A transitional care center (called “sub-acute inpatient care” by those in the medical field) is a place where patients receive therapy and other rehabilitation services before transitioning from the hospital back home after an extended stay. Whether the stay followed a long illness, surgery, an injury or auto accident, or other significant health event does not matter: generally, people who have experienced any of these health issues need time to rest, recuperate, restore function, and recover before returning home.
According to a recent post from McKnight’s Long Term Care News, major healthcare providers are increasingly interested in opening these “bridge” facilities. In the article, Kindred Healthcare, the “largest diversified provider of post-acute care services in the United States,” shares their plans to open two new centers by 2014.
The centers represent a future where acute care settings such as these will either be considered competition for, or partners with, other long-term care facilities and hospitals in general, per the piece.
For some, it represents a necessary link the continuum of care chain. As Paul J. Diaz, Kindred’s CEO, says in the article, the opening of these centers is a response “to the growing interest among patients, physicians, hospital systems and public and private payers for high-quality, patient-centered integrated care.”
Your turn: What do you think? Do we need transitional care centers, or should we be improving other aspects of the care continuum?