What is the difference between inpatient and outpatient physical therapy?

We Accept:

Medicare Logo_wHumana_logo_wCigna_wBCBSNC_wAetna_wUS-TRICARE-Logo_w

Mobile Rehab provides in-home, outpatient Physical Therapy for seniors.



Covered by insurance

Locally owned and operated in North Carolina since 2004

What is the difference between inpatient and outpatient physical therapy?

Inpatient physical therapy refers to physical therapy that is provided to patients who are admitted to a hospital or other medical facility for an extended period of time, typically due to a serious medical condition or injury. Inpatient physical therapy is typically provided by a team of healthcare professionals, including physical therapists, nurses, and physicians. The goal of inpatient physical therapy is to help patients regain strength and mobility, manage pain, and prevent complications during their hospital stay.

Outpatient physical therapy, on the other hand, refers to physical therapy that is provided to patients on an outpatient basis, meaning that they do not need to stay overnight in a hospital or medical facility. Outpatient physical therapy is typically provided by licensed physical therapists in a clinic, private practice, or hospital setting. The goal of outpatient physical therapy is to help patients recover from an injury or manage a chronic condition, such as arthritis or back pain. Patients typically attend multiple physical therapy sessions over a period of weeks or months, depending on their individual needs.

In summary, the main difference between inpatient and outpatient physical therapy is that inpatient physical therapy is provided to patients who require hospitalization, while outpatient physical therapy is provided to patients who can receive treatment on an outpatient basis.

What is the difference between in-home outpatient physical therapy and Home Health?

In-home outpatient physical therapy and home health physical therapy are two different types of physical therapy services that are provided to patients in their homes.

In-home outpatient physical therapy is provided by licensed physical therapists who work for outpatient clinics or private practices and bill under Medicare Part B regulations. This type of physical therapy is usually recommended for patients who are recovering from surgery, injury, or illness, but who do not require the level of care provided by a hospital or nursing home, which also provides nursing services. The physical therapist will visit the patient's home to provide treatment, and may also provide exercise programs and other interventions to help the patient recover. The goal of outpatient physical therapy is to maximize the patient’s rehabilitation potential or help them avoid further declines with maintenance therapy. Patients do not need to be homebound.

Home health physical therapy, on the other hand, is provided by licensed physical therapists who work for home health agencies under Medicare Part A regulations. This type of physical therapy is typically recommended for homebound patients who are recovering from a serious medical condition or surgery and require ongoing medical attention and support via nurses. The goal of Home Health physical therapy is to help the patient improve their mobility so they are no longer homebound and can continue physical therapy elsewhere.

Insurance companies often provide different benefits for outpatient versus home health services, so you may want to familiarize yourself with your insurance benefits if you are trying to decide which service to use. Outpatient therapists are reimbursed based on the amount of time spent with the patient. Alternatively, Home Health therapists are paid by treatment episode severity, so the therapists may not be incentivized to spend as long with the patient per visit.

