Case Management

CMW Mentor Moment: Discharging to an LTACH

Case Management Weekly, April 8, 2009

The article below was written by Jackie Birmingham, RN, BSN, MS, CMA, and is an excerpt from HCPro’s newest resource for hospital case managers——a free online blog dedicated to connecting hospital case managers to industry pacesetters, peers, and best practices.

I recently received this question from a colleague:

Mrs. B is expected to need acute care for three to four weeks. There is a bed in a licensed Long-Term Acute Care (LTACH) hospital but the family refuses that placement, since it’s an 80-mile drive. We don’t know what to do.

This is my advice: Since the patient will get more “appropriate” care in an LTACH, the patient should be transferred. LTACH care provides acute care but is more focused on what the patient needs for beginning recovery. It traditionally has more nurse/patient hours per patient and has a focus that is more amenable to patients and specialized in specific care. Here is a Web site for a good comparison between acute care and long term care hospital.

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