Frequently asked questions

Like many patients and their families, you may have questions about care in a critical illness recovery hospital. The following frequently asked questions (FAQs) may help.    

About critical illness recovery hospitals

  • We specialize in treating patients recovering from catastrophic critical illness. Our interdisciplinary teams develop individual treatment plans to meet each patient’s needs, with a goal to improve over time and return to their daily lives. We specialize in helping patients learn to breathe, eat, speak, think and walk again.

    Our hospital offers extended care for patients who need more time to recover from a chronic critical illness. Sometimes called long-term acute care hospitals, these facilities are devoted to caring for patients who have been stabilized in an intensive care unit (ICU) setting, but still require around-the-clock medical attention and more healing time.

    The interdisciplinary teams, led by physicians and comprised of nurses, specialized therapists, case managers, pharmacists, dietitians and other health care professionals, work together to create individualized treatment plans for each patient.


  • Where a patient goes following a serious illness or ICU stay makes a difference. This is especially true for individuals on ventilators.

    Patients who experience Prolonged Mechanical Ventilation (PMV) and discharge to skilled nursing facilities are twice as likely to transfer back to the hospital as those moved to a critical illness recovery hospital, according to a study*.

     *Unroe, Ann It Med, 2010, 153, 167


  • Our hospitals accept patients as early as three days post intensive care. We are equipped to care for medically complex patients, such as those with multiple critical drips, tracheostomies, feeding tubes and significant wound care needs.


  • Patients may receive respiratory, physical, occupational and speech therapy, as directed by their physician. Medically stable patients, including those on ventilators, are mobilized twice a day. Physical and occupational therapy in a critical illness recovery hospital is distinct from other healthcare settings. Sitting in a bed or chair or beginning to relearn self-care tasks while in bed is as taxing for some patients as an exercise routine. While many of our patients return home, it is not unusual for most to need further inpatient care at a rehabilitation facility to continue building strength and stamina. 


About your stay

  • Length of stay is determined by your individual medical needs, goals and progress. It’s important to keep in mind that patients progress at their own speed. Case managers at Select Specialty Hospital will work closely with you, your family and/or caregiver and treatment team to coordinate a safe, timely and successful care plan in which you will be discharged at a medically appropriate time.


  • Medical testing may occur throughout your stay to ensure your health and well-being. Your assigned case manager will help guide you throughout your stay, prepare you for discharge and answer all of your insurance inquiries, including any about 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 Select Specialty Hospitals, care plans are overseen by physicians who lead a team that includes nurses; respiratory, physical, occupational and speech therapists; case managers and other clinical professionals and support personnel.

    *American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. 2016

  • Patients will be seen daily by a physician. In many cases, the physician overseeing your care at the acute care hospital will continue following your case here. Specialists may be consulted, if needed.


  • 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

  • All our hospitals are accredited by The Joint Commission, and with Select Specialty Hospital – Hampton Roads accredited by Det Norske Veritas (DNV). The Joint Commission's mission is to continuously improve health care for the public, in consultation with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organization and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission standards address the organization's level of performance in key functional areas, such as patient rights, patient treatment, medication safety and infection control. We are proud to display the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval in our hospital.

    DNV is an independent management and quality assurance organization. It is one of the world’s leading certification bodies, helping businesses assure organizational performance.


  • Our staff is here to provide your care and ensure your comfort 24 hours a day. Typically, patients and families can make arrangements for overnight stays with the nursing supervisor.


  • Many of our hospitals offer private-rooms only. In some locations, rooms are semi-private. Discuss rooming arrangements with your clinical liaison.


  • Whenever possible, we do our best to return you to the same room. Your personal belongings will be sent with you. If that is not possible, they will be safeguarded until you return to our hospital or a family member is able to retrieve them.


Taking the next step

  • Discharge planning begins on day one. You will be continually evaluated during your stay, with plans being made for the safest, most appropriate next level of care. Options include inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, skilled nursing facilities or home.


  • Your case manager will assist you with transportation arrangements. If you are transferring to another facility, an ambulance or medical van will be coordinated. If you are going home, your case manager will discuss transportation options with you and your caregivers.


Additional questions?

Do you have any additional questions about Select Specialty Hospital programs and services, policies or practices?