Monthly Archives

January 2016

President’s Message

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Here we are once again, another year quickly passed and winter setting in. Holidays bring about a slower time to celebrate family, work, life in general and be thankful for what we have. During this time I always ask myself, how did we get here so fast, where did the time go, followed by, did I accomplish any or all my goals I set personally and professionally? I’m sure for most that’s a common theme within your work place or home as we all are busier than we used to be it seems. As I like to say, “Another day another opportunity”! The South Texas Chapter is hard at work on our calendar of events for 2016, wrapping up the final speakers and initiating the format for future events. We are excited about the future and what is being delivered to our membership. Our goals this year were to foster a more diverse offering of education, instill more fun/networking into the regional events and position the events within our membership region that allows for more of our colleagues to join us and experience the difference HFMA provides them in their careers. The Board of Directors recently met for our annual Mini-LTC in San Antonio to discuss how the chapter can better serve our membership, gauge where we are in delivering on our national and regional metrics. We identified a need for more social events involving not only your peers but your families. We see this as an integral part of…

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Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals: Can They Be Financed?

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Although long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs) have been around for some time, they have historically been lost in the shuffle by financiers. While many may compare them to a traditional skilled nursing facility (SNF), there are several key differences which make it more difficult for LTACHs to obtain long-term financing. This begs the question; are there any consistent financing options for LTACHs similar to those in the skilled nursing sector? To determine the answer, we must first understand what LTACHs are and the factors which affect their financial health. LTACH Overview According to the American Hospital Association, LTACHs furnish extended medical and rehabilitative care to individuals with clinically complex problems that need hospital-level care for relatively extended periods of time.1 The major differentiation between LTACHs and SNFs is the type of care that is provided. LTACHs, much like a typical acute care hospital, provide care for more complex medical conditions than SNFs. In 2011, Medicare recognized LTACHs for the first time. In order for LTACHs to receive reimbursement, the inpatient length of stay must be greater than 25 days. The average length of stay for an LTACH is 30 days. Typical patients require prolonged ventilator use, ongoing dialysis, intensive respiratory care or multiple IV medications or transfusions, or complex wound care. Almost all LTACHs are licensed under the same criteria as an acute care hospital. There are some states in which an LTACH can be licensed as a “specialty hospital,” but Medicare will still certify the facility as an acute…

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