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Frequently Asked Questions 


What is a long-term care hospital and under what circumstances is one recommended for an AE patient?




When an Autoimmune Encephalitis patient has completed treatment in the hospital for Autoimmune Encephalitis but is not ready for rehabilitation, the hospital will recommend a transfer to a long-term care hospital, (LTAH).


What is a long-term care hospital (LTAH)?


An LTAH or long-term acute care hospital is a facility that is certified as an acute care hospital, but LTAH focuses on patients who on average stay more than 25 days. Many patients in LTAHs transfer from intensive or critical care units. LTAHs are facilities that specialize in caring for patients who may have more than one serious condition, but who may improve with time and care and return home.


LTAHs do not provide long-term care (nursing home care).  LTAHs give inpatient services to people who need much longer to improve or get well. LTAHs provide comprehensive and medically complex care and rehabilitation. If an individual with autoimmune encephalitis has needs that prevent them from going to a rehabilitation facility but would benefit from more rehabilitation than they may receive in the acute care hospital and do not need ICU care they may benefit from an LTAH.


When would a patient qualify for a LTAH?


Patients who are weaning from a ventilator, or failed ventilator weaning, have had multiple readmissions, have a new brain injury, or have multiple issues with deconditioning that need moderate or maximum assistance for PT and OT will benefit from a LTAH. In most cases, the patient needs to have had an inpatient stay of 25 days and is expected to have ongoing needs that cannot be met in a rehabilitation facility, home, or skilled nursing facility. This can be a good option for patients with autoimmune encephalitis who cannot yet meet the requirement to be able to participate in 3 hours of rehabilitation, and for patients who could lose potential if rehabilitation therapy services are held while waiting for a medical issue to resolve.


Patients need to have an anticipated stay of greater than 25 days (or have been hospitalized for 25 days) and have needs that cannot be met at home or in rehabilitation but would benefit from receiving an acute level of care while still receiving as much rehabilitation as they can manage. Often once the medical issues have been resolved and the patient can tolerate 3 hours of rehabilitation services, they may be transferred to a rehabilitation facility.

Rehabilitation facilities focus on rehabilitation and most often can’t manage complex medical issues or patients who have more than one ongoing medical issue. Patients may also be able to be discharged to home from an LTAH and have day rehabilitation or outpatient rehabilitation arranged at the time of discharge.



Written by: Mari Wagner Davis, RN, ACM


Our website is not a substitute for independent professional medical advice. Nothing contained on our website is intended to be used as medical advice. No content is intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional's advice. Although THE INTERNATIONAL AUTOIMMUNE ENCEPHALITIS SOCIETY  provides a great deal of information about AUTOIMMUNE ENCEPHALITIS, all content is provided for informational purposes only. The International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society  cannot provide medical advice.

International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society is a charitable non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2016 by Tabitha Andrews Orth, Gene Desotell and Anji Hogan-Fesler. Tax ID# 81-3752344. Donations raised directly supports research, patients, families and caregivers impacted by autoimmune encephalitis and to educating healthcare communities around the world. Financial statement will be made available upon request.

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