Why LTAC Hospitals are sometimes the Proper Alternative for Critically Unwell Sufferers

Selecting the care path for critically in poor health sufferers is crucial to attaining optimum outcomes for each sufferers and suppliers. For sufferers, with out the fitting medical capabilities and surrounding atmosphere wherein to get well, they might endure medical setbacks that impede restoration. For suppliers, equivalent to hospitals, main penalties (together with intensive fines) will be incurred attributable to sufferers readmitting after discharge.

All of those issues make realizing when and the place to discharge excessive acuity sufferers a difficult and distinctive, case-by-case course of.

On this whitepaper, we define the medical capabilities that distinguish two post-acute care (PAC) settings and assess essentially the most applicable affected person sorts for every to assist ship higher outcomes for chronically, critically in poor health sufferers and suppliers alike.

Advantages of Lengthy-Time period Acute Care (LTAC) Hospitals: Complicated, Intensive Care

Lengthy-term acute care hospitals are in a singular place to successfully deal with
critically in poor health sufferers. Not like different post-acute settings, long-term acute
care hospitals will help sufferers who must see a doctor or a number of
specialty physicians day-after-day. These specialists coordinate care with an
interdisciplinary workforce made up of nurses, therapists, dietitians, pharmacists
and different specialists.

These specialists work collectively to find out the very best remedy choices and care plan for each affected person. Most remedy plans contain many medical disciplines, are complicated, intensive, and evolving, and should require a size of keep measured in weeks.

Lengthy-term acute care hospitals have three key advantages:

  • They’ve the identical licensing, accreditation, and certification requirements as conventional hospitals, but supply the personalised focus of a smaller hospital.
  • Authorities knowledge reveals that this kind of care can cut back hospital readmissions by 26-44%.1
  • As an acute-care hospital, LTAC hospitals prices per-patient-day are usually 25-34% decrease than conventional hospitals.2

A Rising Want for LTAC Hospitals

America’s growing older inhabitants is now affected by way more continual and significant sicknesses, and the development is barely worsening. By 2030, about 40% of individuals aged 65 and older will endure from three or extra continual situations.3 That is making a surge in demand for PAC services which can be in a position to efficiently deal with these critically in poor health sufferers.

By 2030, about 40% of people aged 65 and older will suffer from three or more chronic conditions

Compounding this want is the current strain from the Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Providers to lower rehospitalizations. CMS is bolstering their value-based buying program, which reduces funds to suppliers with overly excessive readmission charges.4 These shifts in laws and the related penalties are pushing suppliers to try for the very best affected person outcomes and to decide on post-acute care remedy settings which can be essentially the most clinically efficient.

Whereas LTAC hospitals present look after a really high-acuity, area of interest affected person inhabitants, they play an important function in attaining extra environment friendly restoration of sufferers who’ve a excessive danger of readmission attributable to their medical complexity. By transitioning these difficult sufferers to a LTAC hospital, when IT is essentially the most applicable website of care for his or her wants, a good portion of monetary losses for short-term suppliers will be averted.

LTAC Hospital Experience in Pulmonary Sufferers

LTAC hospitals are in a singular place to look after complicated pulmonary sufferers as a result of they supply acute-level care to critically in poor health sufferers, with a specific competency for these with pulmonary points. Additional, many pulmonary sufferers have a number of comorbidities, that means they might profit from seeing a doctor or a number of specialty physicians day-after-day, one thing LTAC hospitals supply. To help on this pulmonary experience, most LTAC hospitals supply 24/7 respiratory protection. IT is vital for suppliers and physicians to determine post-acute companions who can present knowledgeable look after complicated pulmonary sufferers to assist cut back readmissions and keep away from penalties.

Variations between SNFs and LTACHs:

Expert Nursing Amenities are sometimes an applicable setting for sufferers who’ve prolonged medical wants that can’t be cared for in a decrease degree of care, equivalent to at dwelling. These services are best suited for sufferers who are usually not in a important stage of sickness as they provide doctor or doctor–prolonged visits on a weekly or as-needed foundation.

