Common Questions About Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals

patient in a hospitalCommunity hospitals and nursing homes are well-known medical facilities in the U.S., but not much information is available about long-term acute care (LTAC) hospitals. According to a 2014 New York Times article, there are only 400 LTAC hospitals across the U.S. and many doctors don’t even know they exist.

The lack of information about LTAC hospitals breeds questions among patients and their families when their physicians recommend a transfer to one. Below are some of the questions you may have:

For whom are long-term acute care hospitals?

The evolution of medical practices made prolonging people’s lives possible. Still, like what Landmark Hospital Salt Lake City states, some patients require intensive medical care even after their condition has stabilized in a general hospital.

Patients who underwent serious surgeries, those who are dependent on respirators for the rest of their lives, and people with chronic critical illnesses—they are usually the patients in LTAC hospitals.

What’s the difference between long-term acute care hospitals and general hospitals?

Long-term acute care hospitals admit patients for an average of 4 to 5 days. General hospitals are usually for short-term treatments like health examinations, births, or injury treatment.

In LTAC hospitals, the average stay is 25 to 30 days. It is done so patients can receive the post-surgery medical assistance they need until they’re well enough to recover fully.

What are the benefits of long-term acute care hospitals?

LTAC hospitals provide specialized care for patients who need it. Often, these people are those who can’t stay in general hospitals but are too sick for nursing homes. This is where LTAC hospitals will be most beneficial.

In LTAC hospitals, doctors visit patients every day to evaluate their health. The facilities are furnished with medical equipment and room design specifically for patients with different medical needs. This way, they receive the care they need to hasten their recovery.