Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals (LTAC/LTACH) coordinate and provide care to people discharged from intensive acute-care medical units. Because of our professional reputation, outstanding clinical outcomes, and convenient locations, many Whittier patients in our service areas choose to transfer to one of our dual-certified LTACs in Massachusetts. Our rehabilitation teams provide our patients with a seamless continuity of care throughout the rehabilitation journey within our two conveniently located LTACs: one in Haverhill, MA, and the other in Westborough, MA.
As tolerated, patients in the LTAC setting need ongoing care for complicated medical conditions and rehabilitation needs to prepare for discharge home or to a less-intensive environment at a different facility. Unlike those receiving care at acute hospitals such as community hospitals, LTAC patients need a longer length of stay. LTAC patients generally spend about a month in the LTAC before transferring to an environment with more moderate care — often a skilled nursing facility (SNF) — for further rehabilitation before returning home.
Whittier’s Certified LTAC facilities
In 2019, Whittier Health Network (WHN) proudly received dual certification for housing our LTAC under the same roof as our inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF), home healthcare agency, and transitional care unit. This certification was granted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under newly-amended rules governing healthcare facilities; we were one of the first providers to receive this distinction.
Additionally, Whittier Health Network is accredited by The Joint Commission: a voluntary membership demonstrating Whittier Health Network’s dedication to meeting and exceeding industry standards of care. Joint Commission-certified facilities undergo a rigorous assessment process outside mandatory annual surveys with their surveyors.
What are long-term acute care hospitals?
“LTACHs are facilities that specialize in treating patients with serious medical conditions that require care on an ongoing basis but no longer require intensive care or extensive diagnostic procedures.”
In contrast, acute care hospitals work to stabilize patients and ready them to continue recovery in a facility equipped to manage care over a more extended period.
Who needs LTAC-level care?
LTAC patients come to us from acute care facilities like community or regional hospitals where the average length of stay is brief; usually, those patients are discharged within a few days or weeks. Our LTAC patients have long-term, complex acute and chronic medical needs that cannot quickly be addressed elsewhere.
Under Medicare rules, patients must need at least 25 days of LTAC. The average LTAC stay is 30 days but may last longer.
Complex medical conditions
Complex medical needs can be acute, chronic, or a combination. Acute care is an illness or injury from which the patient is expected to recover, such as post-op care or infection. Chronic diseases are managed but not cured, such as diabetes or heart disease. Chronic conditions sometimes trigger other conditions affecting multiple body systems, often a factor in the length of inpatient hospitalization.
Whittier’s LTAC clinical teams include in-house and consulting physicians in various specialties, Registered Nurses, therapists, and support staff. LTACs have an onsite pharmacy, radiology department, and laboratory, like any community hospital. Patients receive a physician’s daily bedside visit and 24-hour nursing and respiratory care.
LTACs have superior patient outcomes
After being discharged, LTAC patients are half as likely as those in lower-level facilities to be readmitted to an acute care general hospital. Whittier’s patients experience better long-term outcomes overall.
Patients come to us with complex medical needs including:
- Prolonged ventilator use or weaning
- Ongoing dialysis for chronic renal failure
- Intensive respiratory care
- Multiple IV medications or transfusions
- Complex wound care/burn treatment
Contact one of our admission coordinators at Bradford or Westborough to discuss how Whittier’s long-term acute care hospitals can help you or your loved one regain health and independence after an injury, surgery, or other acute medical condition.
- Contact Bradford Rehabilitation Hospital
- Contact Westborough Rehabilitation Hospital
- Refer A Patient