elderly person using walker after injury in hospital gown post-acute care

Elective Surgery and Discharge to a Skilled Post-Acute Care Community

It’s no secret that as the geriatric population continues to age, the need for various elective surgery and procedures will also increase. From quick cataract surgery to a crucial cardiovascular operation, thousands of different categories can arise. 

While most elective surgeries aren’t performed as an emergency measure, an aging patient tends to have a much harder time recovering afterward. This is further exacerbated when combining any rehabilitation needed with any pre-existing conditions or health issues. 

Once released from a surgery center or hospital, patients usually require more care than can be completed in-home. That’s where specialized care at South Coast Post Acute can turn the tides in terms of recovery time and improvement. How can you know you’re making the right decision when it comes to where to send yourself or a loved one? South Coast Post Acute can help you feel confident in your choice.

Elective Surgeries for Geriatric Patients

According to a review from Frontiers in Medicine from December 2018, the number of individuals that are 85 years and older is expected to triple from 2012 to 2050. Because of this, the number of elective surgeries taking place and the need for care facilities are also expected to rise. But what exactly falls under the umbrella term? Fortunately for most patients, most routine surgeries are considered elective surgery and are covered under most insurance plans. However, particular procedures are more invasive and that’s where post-acute care becomes a part of the decision making the process. 

According to a 2015 study from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) and Medicare claims between 2005 to 2008, the most common surgeries that required post-acute care were a colectomy, a pancreatectomy, and an open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. Their findings showed that “In multivariable analysis, specific preoperative risk factors, including advanced age, poor functional status, and in-patient complications were significantly associated with increased risk-adjusted odds of discharge to post-acute care for each operation studied.” 

The Frontiers in Medicine study also concluded that between 2005 to 2008, 37% of Medicare beneficiaries in post-acute care facilities following total joint arthroplasty utilized skilled nursing facilities. Those skilled nursing facilities were found to provide more cost-efficient care than in-patient rehabilitation facilities and skilled nursing community patients generally displayed greater functional independence than those in in-patient rehabilitation.

The goal of post-acute care is to get patients back on their feet in a shorter amount of time, and the ability of these facilities to handle various needs makes them an ideal choice when it comes to recovery. But while the idea of post-acute care and 24/7 assistance is a great one, the discharge process and decision to do so can be the hardest part.

So, how do you know whether you or your loved one’s situation warrants a stay in a post-acute care center? Figuring it out can prove more difficult than you might think.

Choosing Post-Acute Care after Elective Surgery Discharge

When it comes to determining that you or a loved one requires post-acute care, it’s commonly an arrangement agreed upon between everyone involved, including the patient requiring care. But, what happens if they’re unable or unwilling? 

In January of 2019, The United Hospital Fund released a paper discussing studied interview subjects and discussion group participants. They had to be a patient or family caregiver who experienced discharge from a hospital to a nursing home for short-term rehabilitation or skilled nursing community within a six- to nine-month timeframe in relation to the interview. In their study, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission stated that  “decisions about where to place patients often reflect several factors—the availability within a given market, the proximity to a beneficiary’s home, patient and family preferences, and financial relationships between the referring hospital and the PAC provider—but not necessarily where the patient would receive the best care at the most reasonable cost to the program.”

Unfortunately, it’s an everyday reality for patients that a stay in a post-acute care community is not an easily accessible option, even though it should be. More often than not, individuals are not comprehensively educated about PACs during the discharge process. Misinformation can run so deep that people aren’t even aware that nursing home facilities are considered a type of post-acute care setting. Factors such as language barriers, insurance, cost, and location can also throw a wrench in the decision-making stage. Between not knowing that post-acute care exists and not knowing exactly what it is, it’s easy for the benefit to be lost in translation. Not to mention that healthcare professionals and are not always in the know about post-acute care. The PAC industry itself can also be a difficult one to navigate due to regular policy changes and upgrades inabilities of the facilities themselves. This leads countless patients relying solely on their provider to recommend post-acute care, and if they too aren’t educated enough on the ins and outs, a necessary move can fall by the wayside.

Still, post-acute care is a truly viable, invaluable choice for therapy services. When patients are properly informed of the kind of care they can receive, benefits they can expect include lower hospital readmission rates, shorter stays required, and better overall recovery.

South Coast Post Acute is the Right Place After Elective Surgery

At South Coast Post Acute, we pride ourselves on our results. We send more patients home…and they stay there. The California State Average for re-hospitalization is 14.92% and the U.S. National Average is 17.75%. What’s ours? 0%. Our short-term rehabilitation program helps patients reach their maximum functional capacity and get back home in the shortest time possible. Elective Surgery should not keep you out of action for long.

To achieve this goal, we offer physical, occupational, and speech therapy from compassionate, highly-skilled therapists. Along with licensed therapists, our medical and physical rehabilitation team also includes 24-hour-a-day registered nurses, on-site internal medicine physicians, on-site rehabilitative medicine physicians, nutritionists, discharge planning specialists, therapeutic recreation therapists, and certified nursing assistants. Our therapists work in conjunction with our team of physicians, nurses, social workers, and nutritionists, along with the patient and their family every step of the way to develop an individualized plan of care. At South Coast Post Acute, we even offer peaceful, comfortable rooms, restaurant-style dining, and more to make the transition as comfortable as possible. 

For more than 40 years, we’ve been providing a combination of world-class treatment and exceptional care to patients. We deliver the specialized, quality care that individuals need and we treat patients like family. Our team’s compassion, spirit, and skills make post-acute care at South Coast Post Acute even more impactful. Contact us today to decide the best course of action for your needs.

South Coast Post Acute. Exceptional, compassionate care; every time, every touch.

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