I’ve never had any experience with admitting patients to Long Term Acute Care (LTAC) hospitals, such as the one that Ruthie Webster is admitted to, so I did some research.
I was wrong about the Medicare payment rules for Long Term Acute Care. The patient pays a copay for the middle part of the stay, and is responsible for full payment after 90 or 100 days. (I found conflicting reports.)
Patients at these hospitals have been transferred from another hospital, after treatment in the ICU for problems such as ventilator treatment, seizures, and pressure sores. When the patient is stable, or like Mrs. Webster, has been weaned from the ventilator, they must be transferred to a lower level of care.
From the Regency Hospital Company’s website:
Typical Patients Admitted
• Long term IV therapies (three weeks or longer)
• Ventilator/Pulmonary Care
• Hemodialysis or Peritoneal Dialysis
• Post CVA
• Post Surgical
• Low Tolerance Rehabilitation
• Wound Care (Stage III & IV Decubitus)
• Complications of Infectious Process
Long Term Acute Care (LTAC) hospitals are designed to provide acute care to medically complex patients who require critical care for an extended period of time.
LTAC hospitals fill the gap between short-term acute care hospitals and subacute care nursing facilities, acute rehab or home. By focusing solely on LTAC, we help short term acute care hospitals address the economic and clinical challenges created when treating long term, acutely ill patients. Above all, Regency is your partner in providing the best possible care for your patients
Regency Hospital accepts patients who:
• Require 8-12 hours of direct nursing care per day.
• Are expected to require acute care for an extended period of time.
• Are medically stable for transfer.
• Have an ability to improve their health status.
• Will benefit from the involvement of an interdisciplinary team.
• Require daily physician visits.
There are several different companies that run LTAC facilities. One, Kindred Health Care, has a great website that explains more about these specialty hospitals.