New Jersey is playing host to a growing number of long-term acute care beds, a service designed to fill the gap between standard acute care and nursing facilities. The state now has nine such hospitals, and more are planned. Nationally, there are more than 400 such hospitals currently open. These facilities, which offer no services other than extended care, target patients with serious conditions who will be hospitalized for three weeks or more. Many long-term acute care patients are on ventilators, have multiple serious conditions, or face long recoveries from major surgeries. They need care more intense than that of a nursing home-including more attention from nurses day-to-day-but aren't candidates for an ICU bed. Most of the New Jersey long-term hospitals, which typically rent space within traditional acute care hospitals, are in the 25 to 60-bed size range. Patient volume for these hospitals is expected to grow 50 percent during 2006 in the state, whose Medicare patients stay in acute care hospitals a day longer on average than patients elsewhere in the country.
To get more info on the long-term acute care trend:
- read this Bergen Record article