staff members ranging from neurologists to social workers who work around the clock to make sure every patient receives the care and respect he or she needs to achieve the best possible recovery. Because you have a specialized team of medical professionals ready to help you through every step of the rehabilitation process, the costs associated with inpatient stroke rehab centers have to reflect the salaries of the staff members. Even though rehabilitation centers are specialized, inpatient facilities are often much less expensive than the initial hospital stay following a stroke.
How to Convince Your Insurance Company to Cover Your Stay
To convince your insurance company to cover the costs of a stroke rehab center, you will need to obtain a letter from your primary care physician that details the effects your stroke has had on your body. Your primary care physician will need to provide additional information on why he or she believes your disabilities should be treated at an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation facility. While it may be emotionally difficult to provide such personal medical information to your insurance company, keep in mind that many other patients who have suffered from strokes have had to go through the same thing. Consider talking to a counselor who can help you deal with your insurance company. This is one of the hardest steps for many patients, and it can cause severe anxiety.
How to Appeal a Denial from Your Insurance Company
Unfortunately, many insurance companies will automatically reject any request for an expensive treatment program. While this is certainly unsettling, remember that this is fairly common. At this point, you will need to check the details regarding your insurance company’s appeals process. All insurance companies are required by law to provide everything you need to make an appeal, but you should start right away to avoid passing deadlines. Get all your paperwork together and ask your doctor for advice prior to calling your insurance company. Your doctor may even be willing to call on your behalf. Remember that appealing your insurance company’s decision can take several weeks.
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