The Right Path for Critically Ill Patients

Choosing the right care path for patients is essential to achieving optimal outcomes for both patients and providers. Without the right clinical capabilities and surrounding environment in which to recover, patients may suffer medical setbacks that impede recovery and increase costs.

Because of these considerations, knowing when and where to discharge high acuity patients is a challenging and unique case-by-case process.

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

Benefits of Long-Term Acute Care (LTAC) Hospitals: Complex, Intensive Care

Long-term acute care hospitals are in a unique position to effectively treat critically ill patients. Unlike other post-acute care settings, long-term acute care hospital patients receive physician-led care executed by an interdisciplinary team made up of nurses, therapists, dietitians, pharmacists, and other care management specialists from our payer and network partners.

The team works together to determine the best treatment options and care plan for each and every patient. Most treatment plans involve many clinical disciplines; are complex, intensive and evolving.

Long-term acute care hospitals have three key benefits:

  • As an acute care hospital, LTAC hospital costs per patient day are generally 25-34% lower than traditional hospitals.1
  • Government data shows that this type of care can reduce hospital readmissions by 26-44%.
  • They have the same licensing, accreditation and certification standards as traditional hospitals, yet offer the personalized focus of a smaller hospital.

In addition to being the appropriate setting for many critically ill patients, LTACs can provide rehabilitation services that help begin the recovery process for patients who are still receiving high-intensity medical treatment.

Critically ill patients can face a series of new or worsening impairments of physical, mental and cognitive health during their hospitalization2.

There is well-documented evidence that rehab for high-acuity patients improves a variety of clinical factors:

  • Early rehab can help shorten the time patients spend on ventilators3.
  • Improving patient access to rehabilitation consultations and treatments can result in length of stay decreases of 2.1 to 3.1 days4.
  • Patients who have gone through rehab rate their quality of life better in terms of health5.

How Kindred Can Help

We specialize in the treatment and rehabilitation of critically ill patients requiring continued intensive care, including specialized rehabilitation, in an acute hospital setting.

Our team of skilled and caring clinicians in our long-term acute care hospitals can be the right partner for you for your patients who have been in an ICU or critical care unit or who are chronically ill and readmit to the hospital frequently.

With daily physician oversight, ICU/CCU-level staffing and specially trained interdisciplinary teams, we work to improve outcomes, reduce costly readmissions and help patients transition to a lower level of care and home.

As a smaller, more niche setting, Kindred LTACs have lower overhead compared to other health systems. As the lowest cost setting per day for the critically ill, LTACs ultimately improve outcomes at a lower cost than other settings.

To learn more about how Kindred can help care for the critically ill patients within your ACO, contact us.



  1. MedPAR 2010
  2. Parker AM, et al. Early Rehabilitation in the Intensive Care Unit: Preventing Impairment of Physical and Mental Health. Current Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Reports. Dec 2013.
  3. Get Moving: Johns Hopkins Research Shows Early Mobility Better Than Bed Rest for ICU Patients. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Oct 2008.
  4. Needham DM, et al. Early Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for Patients With Acute Respiratory Failure: A Quality Improvement Project. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Oct 2009.
  5. Arias-Fernández P, et al. Rehabilitation and early mobilization in the critical patient: systematic review. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. Sept 2018.