Selecting the Appropriate Level of Care

\"SelectingMany choices exist in the healthcare landscape, but which one is right for you or a loved one? It is very important to choose the appropriate level of care after an acute illness, complex surgery or traumatic accident. Sometimes, 24-hour medical care is required along with continuous supervision. Other times, patients require less clinical care but more rehabilitation. Each patient is different with a variety of clinical needs and recovery times.

Questions to Ask and Areas to Consider:

How do you make the correct decision? Coordinate with healthcare professionals to learn all of the facts to make the best possible decision for you and your loved one.

Consider the following factors as well:

  • Where is the best place to be to get the care needed for improved health?
  • Will the facility have the staffing and services to provide the best care?
  • Will insurance pay for the services? 

The Answers You Need

When it comes to extended recovery for adults, a few options are available. They vary in intensity of treatment, services rendered and average length of stay. The following provides more details on each level of care:

Long Term Acute Care Hospitals (LTACH) focus on medical stability of the patient. Patients appropriate for this level of care still require intensive medical care and continuous monitoring. Registered Nurses are there 24-hours a day. Doctors are also available but not present every day. The anticipated average length of stay should be 25 days or greater. Therapy is provided on an as needed basis.

Acute Rehabilitation focuses on intensive rehabilitation. These patients receive three hours of intensive rehabilitation daily, including physical, occupational and speech therapy. The average length of stay is between 10 and 18 days. Registered nurses are there 24-hours a day. Doctors see patients on a daily basis to assess progress.

Skilled Nursing Facilities or Subacute Care typically provide less intensive therapeutic interventions geared towards older patients. The aggressive therapy offered in the acute rehab setting isn’t the best fit for some seniors. The average length of stay is 20 to 25 days. A registered nurse is on site eight hours each day depending on the size of the facility. Larger centers require continuous registered nursing oversight. Doctors are required to visit once every thirty days.

Long Term Care otherwise known as custodial care provides 24-hour care for people that are no longer acutely ill. They have also maximized their rehabilitation potential and are no longer making functional gains. Treatments managing their chronic conditions or medication management are required. They are typically not able to live alone in the community.

Making the right care decision is just a matter of having the right information. The four levels of care described above are vastly different. They each focus on different aspects of care. To see more about the different levels of care, click here for our infographic, or click the button below.


More about LTACHs

LTACHs were created to serve a once underserved segment of the patient population. LTACHs provide comparable levels of care to traditional hospitals. They serve patients that need an extended period of recovery time to achieve wellness once again. Specialty Hospital of Central Jersey delivers care with a team approach, achieving patient goals over a longer course of time. Please contact us at Specialty Hospital of Central Jersey by calling 732.942.3592 or clicking here to fill out our online form.

Further reading:

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