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  • What is Long-Term Acute Care?

    Long-term acute care (LTAC) is the type of care provided in Kindred Transitional Care Hospitals. More than 20 years ago, Kindred helped to pioneer the long-term acute model of care. Today, Kindred has a nationwide network of transitional care hospitals unique in their ability to care for medically complex patients who benefit from extended recovery time.

    Our patients receive this much needed care through treatment delivered according to their individual needs. Our board-certified physicians see patients daily to assure the best outcomes possible. The majority of our patients are admitted after a stay in a short-term hospital, often from intensive care and step-down units. Kindred Hospitals specialize in caring for patients with:

    • an average length of stay of 25-30 days
    • three to six concurrent active diagnoses and an acute episode on top of several chronic illnesses and co-morbidities that cannot be treated effectively at an alternative level of care
    • multiple acute complexities as determined by a physician assessment and subsequent documentation requiring daily physician intervention

    What Is a Transitional Care Hospital?

    Transitional care hospitals (certified as long-term acute care hospitals) are unique in their ability to care for difficult to treat, chronically critically ill patients who require specialized and aggressive goal-directed care over an extended recovery period. Typical patients have multiple co-morbidities, multi organ system failure, and significant loss of independence, most following a traditional hospital stay.

    Transitional care hospitals are licensed as acute care hospitals with additional Medicare certification that supports a length of stay measured in weeks (more than 25 days on average for Medicare patients) as compared to the typical five day stay for patients in traditional hospitals. We are consequently unique in our ability to care for critically ill patients who require specialized, aggressive, goal-directed care over an extended recovery period. Transitional care hospitals provide long-term acute care (LTAC) to complex medically complex patients who require an extended stay in a hospital setting.

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    When a family is trying to decide which post-acute care setting a family member should go to — a nursing home, a transitional care hospital, or a rehabilitation center — there is one basic question: Does the patient’s care need to be directed by a physician (in a transitional care hospital), by a nurse (in a nursing facility), or by a rehabilitation team (in a rehabilitation hospital)? If a patient needs a doctor every day — one who is available at all times — the patient needs to be in a transitional care hospital for long-term acute care.

    Our long-term acute care patients come from a variety of healthcare settings, but about 95% come from short-term acute care hospitals. Our patients have a large variety of complicated medical conditions, occurring at the same time. Those patients usually end up in a short-term acute care hospital before they come to Kindred.

    Kindred Hospitals have licensure, accreditation and certification to the same standard as any community or university hospital.

    An Interdisciplinary Team Approach to Care

    The interdisciplinary team is made up of clinicians who have a responsibility in the patient's recovery. It's led by the attending physician and includes nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, as well as physical therapists. These seven or eight people set goals, mark progress and coordinate the care so the patient’s outcome can be as good as it possibly can be.

    Our patients are as sick as patients in short-term acute care hospitals. However, our goals are different: In the short-term acute care hospitals, the goal is to stabilize the patient day-to-day. In the transitional care hospitals, the interdisciplinary team's job is to identify the medical conditions, formulate a treatment plan, set reasonable goals and coordinate everyone's interests around meeting those goals. Those goals are not simply to get the patient through the night, but to work toward improvement over the long term.

    When a Kindred Transitional Care Hospital Is the Right Choice

    The fundamental question is, "Is the best place for me as a patient in a hospital where people like me make up only one or two percent of the patients? Or is it in a place that is filled with people just like me, with a large burden of illness with a lot of complexity?" At transitional care hospitals, the staff can look at their patients or loved ones and say, "I recognize this type of patient, I know what to do, I know how they're different, how they're unique, and how they're special."

    This is what we do. We can provide for our patients and their loved ones what they need: hope, healing and recovery.

    Licenses and Certifications

    • Transitional care hospitals are licensed as acute care or specialty hospitals
    • Transitional care hospitals are certified by Medicare as long-term care hospitals
    • Transitional care hospitals are reimbursed by Medicare under a PPS/DRG system
    • The Joint Commission is the accrediting agency for transitional care hospitals

    Patient Services

    • daily physician visits
    • nursing
    • respiratory therapy
    • physical, occupational and speech-language therapies
    • nutritional therapy
    • case management and social services
    • laboratory, radiology and pharmacy
    • telemetry
    • dialysis
    • pain management
    • family interventions
    • end-of-life care
  • 2012 Kindred Healthcare Hospital Division Annual Nursing Report

    Our 2012 Hospital Division Nursing Report highlights our ongoing commitment to our greatest resource – our caregivers. At Kindred, we are proud of the high quality care delivered daily in our transitional care hospitals. In order to facilitate the continued trend of performance excellence and improved value for the patients and residents we serve, we remain committed to providing the best environment in which to work, and opportunities for professional and leadership development. To read the report, click here .

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