Frequently asked questions

What patients in Carrboro are saying about Mobile Rehab

The physical therapist came to our house and carefully reviewed our case. He designed therapies and strategies that have worked well for us. For example, my husband could not get off the floor by himself and I could not lift him when he fell. Together we learned techniques to cope with this situation in our home. Joshua designed fun and effective exercises to improve strength and flexibility. My husband can now get in and out of chairs and cars without help and walks more easily. Since we used equipment in and around the home, my husband can remember and apply what he has learned. Mobile Rehab accepted our insurance and worked out approval to provide services. We did not need a referral from our doctor. My husband and I highly recommend Mobile Rehab if you or a loved one needs physical therapy.Jerry from Pittsboro
I wanted to tell you how much better I think Mom is since starting your PT. She has been less off balance, quicker to equilibrate to standing, and has had more stamina. I also think she is less depressed and feels more accomplished. Josh has been prompt and polite, as well as engaging in conversation to make Mom feel at ease. Thank you!Karen Pool - Google Review
Kelly evaluated me and made some helpful suggestions. I look forward to working with her and improving my balance and muscle strength. Rita - Google Review
The physical therapist was punctual, understanding, flexible, determined and concerned about my recovery. I feel I received the best possible physical therapy from my home until I was able to drive myself to outpatient therapy. Thanks, Kelly for your concern and professional skills.Lois Reed Boswell - Facebook Review
Oh my goodness, I cannot say enough good things about my therapist, Jennifer. After having a complete shoulder replacement and being discharged by my doctor, he recommended that I could still need therapy to help get me back to “normal”. My friend in Asheville recommended Jennifer to me. I set up an appointment and Jen showed up, right on time, at my apartment with her folding table in tow. She was so knowledgeable about how my shoulder worked, the muscles, tendons and the rotator cuff. After working on the painful spots I complained about, she set up a plan to work out the stiffness and soreness. Now, after 2 visits per week for four weeks, I feel like a new woman. At her last visit, she gave me the coping skills I needed to keep my shoulder in good shape. I am so impressed with her work that I recommend her highly as my most favored therapist.Jane Cumby - Google Review
Deb's professional manner is greatly appreciated as she continues to help me maintain my mobility with a variety of exercises and movements. Her positive attitude during my sessions gives me a sense of well-being.Nancy C. - Google Review
Mobile Rehab has an excellent service for patients seeking physical therapy. They are truly professionals. I have been in physical therapy for over four months and have four torn muscles in my rotator cuff. In the beginning my physical therapist, Kelly Swimm, started out very gently. I was in a lot of pain. As time went on my right arm and shoulder began to get stronger. Now I have full range of motion. Kelly took it nice and slow, and after the exercises, I was usually in less pain than when I started out. She is an EXCELLENT Physical Therapist. When I finally got an MRI, Kelly knew the terminology. She showed me pictures of the rotator cuff muscles that were torn. Kelly was always on time; never late. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Mobile Rehab and Kelly for anyone seeking in-home physical therapy. Having her come into my home was certainly a big plus. Regards, Kathie
note from patient
The therapist from Mobile Rehab has been fantastic and very helpful to me. She clearly is the best PT I have ever had.Laureen F of Chapel Hill

Use your insurance or pay privately



$0 per visit

Many Medicare plans with a supplement policy will cover all of our fees.

Commercial Insurance

Same as a clinic

Pay the same copay as if you went to a clinic for therapy. We accept many major insurances and will verify your benefits before starting.

Private Pay


Easy payment options available.


  • Contact Us by Phone, Email, or Fax

    We’ll help you check your insurance benefits. You do not need to be homebound and you should not be currently receiving any other physical therapy or skilled nursing services in the home.

  • Schedule an Evaluation

    We will match you with a therapist and have them contact you to plan a date, time and location that works best for you.

  • It’s That Easy!

    We make it simple to get the care you need… and exceed your expectations while doing so.



Mobile Rehab in home physical therapy

Fall Prevention

We provide research-based, individualized fall prevention interventions that have been shown to greatly reduce your risk of falling and injuries, including the OTAGO fall prevention program.

Click here to
learn more about OTAGO

Mobile Rehab in home physical therapy

General Rehab

Avoid driving to a clinic and get the individualized care you deserve. We work with many conditions ranging from post-stroke, Parkinson’s, vertigo to rotator cuff dysfunction and much more. Contact us for details.

Mobile Rehab in home physical therapy

After Home Health

We can improve care continuity by providing in home therapy even after you have been discharged by a Home Health agency. Avoid the hassle of driving and continue to make progress towards your goals.

Mobile Rehab in home physical therapy

Strength and Conditioning

We can help you improve your strength, mobility, range of motion, or any other functional limitations that impair your daily activity.

Mobile Rehab in home physical therapy

Pain Relief

We develop individualized care plans to help manage your aches and pains through exercise and hands-on techniques.