News Jul 8, 2021

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Releases Study on Physical Health and Functional Status Among Patients Referred to Outpatient Rehabilitation Clinics After COVID-19 Diagnosis

MECHANICSBURG, PA – July 8, 2021 – Former COVID-19 patients may benefit from additional clinical support, including tailored physical and mental health rehabilitation services, according to a study released today by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with Select Medical. The findings, based on data from 1,295 post-COVID-19 patients, published today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) examined the rehabilitation needs and outcomes of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Study data was obtained from the electronic health records of patients referred to Select Medical’s national network of more than 1,800 outpatient rehabilitation clinics from January 2020 - March 2021.

The CDC examined patient-reported measures of health, physical endurance, and health care utilization. It compared patients who had recovered from COVID-19 and a control group of patients needing rehabilitation for a current or previous cancer diagnosis. This control population was chosen because they completed the same initial evaluations as did patients referred for post-COVID-19 rehabilitation. The latter group had not experienced COVID-19.

Compared with control patients, post–COVID-19 patients had higher odds of reporting worse physical health, and difficulty with physical activities after adjusting for age and sex. Post-COVID-19 patients also experienced decreased physical endurance, measured by a six-minute walk test compared with control patients. The study concluded that among patients referred to outpatient rehabilitation, those recovering from COVID-19 had poorer physical health and functional status than those who had cancer.

The full CDC study results can be found here.

“We were excited to partner with the CDC on such an important clinical study regarding the long-term impact of COVID-19,” said Diane Brozowsky, senior vice president of clinical operations of outpatient rehabilitation at Select Medical, and a co-author of the MMWR paper. “These findings indicate that patients recovering from COVID-19 could benefit from additional personalized rehabilitation services aimed at both physical and mental health. As the nation’s largest provider of outcomes-based, innovative physical therapy, we are expertly positioned to guide those who need extended care among the 33.5 million post-COVID-19 patient population.”

COVID-19 Recovery and Reconditioning Program

The CDC study also validates Select Medical’s Recovery and Reconditioning Program which was developed in partnership with leading physicians, including physiatrists, pulmonologists, infectious disease specialists as well as physical and occupational therapists and speech language pathologists (SLPs), to focus on specific deficits in patients recovering from COVID-19 as well as other illnesses and conditions.

Following evidence-informed program guidelines, licensed therapists tailor a plan of care to address patients’ specific needs and goals to resume pre-COVID activities and routine. The program, which launched in June 2020 amid the pandemic, is available across Select Medical’s national network of outpatient rehabilitation clinics in 37 states, many of which are “direct access” and do not require a physician referral to receive care. To find a location and schedule an appointment, click here.

About Select Medical

Select Medical is one of the largest operators of critical illness recovery hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, outpatient rehabilitation clinics and occupational health centers in the United States. As of March 31, 2021, Select Medical operated 99 critical illness recovery hospitals in 28 states, 30 rehabilitation hospitals in 12 states, and 1,809 outpatient rehabilitation clinics in 37 states and the District of Columbia. Select Medical’s joint venture subsidiary Concentra operated 519 occupational health centers in 41 states. At March 31, 2021, Select Medical had combined operations in 46 states and the District of Columbia and employed more than 48,000 people. For more information, visit

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Media Contact

Shelly Eckenroth, 717-920-4035 or [email protected]