Inpatient Rehabilitation: Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Inpatient Rehabilitation: Frequently Asked Questions

People come to Rancho from home, another hospital, or a skilled nursing facility. Most people who are admitted to Rancho have recently had a life-changing illness or injury. This event has affected their ability to care for their personal needs, work, study, or participate in activities that they enjoy.

No matter where you are, you can ask your doctor, case manager, or social worker to get the referral process started.

Persons living at home should speak with their healthcare provider about their interest in rehab at Rancho. If your healthcare provider agrees to refer you to Rancho, Rancho’s Patient Access Center (PAC) has the documents needed to begin the process.

A member of the PAC team will follow up with you regarding insurance and next steps. Once everything is cleared, you’ll have an outpatient evaluation with a doctor who is a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) specialist at Rancho.

The PM&R will determine if inpatient rehab is appropriate for you. Your insurance company will be contacted for authorization. If all goes well, you’ll be admitted to Rancho shortly thereafter.

You can always reach out to the PAC team with questions about this process.

Reach out to your healthcare team to let them know you are interested in inpatient rehab at Rancho. If your healthcare provider agrees to refer you to Rancho, have your case manager consult with your insurance plan and submit these documents  to Rancho’s Admissions office. We are A member of the Admissions team will review your medical record and follow up with you to discuss your needs, goals, insurance and next steps. If inpatient rehab is appropriate for you, your insurance company will be contacted for authorization. If all goes well, you’ll be admitted to Rancho shortly thereafter.

Our Admissions staff are available to answer any questions that you or your current healthcare team may have.

Rancho’s experienced Admissions team includes a physician and registered nurses. They are responsible for assessing the medical and therapy needs of people who have been referred to Rancho. The nurses speak with patients and family, consult with healthcare providers, and review medical documentation to come to a decision.

The Admissions team considers these criteria in a rehab candidate:

  • Medical stability. A safe transition to a rehab program requires that critical medical issues have been managed and are under control.
  • Willingness and ability to participate in a 3 hours per day, 15 hours per week rehab program. “Participation” can be physical or it may be learning. A person may not be able to speak, hear, see, walk, or move yet can participate and learn.
  • Family/Support team. Their participation, education, and training are often the key to a successful rehabilitation program.
  • Potential for significant improvement and/or learning within a reasonable amount of time.
  • Sufficient support post-discharge is necessary to maintain rehab gains in safe and appropriate discharge setting – ideally home.

If inpatient rehab at Rancho is not the most appropriate setting, the Admissions team will recommend other levels of care such as:

  • Home with outpatient therapy – for people who are progressing well and will benefit most from being in their own home and following up with therapy once or twice per week.
  • Skilled Nursing Facility – for people who cannot participate at a level necessary to qualify for inpatient rehabilitation services.
  • Long Term Acute Care Hospital or Sub Acute – for people who are not medically stable enough to participate in a full inpatient rehab program.

Rest assured that you can keep in touch with our Admissions team. We are happy to reassess in the future – even if your loved one has transitioned home or to a different healthcare facility.

What is Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center?

Rancho is a hospital – and so much more – for both children and adults. Rancho has a world-renowned neurorehabilitation program that serves persons with stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, and other neurological conditions. Outpatient therapy services as well as inpatient and outpatient medical services are also available.

Our Don Knabe Wellness Center provides a gym, exercise classes, education, and support groups for the Rancho and local communities. Numerous recreation and sports opportunities for persons with disabilities promote an active lifestyle and a return to participation.

Research programs at Rancho focus on improved health and mobility. Our Center for Applied Rehabilitation Technology helps people optimize mobility and communication with cutting-edge technology.

With our breadth of services and programs, Rancho can meet healthcare needs across a lifetime.

Rancho is located in Los Angeles County in the City of Downey. Our peaceful, tree-filled campus is about 15 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles and not far from major freeways. We are served directly by Metropolitan Transportation busses and Paratransit Services.

The Rancho Research Institute Patient Transportation Service has a small van fleet that provides transportation between Rancho’s campus and the homes of people living within a certain radius. 

Additional transportation options can be found here.

You have options. In choosing the best rehabilitation hospital, there are some critical things you may want to consider. As you look around, consider the “Five Es”

Excellence. Rancho is proud to be recognized as one of the best rehabilitation hospitals in the United States and the highest rated rehab hospital in Southern California, according to US News & World Report.

Rancho is a Center of Excellence for Spinal Cord Injury. We are one of only 14 Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems Centers  in the United States. This designation reflects our place as a national leader in research, medical care, and specialty services for persons with spinal cord injury.