SNFs are most applicable for sufferers, typically medically secure, who require 24-hour nursing care and an interdisciplinary method to care delivered by remedy and nursing workers, moderately than a workforce of physicians. Tremendous SNFs are nursing facilities with expanded capabilities, in a position to accommodate extra clinically-complex sufferers.5 However, they continue to be targeted on offering therapies to sufferers who’re not important and are prepared to start a rehab program, so the identical key medical parts of complete acute-level care provided in LTAC hospital are usually not as available.

With increasingly of the older inhabitants all for growing older at dwelling, many SNFs are trying to develop past their standard choices. SNFs across the nation are exploring choices like palliative care, expanded residential lodging, and dependancy restoration providers to raised join with a bigger affected person demographic.

As many as 25% of SNF patients require rehospitalization, indicating that when SNF patients are in need of acute-level care, a short- or long-term hospital is a more appropriate setting

What About Tremendous SNFs?

Tremendous SNFs are nursing facilities with expanded capabilities, in a position to accommodate extra clinically-complex sufferers.5 These services are geared up with specialists and superior medical applied sciences not usually obtainable in a typical SNF. However, they continue to be targeted on offering therapies to sufferers who’re not important and are prepared to start a rehab program, so the identical key medical parts of complete acute-level care provided in LTAC hospital are usually not as available.  

Evaluating Ranges of Care

To higher perceive the degrees of care provided by various kinds of post-acute services, confer with this comparability chart:

Develop Chart

Comparing Levels of Care Chart

Ranges of Care


Lengthy-Time period Acute Care Hospitals Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility or Acute Rehabilitation Models Expert Nursing Amenities/Transitional Care Models
License/Certification Similar to and licensed, accredited and
licensed as an acute care hospital (med/surg flooring,
telemetry and ICU)
Licensed as inpatient hospitals or distinct rehabilitation models
inside a hospital
Licensed as a talented nursing facility
Doctor Involvement Each day doctor visits Each day doctor visits Doctor or a non-physician skilled (NP, PA, medical
nurse specialist) visits regularly, not every day
Nursing 24-hour nursing care; evaluation, planning,
implementing, evaluating of: VS, IVFs/antibiotics/
drips, important labs and diagnostics, respiratory and
cardiac tools, catheter, trach, NG care
Obtain specialised coaching in rehab nursing; 24-hour nursing
care; intervention, evaluation, monitoring of: VS, IVFs/
antibiotics, ostomy, catheter, trach, NG care; routine labs and
diagnostics and respiratory tools
24-hour nursing care; intervention, evaluation, monitoring of:
VS, IVFs/antibiotics, ostomy, catheter, trach, NG care; routine
labs and diagnostics and respiratory tools
Rehab Remedy PT/OT/ST obtainable. Participation in remedy
varies attributable to stability of medical situation.
No minimal degree of remedy participation required
for admission. Remedy depth typically ramped up
throughout course of care as affected person situation improves.
PT/OT/ST obtainable. All sufferers in a position to take part in remedy
three hrs/day, fve days every week or 15 hours over seven days.
Requires the providers of a minimal of two remedy disciplines
(PT & OT, PT & ST). Degree of rehab providers supplied in an
IRF is extra intense than different ranges of post-acute care.
PT/OT/ST obtainable. Participation varies based mostly on medical wants
and practical potential. Kind and quantity of remedy based mostly on
affected person situation and medical wants. Affected person prognosis varies.
When doable, purpose is to return affected person to prior residing setting
however expectation that affected person will return dwelling or to neighborhood
setting not required for admission.
Staff Remedy Interdisciplinary care method between doctor,
nursing, remedy, respiratory, pharmacy and
vitamin providers to facilitate therapeutic and restoration
Interdisciplinary method between doctor, remedy workforce,
and nursing to facilitate restoration; physician-led weekly workforce
conferences required.
Interdisciplinary method between remedy and nursing to
facilitate restoration
Ancillary Providers Providers on website: pharmacy, lab, radiology,
process rooms
Providers on website: pharmacy, lab, radiology Providers available as ship outs, however not on website:
pharmacy advisor, lab, radiology
Affected person Traits Focuses on sufferers not assembly acute med/surg
hospital medical milestones rapidly. Sufferers most
typically transition from the intensive or important care
unit of a short-term hospital for continued, acutelevel care.

