What is an LTACH?
An LTACH (long term acute care hospital) is a fully licensed independent hospital that meets the same stringent federal and state regulations as any hospital.
Most LTACHs employ the “hospital-within-a-hospital” model, including Specialty Hospital of Central Jersey in affiliation with Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus. Under this model, Specialty Hospital of Central Jersey leases a medical/surgical unit at Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus, and operates a separate long term acute care hospital that exclusively serves extended stay acutely ill patients. Additionally, laboratory, radiology and other ancillary services are performed through the host hospital.
Specialty Hospital provides an optimal setting to discharge patients who would have had extended stays in the host hospital because they are too sick or their medical needs too complex to be transferred to another facility. Specialty Hospital serves as a “step-down” unit for patients who require intensive nursing care, continuous cardiac telemetry monitoring and ventilator support.
Is there any clinical benefit for me to transfer patients who I anticipate will have an extended stay from either the intensive care unit or a medical/surgical unit?
Yes, Specialty Hospital of Central Jersey’s interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, therapists, nutritionists, social workers and case managers creates an integrated plan of care that is individually tailored for patients with expected lengths-of-stay of one to two months.
After patients are discharged, what’s next along the continuum of care?
Following a comprehensive evaluation by members of our clinical team in consultation with you and their other physicians, Specialty Hospital of Central Jersey patients have the same discharge options as any hospitalized patient — they can return home with or without visiting nurse or health services, or be placed in an acute or subacute rehabilitation facility, or in a long term skilled nursing center.
What assurances are there about the quality of care my patients can expect to receive?
We have assembled a highly qualified team of nurses and other health care professionals to provide the level of care that you can expect at any top-notch hospital. Much of our success in improving patient outcomes is the result of a high nurse-to-patient ratio — one licensed professional to every four or five patients — and the fact that our caregivers get to know our patients and their family members over their extended hospital stay.
Additionally, many of our nurses possess critical care experience or are concurrently working in high-acuity care units in various area hospitals. These nurses are certified in advanced cardiac life support or are pursuing certification within their first year of hire. Respiratory therapists who provide hands-on dedicated care are full-time members of our staff.
A code or rapidly evolving medical emergency is handled by nurses, respiratory therapists and responding physicians in the same manner and with the same urgency as any emergency at Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus.
What should I know about reimbursement for patients at Specialty Hospital?
Since Specialty Hospital of Central Jersey is an acute care hospital, physicians who see patients in these LTACHs bill at hospital level of reimbursement and may round on patients and bill for daily visits. Physicians across the country have had no issues in obtaining physician reimbursement from both Medicare and private insurers. In fact, physicians find that transferring patients to an LTACH facilitates payment on long length-of-stay patients because it is recognized by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as a hospital with longer LOS averages than short term stay hospitals.
Specialty Hospital of Central Jersey work with the medical staff to ensure that physician visits are optimally and accurately billed to allow for proper reimbursement.
I received a credentialing packet to join Specialty Hospital’s medical staff, but why do I have to go through the process if I am already on the medical staff at Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus?
Specialty Hospital of Central Jersey is a separate hospital and must independently credential its physicians under federal and state regulations. We have entered into agreements with the medical staff office of our host hospital to help provide us with documentation needed to streamline the credentialing process.
We understand that credentialing can be a tedious and time-consuming process.
What have you done to minimize any inconveniences or problems that may arise from seeing patients in a separate hospital-within-a-hospital?
From its inception, Specialty Hospital of Central Jersey has been sensitive to this concern and has created an environment that replicates the “look and feel” of seeing patients at its host hospital.
As such, results from lab and radiology tests and other studies are easily accessible through the host hospital’s clinical information system. Dictations are conducted using the same system as the host hospital with a Specialty Hospital work type. All physician charts and medical forms also have been modeled after those used at the host hospital.
Who should I contact if I have additional questions about
Specialty Hospital of Central Jersey?
Violeta Peters, R.N., M.A. LNHA, chief executive officer, 732.806.3207 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Howard Lebowitz, M.D., chief medical officer, 732.806.3200 or email@example.com
Kathryn Collins, vice president, 732.806.3204 or firstname.lastname@example.org