Long term acute care hospitals (LTACH) provide intense treatment for patients who need at least 25 days of stay in a hospital. Long term acute care hospitals can be one of two types: a hospital within a hospital (HWH) or a standalone facility. There are more than 428 LTACHs nationwide. It used to be that the only patients you would find in a long term acute care hospital were ventilator dependent patients. Not so, anymore. These highly specialized hospitals also offer a quality care environment for wound care, ulcers, renal failure and respiratory distress patients such as those with COPD and pneumonia.
When are long term acute care hospitals considered for a patient?
Physicians typically consider transferring a patient from a short term to a long term acute care hospital when the patient doesn’t respond to treatment as expected. Common patient types transferred to long term hospitals include those:
- Who require ventilator treatment and need to be weaned from being ventilator dependent.
- With multiple admissions to hospitals with respiratory failure or COPD
- With new tracheostomy post open heart or other surgery
- With complex medical problems that result in frequent hospitalization
There are new quality reporting requirements for LTACs. More information to follow on these critical pieces of information.
How to pick a Long Term Acute Care Hospital