For many years, Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals have provided excellent care to patients needing extended hospital stays. However, recent developments in the U.S. have caused a significant number of these facilities to close. Is it possible they will be soon be gone altogether? Here are the facts.
- Medicare reviewed the statistics surrounding LTACH payments and patient stays. The research resulted in some changes that have been progressively applied over the past couple of years. Because of these changes, LTACH's could receive as little as 25% of the Medicare reimbursement they previously received for typical 25-day stays.
- An LTACH is no longer the only option for complex post-acute care. Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) have been adding more comprehensive care services over the last several years. Besides certain diagnostic testing and surgery, many SNF's can provide the same level of care as an LTACH.
- Banks and finance companies are aware of recent trends and are less eager to provide funding for new LTACH's to open. So it is possible there will be few or no replacements for the facilities that are closing their doors.
Should seniors be alarmed about these changes? Aware yes, but alarmed no. The face of health care has changed several times over the past century. But advances in care ensure that quality care is still available, it is simply within a different framework. However, if you are concerned, please visit the Medicare website or speak with a social worker regarding any hospital-level care you might need.
As you are learning to deal with the changes that aging can bring, be patient with yourself, patient with your loved one, seek advice and answers to questions, and remember you are not in this alone. Contact a Caring Senior Service team member today!