What is LTAC?
A long-term acute care facility is a specialty-care hospital, which is designed for patients with serious medical problems requiring intense, special treatment for an extended period of time usually 20 to 30 days.
LTACs offer more individualized and resource-intensive care than a skilled nursing facility, nursing home or acute rehabilitation facility. Patients are typically transferred into a long-term acute care hospital from the intensive care unit of a traditional hospital. Because they no longer require intensive diagnostic procedures offered by a traditional facility.
LTAC appropriate patients have primary medical or respiratory complexity that requires daily intervention by a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant. (i.e. hyperalimentation, IV therapy, hemodialysis, daily labs, etc.).
Type of Stay
The patient usually has three to six concurrent active diagnoses and an acute episode on top of several chronic illnesses and co-morbidities that cannot be treated. The patient has multiple acute complexities as determined by a physician assessment and subsequent documentation requiring daily physician intervention.
Primary conditions under this category include chronic renal insufficiency, gastrointestinal conditions, and malignant/end-stage disease or necrotizing pancreatitis. Patients must also require active management/treatment of two co-morbid conditions (i.e.: AMS, CHF, COPD, Diabetes, DVT, hepatic insufficiency/ encephalopathy, infection, malignant/end-stage disease, malnutrition, renal insufficiency, extensive wound care, etc.).
Pulmonary services or vent weaning Wound care
Comprehensive rehabilitation services Pain management
Head trauma treatment
How Long Does Medicare pay for LTAC?
Under Medicare, the patient is responsible for one deductible for any benefit period. A benefit period begins the day the patient is admitted to a hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF). It ends when the patient has not received inpatient care in a hospital or SNF for 60 days in a row. This applies whether you’re in an acute care hospital or an LTAC. You may choose the LTAC hospital of your choice.
The patient does not have to pay a second deductible in an LTAC if:
1. The patient transferred to an LTAC directly from an acute care hospital, or
2. The patient admitted to an LTAC within 60 days of being discharged from an inpatient hospital stay
However, if the patient admitted directly to the LTCH more than 60 days after any previous hospital stay. The patient pays the same deductibles and co-insurance as if being admitted to an acute care hospital.
Note: Please visit www.seniorvantage.com to see a full list of long-term acute care facilities.