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5 Setting Distinctions: LTACHs vs. SNFs

By Dr. Dean French, MD, CPPS

While long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs) and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) are often misunderstood as offering the same level of care, the unique expertise and resources available at LTACHs allow them to improve outcomes for medically complex patients. Below are 5 key differences between LTACH and SNF settings that impact patient recovery.





On-site physician visits at least once per day; sub-specialists available on location

On-site physician visits at least once every 30 days for the first 90 days; sub-specialists seen offsite


Approximately 1-6 patients per nurse, ratios lower in critical care units; High-acuity care provided by BLS- and ACLS-certified nurses with advanced critical care training

Approximately 10-40 patients per nurse

Respiratory Therapy

24/7 respiratory therapy in house in every location

Limited respiratory therapy in select locations


On-site services such as telemetry, radiology, pharmacy, lab, and dialysis

Radiology, pharmacy, lab, and dialysis services accessible, but not on-site

Infection Prevention

CMS-compliant infection prevention standards with hospital-level air ventilation systems and negative pressure isolation rooms

Residential-level air ventilation systems

How Kindred Hospitals Can Help

Kindred Hospitals has provided quality long-term acute care for over 30 years. 

Learn more about how Kindred improves outcomes for medically complex patients at

By Dr. Dean French, MD, CPPS