As hospitals continue to address the unmet needs of the growing medically complex patient population, many are finding great benefit in partnering with a long-term acute hospital (LTACH) provider, especially as other levels of care often come up short in providing favorable outcomes to the entire health system.

A lack of access for high-acuity patients in the post-acute care setting often leads to discharge delays from STACHs – causing detrimental outcomes for the patient and for payors. Further, a transition to a lower-level of care such as a skilled nursing facility (SNF) that cannot provide physician-led acute care can lead to costly readmissions and an unfavorable patient experience.

Two factors playing a vital role in an LTACH’s ability to offer superior outcomes include:

  1. Proper Care Setting and Physician Staffing

    LTACHs are licensed as acute care hospitals and are accredited by The Joint Commission. Patients at LTACHs benefit from onsite telemetry, diagnostic imaging and lab capabilities that reduce the need for outpatient services.

    They also receive 24/7 oversight from physicians, which could include those with subspecialties such as:
    • Pulmonology
    • Infectious diseases
    • Nephrology
    • Neurology
    Patients also receive care from a team of clinicians, customized to their needs to help ensure high-quality care is delivered and rehospitalization probability is lowered.

  2. Comprehensive Rehabilitation

    Along with ICU-level treatment, LTACHs provide the rehabilitation care necessary for lasting patient recovery. The dangers of patient immobility are becoming clearer, including their link to rehospitalization rates as studies show keeping hospital patients in bed or in a chair can increase the likelihood of muscle atrophy, blood clots and wounds.1

    LTACHs have the clinical expertise to successfully support recovery for patients who require extended ICU-level treatment. Further, patients recovering in an LTACH receive rehabilitation from interdisciplinary teams of respiratory, physical, occupational and speech therapists who have extensive training and are widely recognized for their ability to wean patients from ventilators.

An LTACH’s ability to provide an effective care setting for high-acuity patients through qualified staff, a favorable care environment and comprehensive rehabilitation therapy is why health systems are incorporating this level of care into their care continuum.

Read our whitepaper, “Addressing Medically Complex Patient Challenges: How LTACHs Help Health Systems Improve Care and Reduce Cost” to learn more about the benefits of LTACHs.


1. Ward, Lisa. The Wall Street Journal. “Hospitals Increasingly Tell Patients to Get Up and Move," 2017

By Kindred Hospitals