How long you stay in the hospital matters if you want follow-up therapy.

To receive up to 100 days of rehabilitative treatment either in a rehab facility, nursing home, or at home, generally, you need at least 3 days inpatient hospitalization. Consequently, if you are in the hospital for two days or less, you may not qualify for this Medicare benefit and will pay privately.

When calculating three days of inpatient care, consider three “midnights” and make certain the time was spent as an inpatient and not in the emergency room or “under observation.” Although, in the hospital, sleeping over, and if you’re not “admitted” you are not considered eligible. If “under observation” or  in the ER at midnight for one of the critical days, insurers might refuse the benefit for rehabilitation.

Therefore, have someone check that you are considered “admitted” for the necessary time.

Most patients who have been inpatients for the requisite period should qualify for and receive some rehabilitative treatment after hospitalization. Alzheimer’s or dementia patients with other incurable medical conditions still can benefit from therapy for conditions such as, for instance, a broken hip.

Medicare Advantage plans might try to further limit coverage. Seniors with Medicare Advantage plans need to be especially alert regarding coverage.

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