Frequently asked questions

Like many patients and their families, you may have questions or concerns about rehabilitation. The following FAQs may help.    

About acute rehabilitation hospitals

  • Acute rehabilitation is a medically-based, multi-disciplinary team approach to the treatment of stroke, brain and spinal cord injury, amputation, neurologic diseases, orthopedic trauma and other injuries or illnesses.

    As an acute rehabilitation hospital, Kessler Institute draws on the expertise and experience of a team of doctors; nurses; physical, occupational, speech and recreation therapists; psychologists and neuropsychologists; dietitians; case managers and other clinical and support staff to best meet your needs.

    Our comprehensive care programs are designed to restore strength, improve physical and cognitive function and promote independence in daily activities, including self-care skills such as dressing, grooming and eating.

  • Studies1 have shown that where an individual chooses to go for rehabilitation can make a difference is his or her recovery. An acute rehabilitation hospital, like Kessler, offers patients a more specialized, intensive program than those available at skilled nursing facilities or nursing homes. As a result, patients generally achieve better outcomes and enjoy greater independence upon discharge from an acute rehabilitation hospital.

    1Assessment of Patient Outcomes of Rehabilitative Care Provided in Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs) and After Discharge. Dobson DaVanzo & Associates, LLC. 2014

  • Patients engage in a minimum of three hours of physical, occupational and/or speech therapies per day, five days a week, with weekend sessions as needed. Depending on a patient’s tolerance and ability to participate, 15 hours of therapy may be provided over a seven-day period. Therapies are tailored to your individual needs and rehabilitation goals and incorporate advanced treatment, technology and research. Your progress will be carefully monitored and the plan of care will be adapted accordingly. 
  • Evidence2,3 shows the sooner individuals begin rehabilitation, the stronger their outcomes are likely to be. For that reason, Kessler clinical liaisons and admissions representatives work closely with the referring hospital, physician and/or case manager to facilitate transfer to our hospital.

    2Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP). "Rehabilitation After Spinal Cord Injuries: The Sooner, the Better." ScienceDaily. 18 February 2016. 3American Stroke Association. 2016

About your stay

  • Length of stay is determined by your individual medical and rehabilitation needs, goals and progress. It’s important to keep in mind that rehabilitation takes time and you will progress at your own speed. Your case manager at Kessler will work closely with you, your family and/or caregiver and treatment team to coordinate a safe, timely and successful discharge. Our goal, like that of every patient, is to have you return home as soon as you are deemed ready.

    To build on the gains made as an inpatient, many individuals will continue their rehabilitation as an outpatient at Kessler’s hospital campuses or one of more than 95 Kessler Rehabilitation Center locations throughout New Jersey.

  • From breakfast until lights are turned off at night, patients are busy working toward rehabilitation goals. You will participate in therapy, typically divided in morning and afternoon sessions. The skills and strategies you gain are reinforced by your nursing team, as well as through recreational and leisure activities offered during the day and early evening. You’ll also find time to pursue personal interests.

    Rehabilitation is an active process. It can be physically and mentally demanding, which is why your schedule includes time for rest and relaxation, and visits with family and friends.

  • Medical testing may occur throughout your stay to ensure your health and well-being. Your assigned case manager will help to guide you throughout your stay, prepare you for discharge and answer all of your insurance inquiries, including diagnostic testing

About your care team

  • Research* indicates that strong interdisciplinary teams are associated with greater functional outcomes. In other words, by drawing on the expertise and experience of a wide range of specialists, patients generally experience greater improvement.

    At Kessler, a physiatrist, a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation, leads a team that includes rehabilitation nurses; physical, occupational and speech therapists; psychologists, case managers and other clinical professionals and support personnel.

    *American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. 2016

  • You will be visited by an assigned Kessler physician on a daily basis and as frequently as dictated by your medical needs. Personal physicians may visit as often as they like, but they are not able to provide treatment or write any medical orders while you are at Kessler unless they have been credentialed by Kessler.
  • You have the right to seek a second opinion. If you seek a second opinion from an outside physician, it is your responsibility to make these arrangements. We will assist you with any questions you may have.

About our hospital

  • Kessler is accredited by The Joint Commission and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), with special accreditation in stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury, amputation and general rehabilitation.
  • Our rehabilitation nursing staff is here to provide your care and ensure your comfort 24 hours a day. If you require family support in the evening or overnight, please speak to a nursing supervisor to discuss these arrangements.
  • Kessler hospitals provide private and semi-private rooms which are assigned to patients based on diagnosis, medical necessity and availability. Patients with special needs who require a private setting will take precedence when room assignments are made. There are no additional charges for a private room.
  • The mode of transportation used is based on your condition and level of mobility. If you are able to be transferred by car, your family will be asked to provide transportation.  If not, we will arrange for a specially-equipped van used to transport individuals in nonemergency circumstances. Please note: there may be an out-of-pocket expense associated with transportation for medical appointments and tests.
  • Whenever possible, we do our best to return you to the same room. Your personal belongings will be safeguarded in the security department until you return to our hospital or a family member is able to retrieve them.

About your discharge

  • Discharge is scheduled for 10 a.m. Please discuss this with your family prior to the scheduled discharge date. If an alternate time is required, please notify the nursing supervisor and your case manager. Discharges later in the day do not incur additional charges.
  • Discharge planning starts at the time of admission. Your Kessler team will make recommendations for discharge based on your medical needs, individual goals and level of functional ability. Your case manager will guide you and your family and help coordinate your post-discharge needs to ensure a safe transition home or to the next level of care.
  • Your case manager will assist you with transportation home if you need this service. There may be a charge for transportation depending on your insurance.

Additional questions?

Do you have any additional questions about Kessler programs and services, policies or practices?