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Long-Term Acute Care

Long-term acute care (LTAC) is a Medicare-designated level of acute care services.

LTAC is appropriate when your condition has stabilized (no longer requiring invasive testing or surgeries), yet your needs continue to be at an acute level. As such, your needs may be greater than can be addressed at home, in a skilled nursing facility, or in a rehabilitation center.

Examples of needs addressed in LTAC facilities include:

  • Ventilator and tracheostomy support
  • Complex wound care, multiple drains, or IVs requiring close observation and ongoing evaluation

An LTAC facility provides intensive nursing care in addition to rehabilitation services in order to assist in facilitating your independence.

Qualifying for long-term acute care

Your condition has stabilized but you continue to have medical needs that can only be provided in a setting with nursing and medical oversight similar to that of the hospital. Your team will collaborate with potential LTAC facilities to review your readiness for transfer.

If you are a Medicare patient, Medicare covers this level of care as a part of your overall benefit within your benefit period. Your care manager (clinical resource coordinator or social worker) will discuss this with you.

Paying for long-term acute care

  • Medicare: Medicare covers LTAC just as it would a hospital stay. Your care manager will discuss any coverage limitations with you.
  • Medicaid: Medicaid will pay for long term acute care as long as the facility is a state-contracted Medicaid provider. There may be some restrictions.
  • Commercial Insurance: Coverage varies by policy. Your care manager can help you find out what coverage you might have. You may be responsible for a co-payment.
  • No Insurance: You pay or you may be able to get assistance (such as Medicaid). A social worker can help you apply for assistance.

Arranging for long-term acute care

Your care manager will discuss with you the facilities in our region. We do not have LTAC facilities in New Hampshire or Vermont. With your consent, referrals will be made to LTAC programs that will meet your needs. You will be informed when a facility has an available bed. Your clinical resource coordinator will assist in setting up an ambulance to transport you to the facility.

Length of long-term acute care

The length of stay depends on your needs and how you progress through your individualized treatment program. Your team at the LTAC facility will work with you and your family to set goals and create a safe discharge plan.

Other information

There are no LTAC facilities in New Hampshire or Vermont. There are several LTAC facilities in Massachusetts. We encourage family members and significant others to tour the facilities. Every effort will be made to get you into the facility of your choice; however, options and available beds may be limited.

 

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