When you are a patient at a hospital, following an injury or critical illness, and upon discharge, you still require some additional help and care. There are several different types of facilities that can assist you. These facilities can give you the extra time, rehabilitation, and medical care needed to get back home safely. Here’s a look at some of our different types of facilities and the services we offer. Knowing the different types of available facilities will help you make the right choice when it comes to the next step in post-acute care for yourself or a loved one.
Long-Term Acute Care Hospital
A Long Term Acute Care Hospital is also known as an LTACH, which provides care for those who require more medical management and a longer length of stay. For instance, patients recovering from critical illnesses can experience organ failures that require complex medical care and rehabilitation over an extended period. LTACHs have specialized physicians, including hospitalists, intensivists, and physiatrists, as well as many consultants on staff. Patients in an LTACH are followed every day by this medical team. LTACHs provide services and care to patients with complicated medical issues, including ventilator weaning, wound care, IV therapy, or feeding tubes. It is not uncommon for patients to stay at this type of facility for several weeks to months.
Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility
Also known as IRF, these facilities offer rehabilitative and therapeutic care to patients that are regaining functions following a severe illness or injury. Patients will remain at the IRF (Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility) to receive care and intense therapy daily that helps to repair and strengthen their bodies. Patients agree to treatment and therapy, for at least 15 hours per week.
Patients who stay in an IRF can recover from a wide range of illnesses or injuries, including joint replacements, brain injuries, strokes, and neurological disorders. A patient’s time at an IRF will depend on the care and therapy that is needed. Their stay usually ranges from 2 to three weeks in duration.
Skilled Nursing Facility
Also known as SNF, these facilities can provide care for patients when they leave the hospital. Skilled nursing homes are an excellent choice for patients who still require additional rehabilitation to meet their goals and return needs, including getting bathed, dressed, and using the bathroom. Skilled nursing homes provide medical care for patients who have suffered from a stroke, heart attack, sepsis, infections, joint replacements, and more.
Differences in LTACHs, IRFs, and SNFs
There are several variations between these three types of facilities.:
- Levels of therapy that are served: Both an LTACH and an IRF can offer intense levels of therapy services. IRF regulations require that the patient participates in 3 hours of intense therapy at least five days a week or 900 minutes of therapy over seven days. In an LTACH, the patients are much more medically complex; thus, they participate in an amount of treatment that they can physically tolerate. The same holds for the SNF’s. There is therapy provided, but it is not as intense as the rehabilitation centers.
- Medical care complexity: The complex medical care offered at LTACHs and IRF is n home, but do not need intensive medical care. Skilled nursing homes provide help with daily hospital-level care. When a patient becomes medically stable; however, it still requires rehabilitation before he/she can return home, then they are transferred to a skilled nursing facility to continue their care.
- Cost: LTACHs and IRFs have their doctors in-house and will see the physician daily. Skilled nursing facilities rely more on nursing staff and therapists. Thus, the cost of care, due to the patients’ medical complexity, in LTACHs and IRFs is higher than that of a skilled nursing facility. Skilled nursing facilities are cost-effective due to private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid.
- Staffing: LTACHs and IRFs have a dedicated team of physicians on staff who care for hospital-level patients daily. At a SNF, the physician or nurse practitioner may visit the patient a few times per week.
Post-Acute Medical for Your Rehabilitation
When you need to decide on a care facility for yourself or someone in your family, Whittier’s post-acute medical continuum of care is just a click or phone call away. Our admissions team is highly trained in finding the perfect level of care for rehabilitation and medical care. Our friendly and helpful staff will make a big difference when it comes to your healthcare and needs. From the moment you enter our doors, you will be treated as part of our Whittier Family.
Have questions or concerns? Please feel free to contact us or request a referral. We can also offer you a privately scheduled tour.