What is an LTACH (pronounced l-tac)?
An LTACH is a long-term acute care hospital that provides medical treatment for patients requiring continuation of intensive medical care after they have been stabilized in a general hospital.  Because of the complexity of the patient’s condition, they still require daily physician-directed care.

How are LTACHs different from short-term acute care hospitals or skilled nursing facilities?
LTACHs specialize in providing intensive medical services to patients with medically complex conditions.  Short-term acute care hospitals focus on stabilizing a patient’s medical condition after an emergent or acute event.  Skilled nursing facilities provide care after hospitalization but are typically not equipped or staffed to provide the intensive level of care that medically complex patients require.

What types of health care professionals care for patients in an LTACH?
Physicians on our medical staff lead the treatment team are board certified in a variety of medical specialties, including pulmonology, critical care medicine, internal medicine, cardiology, nephrology and gastrointestinal medicine.  Patients have around-the-clock access to physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, dietitians, case managers and other members of their treatment team.

What types of patients are appropriate for Atrium Medical Center?
While we care for patients with a wide range of medical issues, patients that may be eligible for admission include:
  • Patients with multiple system failures 
  • Patients dependent on a ventilator who can be successfully weaned 
  • Patients in need of intensive wound care 
  • Patients too medically unstable for transfer to a skilled nursing facility 
  • Patients in the intensive care unit or on medical/surgical floors who have exceeded their length of stay in a short-term acute care hospital and still require a high acuity level of care
What are the benefits of referring to a long-term acute care hospital?
The benefits to patients include reduced lengths of stay in the short-term acute care hospital, less patient readmissions and an increased rate of discharges home. LTACHs provide a safety net for the most vulnerable patients, assuring that a hospital level of care will be maintained when required. At the same time, LTACHs help short-term acute care hospitals realize financial and other operational benefits by permitting them to shorten their average lengths of stay and optimize patient access to emergency departments and intensive care units.