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What is Post-Acute Care?

October 11, 2019 | Blog

Post-Acute Care facilities provide services to patients to regain their strength and return home. Patients receive these services after hospitalization for surgery, injury, or illness. This acts as a bridge between the hospital and the next steps to recovery. So, why choose Post-Acute Care? Well, those who choose Post-Acute Care when discharged after being hospitalized are less likely to be re-admitted to the hospital. These results are possible due to the short-term rehabilitation goals set for patients to meet before discharge. Some of the services provided at a Post-Acute Care facility include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and respiratory therapy.

Post-Acute Care plays a critical role in health care by providing services that help get patients back to good health. The main focus is to maximize the patients’ functional abilities as well as confidence in caring for themselves as independently as possible. In an article published by, MarketWatch, explains that “Nearly 40% of beneficiaries who are covered under Medicare programs have discharged from an acute care hospital to post-acute care settings such as skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) or home health.” These individuals who are discharged to a post-acute care setting are monitored closely to ensure no recurring problems arise throughout the treatment process. Here are some additional benefits of post-acute care provided by the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association (AMRPA):

  • Maximized patient health
  • Prevented subsequent medical complications
  • Lower rates of readmission to the hospital
  • More time with doctors and personal attention
  • Improved functional skills
  • Sent patients home sooner
  • Restored independence of patients
  • Promoted participation in society
Patient having physical therapy in hospital

In addition to the benefits of Post-Acute Care, there are many services it provides to patients in need to regain the level of function to get back on their normal lifestyle. Post-Acute Care comes in many forms such as:

Skilled Nursing Care 

Skilled nursing care is typically provided for rehabilitation patients that do not require long-term care services. This type of care is also referred to as post-acute care, in that it typically is provided following an emergency hospital stay. These services are provided by trained individuals like Registered Nurses (RNs) and physical, speech, and occupational therapists to those who require frequent or around-the-clock care due to a terminal illness. Some of the services in skilled nursing care include wound care, physical therapy, and monitoring of vital signs with medical equipment.

Rehabilitation Therapy

Rehabilitation therapy helps to restore strength, coordination, and mobility so the patient or resident can return to the highest level of independent functioning possible. This includes everything from physical, cognitive, emotional, psychological, social and economic functioning levels. Patients and their caregivers are educated and trained in daily living skills such as dressing, bathing, eating, and grooming. These therapeutic activities are provided to help with memory and comprehension as well as verbal and non-verbal communication skills.

Long Term Care (LTC)

Long-term care services support the needs of people living with chronic health problems that affect their ability to perform everyday activities. It also provides both medical and rehabilitative care to people with complex problems. This is accomplished by a team of medical professionals that specialize in services such as dentistry, optometry, podiatry, psychiatry, respiratory care, and wound care.

Hospice Care

Hospice care is for patients in the final phase of a terminal illness. The main focus is to provide comfort and quality of life rather than finding a cure. The services available are similar to pain management and symptom control as well as emotional and spiritual support. In these final stages of a chronic illness, the goal becomes helping patients live every day as fully as possible.

Respite Care

Respite care offers those who care for loved ones an opportunity to take time away to relieve stress, restore their energy and regain balance in their daily lives. Caregivers feel peace at mind knowing that their loved one’s medical and emotional needs are being met. All responsibilities of the caregiver are transferred to a health care professional that is trained to provide care for those with specific needs. With this in mind, respite care can be a great help to those who are looking to take time off.

Patient having physical therapy in hospital

At Atrium Health & Senior Living, a Spring Hills managed care facility, we rely on evidence-based clinical protocols for the best possible outcomes. Getting people home safely and as quickly as possible is the goal of our journey. For more information about our services and programs, contact us. 

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