What Is Post-Acute Medical Care and What Are the Benefits?

Historically, hospitals focused on treating patients and discharging them once they were well enough to go back home. This model has always worked for hospitals, as they have very little control over what happens after the patient is discharged.

However, insurance companies are trying to disrupt this model by declining to pay for any readmissions that happen within a specified duration after a patient is discharged.

This shifts the risk to the hospitals. If a patient is readmitted in a hospital within the specified period, the hospitals have to settle the bill for the second admission. To balance the scales, hospitals have implemented interventions to reduce readmissions.

One of the most successful intervention is partnering with post-acute medical care institutions. In the US, there are over 3,300 post-acute care facilities. Such institutions are set up to provide the necessary care to help the patient recover.

The long-term care of patients after a serious injury involves lots of questions and difficult decisions. Learn about post-acute medical care and its benefits here.

What Is Post-Acute Medical Care?

It’s not uncommon to hear families and loved ones ask what is post-acute care, especially in hospitals. If you have ever been hospitalized, you have probably heard the doctors say that you will be transferred to a post-acute care facility. So what is post-acute care?

Post-acute care includes any rehabilitation services that a beneficiary receives after being discharged from an acute care facility. What is acute care? These are services that you receive while in a treatment center such as a hospital.

Post-acute care includes; home health agencies, inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities. A good example of a post-acute medical care facility is Kindred healthcare, whose CEO and President is Benjamin Breier.

Types of Post-Acute Care

Times have changed unlike years ago when patients could take as long as they required to completely recover. Insurance policies are now advocating for less time spent in hospitals.

This has resulted in hospitals coming up with new ways to provide better care for their patients. Such methods include post-acute care services which are offered by home health care aides, nursing homes, etc.

Common types of post-acute care include:

Physical Therapy

If you have ever been involved in an accident that required major surgery, you probably know the importance or physical therapy. For those who don’t, physical therapy helps to increase strength, mobility, and range of motion.

The main goal of physical therapy is to help the patient regain his/her former abilities. It is a common requirement for patients who have undergone hip surgery or patients recovering from spinal cord injury, stroke, etc. Rehabilitative methods to regain pre-illness abilities include manual therapy, biofeedback, active resistance training.

Speech Therapy

This is often associated with kids who are learning how to pronounce and say words correctly. It is also useful in treating patients who are recovering from a stroke, brain injury, neurological disorders.

Speech therapy helps patients to communicate, exercise volume control and learn how to choose words. It is also useful when treating patients with dementia. It helps patients suffering from dementia with cognition, reading, and writing.

Occupational Therapy

The next few months after major surgery or an accident are always the hardest. It becomes almost impossible to complete tasks on your own. It could be something as simple as dressing to a more complex task such as preparing a meal.

With the help of occupational therapy, you can learn how to perform daily routines. It’s also said to improve cognitive limitations, strength, and mobility in patients with neurological disorders. Occupational therapy involves the use of adaptive equipment to help patients perform daily activities with relative ease.

What Are the Benefits of Post-Acute Care?

Post-acute care facilities employ the use of innovative therapy to hasten the recovery process. They also involve the families and friends of the patient in every step of the recovery process. This helps the facilities learn more about the patient and figure out the best way to ease to treat the patient.

Post-acute facilities liaise with hospitals to provide the patient with the best rehabilitation services. They also monitor any changes in condition or complications that could arise.
Post-acute care professionals make it easy for discharged patients to transition back to everyday life.

What Is the Difference Between Long-Term Care and Post-Acute Care?

Post-acute care are services that are provided to patients after they are discharged. It helps them transition from hospital life to everyday life. This type of care can either be long term or short term. It is main focus is managing chronic symptoms, rehabilitation, restoring function and recovery.

On the other hand, long-term care focuses more on assistance in daily living, medication management, and patient comfort.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why can’t I recover at a short term hospital?

A: You can only recover in a hospital if your injuries are minor and there is very little chance of complications. However, if a quick recovery is not possible, you will be transferred to a post-acute care facility. While here, you will recover and regain your pre-illness strength.

Q: Will the physician remain the same even after a transfer to a post-acute care facility?

A: Although physicians are encouraged to follow up with their patients, it’s more of a courtesy than a requirement. If the physician doesn’t happen, you can always seek the services of the post-acute care physicians.

Q: Is there a limit on the number of people that can visit a patient?

A: Most institutions do not have any guidelines regarding the number of visitors. You can get as many visitors as you want especially if there is a common area outside.

Q: Who decides when the patient can leave?

A: The decision rests on your decision makers; your therapist, physician and family members.

Embrace Post-Acute Medical Care

There have been varying debates on the importance of post-acute medical care to the healthcare industry. But as it stands, the benefits far outweigh the downsides.

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