Long-term acute care hospitals have played a critical role during the COVID-19 public health emergency, partnering with short-term acute care hospitals to deliver necessary hospital-level services for high-acuity patients with or recovering from the virus, according to a new report by ATI Advisory.

“Because LTAC hospitals are licensed acute hospitals, the clinical capabilities required to handle a range of clinically complex patient needs are already embedded within their settings, such as advanced infection protocols, [personal protective equipment] resources, training, and specialty respiratory care,” the report notes. “This level of expertise has enabled LTAC hospitals to flex with the capacity needs of their local partner STACHs. Importantly, the coordination and efficient partnerships that have formed between STACHs and LTAC hospitals were enabled by regulatory and prior authorization waivers, which removed barriers to care and facilitated less complicated transitions of critically ill patients from STACHs to these hospitals.”
 

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