Long-Term Acute Care
If you are treated with a chronic critical illness, you may need long-term acute care (LTAC) after you leave the hospital. The LTAC facility gives you the specialized care you need when you are too sick to go to a skilled nursing or rehab facility.
You may need long-term acute care if you:
- Need more time to heal in a hospital setting
- Were treated in an intensive care unit (ICU)
- Have 2 or more health issues and need to be seen by a doctor every day
Medicare also requires that patients be released to the LTAC hospital for their next level of care if they have spent 3 or more days in an ICU or were on a ventilator for more than 96 hours. The LTAC facility is a fully functioning acute care hospital. It offers the same level of care for critically ill patients as an emergency department or acute care hospital. A skilled nursing facility or rehab facility does not offer this type of care.
People who move to long-term acute care hospitals spend an average of more than 25 days. How long you stay will be based on how well you are doing and how much progress you make during your stay. Your case manager at the LTAC hospital will let you know when you are ready to leave.
What types of health issues are treated at the LTAC hospital?
- Two or more chronic health problems
- Surgical complications
- Post-intensive care syndrome
- Breathing problems that need ventilator support
- Heart disease
- Neurological (brain) issues
- Kidney failure
- Complex wound care
Will my insurance pay for my stay at the LTAC hospital?
Long-term acute care hospitals accept most forms of insurance, such as Medicare and Medi-Cal. Your Cedars-Sinai case manager will let you know what your insurance will cover.