Not all care settings are created equal, as acknowledged by the American Hospital Association.1 Long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs) provide the high-quality, specialized care needed to treat patients with varying high-acuity needs. This is an important differentiator for patients and their families as they become increasingly involved in the selection of their care settings.

For example, the prioritization of patient safety and satisfaction is among the top considerations in a patient’s selection process. From helping to ensure air quality to providing full service testing areas on-site, LTACHs adhere to more advanced patient safety guidelines than facilities that provide a lower level of care, such as skilled nursing facilities (SNFs).

Recognizing these differences helps address patient preferences as the shift toward consumerization within post-acute care becomes even more prevalent.

The LTACH difference

While LTACHs and SNFs are sometimes misunderstood as fulfilling a similar role, LTACHs have unique expertise in addressing patients with multiple comorbidities, making them ideal for medically complex patients. LTACHs are an important part of a hospital’s strategic planning because of their ability to provide financial benefits while significantly improving care.

Further, LTACHs have expertise in treating medically complex patients with a multidisciplinary care team of physicians who provide 24/7 oversight. This level of care can be beneficial for patient preferences, and can create potential cost savings for patients who meet the requirements.

Access to a team of clinicians with the ability to provide custom care to meet the unique needs of each patient can help reduce the risk of readmission for a health system, therefore reducing the overall cost of care for patients, as well as the hospital.

Integrating higher levels of clinical expertise into a system can offer medically complex patients the opportunity to reach a more advanced level of recovery and ultimately drive greater patient satisfaction.

Read our white paper, “Market Expansion Strategies and Trends: Benefits of LTACH Integration” to uncover additional strategies around market expansion and how your hospital can meet the growing opportunity.


  1. Nickels, T. (2020, June 24). AHA Letter on Resetting the IMPACT Act in Next COVID-19 Relief Package: AHA. Retrieved June 29, 2020, from
By Kindred Hospitals