The information below is from the Medical Rehabilitation Education Foundation in Washington, D.C.
Through medical rehabilitation, people who become disabled as a result of trauma or disease receive help return to the most productive and independent lifestyle possible. In addition to helping people minimize their disability and improve function, medical rehabilitation can reduce future costly medical complications and the need for re-hospitalization.
As a result of medical rehabilitation, at least 50,000 to 100,000 people return to their homes each year. These individuals would otherwise require additional care on a long-term basis at considerable expense to government programs as well as to their families. Rehabilitating people so that they can live at home results in a net savings to individuals, insurance companies, and government programs of approximately $500 million to $1 billion annually.
As a result of medical rehabilitation, an estimated 350,000 Americans return to work each year. Those individuals produce about $700 million in additional state and federal revenue through income tax payments.
By reducing acute care hospital days (length of stay) and re-hospitalizations, medical rehabilitation saves hundreds of millions of dollars per year in medical costs that would otherwise be paid by insurers, Medicare or Medicaid, and individuals. Medical rehabilitation results in an estimated annual savings of $1 to $2 billion for public programs such as workers' compensation, disability insurance, and Medicaid. A study by an insurance company has shown that, with severe brain injury, for every $1 spent on rehabilitation, $23 is saved over the lifetime of the person with the brain injury.
Private and group health insurance usually offers coverage of inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services. Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and preferred provider organizations (PPOs) may cover inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation on a limited basis. Medicaid covers rehabilitation services in some cases. Contact your state Medicaid office for details. Medicare covers some inpatient and outpatient services. Workers' compensation covers rehabilitation services related to work injuries in most states. No-fault auto insurance pays for medical rehabilitation following accidents in some states.
As with any medical treatment program, the first advice is to check with your doctor. If you think medical rehabilitation can help you or a family member, your doctor will evaluate the condition and assess whether medical rehabilitation is needed.