Older patients with complex care needs often require a diverse array of services to treat major health episodes, manage chronic disease, and maintain independent, healthy living. While many patients receive care in the physician’s office or inpatient hospital settings, a variety of other settings are available to patients who need certain specialized follow-up care. This care is provided in different settings, for example, long-term acute-care hospitals (LTACHs), inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), and at home through home health agencies (HHAs). Collectively these services are described as post-acute care (PAC) and they support patients who require ongoing medical management, therapeutic, rehabilitative or skilled nursing care.
Articles in Category: Post-Acute Care
Rehabilitation programs can be extremely beneficial to improve mobility, balance, and strength after any type of illness or injury. For older adults who experience chronic pain and that have complex medical conditions, rehabilitation can impact how well they can get around. Rehabilitation can also include both occupational therapy and speech therapy. Occupational therapy helps make activities of daily living easier, while speech therapy helps older adults learn to communicate effectively. Proper rehabilitation and routine follow-up can help older adults regain or maintain their independence.
Health systems are challenged with reevaluating transitional care practices, to reduce 30-day readmission rates, prevent adverse events, and ensure a safe transition of patients. Care transitions entail moving patients between health care practitioners and settings as their conditions and care needs change during the course of a chronic or acute illness. The settings involved in care transitions include hospitals, nursing facilities, the patient’s home, rehabilitation facilities, home health agencies, primary and specialty care offices, community health centers, community-based settings, hospice, long-term care facilities, and others. Better care transitions have the potential to reduce readmissions—the “back and forth” movement of a patient between these settings and the instability, anxiety, and risks to health this may cause.