Rancho’s accreditations by The Joint Commission (TJC)  and by Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) reflect our ongoing commitment to being the very best we can be. TJC and CARF recognize that Rancho is providing a high level of service, quality of care, and safety for the persons we serve.

Experience. Rancho’s history as a rehabilitation hospital dates back to the years of the polio epidemic.  We specialize in the physical rehabilitation of people who have had stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, and injuries or illnesses that affect the ability to move. Rancho serves 1300 rehabilitation inpatients each year.

Expertise. Rancho’s inpatient rehab teams are made up of experts with years of experience in the rehabilitation of children and adults. There are specialized teams dedicated to stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury, pediatrics, and orthopedics.

A team includes occupational, physical, speech, and recreation therapists, physicians specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Internal Medicine, nurses, social workers, case managers, and psychologists.  The most important members of the team, however, are the patient and family or support system. We rely on your expert knowledge of your life, goals and needs to drive the rehab process.

Extensive services and programs. Rancho offers comprehensive services and programs to people who have had a catastrophic injury or illness. From inpatient rehab to the transition back to home and community. From outpatient therapy and medical services to art programs driver’s training , and support groups. At Rancho, you’ll find care for the body, mind, and spirit.

Exit plan. Rancho’s rehab program focuses on getting you back to where you want to be – with your loved ones and in your community! We are proud that 77% of the people leaving our inpatient rehab return home. 

Rancho accepts most insurances including Medi-Cal and Medicare.

Ask your insurance company these questions to help you decide among your rehab choices:

  • Will you pay for inpatient rehab services at Rancho?
  • What will it cost me out-of-pocket to go to Rancho for rehab compared to an “in-network provider”?

If you are a Los Angeles County resident and do not have insurance, you may receive services at Rancho.

Our Patient Access Services team will answer your questions, give you guidance, and even help you sign up for insurance if you’re eligible.

Each person’s injury and needs are different. The rehabilitation team – which includes patients, families, caregivers, and support system – works together to develop a program that addresses each person’s unique situation. Some people may be at Rancho for a week while others may have a four-week program with us. The average rehab program is about 14 days.

Your day will start with breakfast, getting dressed, washing upand preparing yourself for your day. If any these are activities are a bit challenging, you’ll work with your occupational therapist to improve your movement and your independence.   

Whether you’re getting around in your room or off to the gym, your physical therapist will team up with you to work on sitting and standing balance, walking or navigating in a wheelchair.

If you’ve had difficulty with your memory, speaking clearly, or swallowing safely, your speech therapist will support you as you work to improve in these activities.

Overall, you’ll get at least three hours of therapy spread out over the day. Outside of therapy hours, rehabilitation associates are available to help you practice those activities that are most important to you. Group discussion, games, outings, or movies are some of recreation therapy.

Your doctors and nurses are present to help you manage your medical needs. You’ll learn about your medications and how to manage your health.

If you have questions about your medical equipment, medical bills, or discharge home, your case manager is the one to speak to.

Need someone to talk to? Many people do. Let someone know. Your social worker is there to support you with great listening and counseling skills. If you feel you’d like to speak with a psychologist, just ask someone from your team to help you arrange an appointment. Meet our peer mentors who have been through Rancho’s inpatient rehab program.

Last and certainly not least, get to know those around you who are having a similar experience. Maybe your roommate or someone you meet in the gym knows just how you’re feeling or needs your friendly support.

Absolutely! Families and support teams are the most important ingredient. Successful rehab programs are the ones in which loved ones are present, actively learning, asking questions, and hands on. Your input – along with that of your designated team – is what drives the rehab program. We need you!

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our visiting guidelines a bit, but family involvement is as important as ever.

Rancho has a wonderful resource in the H.O.M.E. This very affordable housing option is on the south side of Rancho’s campus and a short walk or drive from the hospital.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the H.O.M.E. is currently unavailable.  In the meantime, hotels and homestay opportunities in Downey and its neighboring communities may meet your needs.

Every person has the right to receive their healthcare services and information  in their preferred language.  Rancho’s Language and Culture Resource Center supports numerous languages, including American Sign Language, with an extensive system of live and video interpreters. These interpreters are available for patients, families, and their support team.

Although we have suspended tours during the current COVID-19 crisis, we plan to offer them again once it is safe to do so.

All rooms are spacious and have large windows that let in natural light. Rancho does have some single rooms. Most of our rooms are shared by two people and allow for privacy. Each person has a television and closet.