Widespread admission affected person description:

  • Extended mechanical air flow requiring
    weaning and pulmonary care
  • Complicated wound care
  • A number of resistant infections
  • Complicated medical points requiring every day
    doctor administration
  • Main post-surgical issues
  • A number of concurrent acute and/or
    unstable sicknesses

Affected person’s practical prognosis is sweet with the purpose that they
will return to dwelling or a community-based setting.

Affected person demonstrates ample endurance and potential to
take part in a rehab program and make important beneficial properties in
practical capabilities.

Widespread admission affected person description:

  • Stroke or different neurologic dysfunction
  • A number of main trauma to mind, spinal wire, or amputation
  • Burns
  • Arthritic and ache syndromes
  • Orthopedic fracture or bilateral joint substitute
  • Medically complicated sufferers equivalent to these with CHF, COPD, or different cardiac situations which have good endurance and potential for important practical beneficial properties

Widespread admission affected person description:

  • Medically complicated sufferers equivalent to these with CHF,
    COPD and diabetes exacerbation requiring monitoring,
  • Wound care > stage 2
  • Orthopedic surgical procedure, surgical procedure with minor issues
    or stroke requiring mobility and exercise of every day residing
    restoration (tolerates lower than three hrs remedy/day)
  • Infections requiring ongoing IV antibiotics
  • Neurological sicknesses

Notice: A few of Kindred’s Transitional Care Hospitals comprise
Subacute Expert Models that present a talented degree of remedy for
sufferers with greater acuity wants

How Kindred Healthcare Can Assist

We specialize within the remedy and rehabilitation of the post-intensive care and sophisticated medical affected person requiring continued intensive care, together with specialised rehabilitation, in an acute hospital setting.

Our workforce of expert and caring clinicians in our long-term acute care hospitals will be the fitting accomplice for you on your sufferers who’ve been in an ICU, important care unit or who’re chronically in poor health and readmit to the hospital regularly. We’ve confirmed success in treating sufferers with pulmonary illness and respiratory failure, together with an extended historical past of liberating sufferers from mechanical air flow and synthetic airways.

With every day doctor oversight, ICU/CCU-level staffing, 24/7 respiratory protection and specifically educated interdisciplinary groups, we work to enhance outcomes, cut back pricey readmissions, and assist sufferers transition to a decrease degree of care.

You probably have a critically in poor health affected person in want of care after a hospital keep, name a Kindred Medical Liaison for a affected person evaluation. Our specialists will allow you to decide whether or not an LTAC keep is suitable on your affected person. If you’re not sure of who your Kindred consultant is, please be at liberty to contact us and communicate with a Registered Nurse who can help.


  1. MedPAC 2004; RTI 2012.
  2. MedPAR 2010
  3. Doug Irving. Continual Situations in America: Value and Prevalence. RAND Company. Jul 2017. https://www.rand.org/weblog/rand-review/2017/07/chronic-conditions-in-america-price-andprevalence.html 
  4. Hospital Readmissions Discount Program (HRRP). Facilities for Medicare & Medicaid Providers. Jan 2019. https://www.cms.gov/medicare/medicare-fee-for-service-payment/acuteinpatientpps/readmissions-reduction-program.html
  5. Melissa Okay. Palardy. The Rise of Tremendous SNFs and Their Affect on Lengthy-Time period Care. PatientPing. Jan 2018. http://weblog.patientping.com/the-rise-of-super-snfs-and-their-impact-on-long-term-carefacilities

By Sean R. Muldoon, MD, MPH, FCCP, Chief Medical Officer, Kindred Hospitals

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