Subacute care falls between acute care and long-term care, but it is so integral to long-term care that we are including it as a long-term care provider type. It is the following:
Comprehensive inpatient care
Goal-oriented treatment rendered immediately after, or instead of, acute hospitalization
Treating one or more specific active complex medical conditions or to administer one or more technically complex treatments
Subacute care is provided in special units in either hospitals or nursing facilities, or in freestanding units. Increasingly, subacute care services are owned and operated by corporate chains.
Services Provided in Subacute Care Units
Most subacute care units specialize in either medical subacute care or rehabilitation subacute care. Typical services provided might include the following:
Physical and occupational therapy
Total parenteral nutrition
Complex medical care
Other specialty care
Care Planning and Case Management
While other long-term care providers engage in care planning, in subacute care it is particularly important because the consumer is usually there for a relatively short time and will require follow-up care.
Subacute care units are also likely to engage in case management. The difference between care planning and case management is that care planning focuses on providing the right services to ensure the quality of care. Case management, on the other hand, is more concerned with providing care in the most cost-effective manner. Case managers may be employed by the subacute care unit, or by the payer organization, particularly if it is a managed care organization.
Consumers of Subacute Care
Consumers of subacute care usually require these services following hospitalization, although some may go there in lieu of hospital care. They need short-term skilled care, such as rehabilitation or monitoring.
In a one to two page essay, define both subacute and post-acute care, including the following:
What they are
Who they serve
Where they fit in the continuum of care
Why they have developed
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