MORTON, Wash.—In support of an overall plan to meet the needs of the community today and in the future, Arbor Health, Morton Hospital has partnered with Allevant Solutions, a joint venture of Mayo Clinic and Select Medical, to develop their Transitional Care program.
“Transitional Care is a high-quality, evidence-based program for patients who are well enough to leave a traditional hospital setting but still have nursing or therapy needs,” Transitional Care Coordinator LeeAnn Evans says. Some examples of these needs include IV therapy, skilled nursing care, physical therapy and speech therapy, all available at Morton Hospital.
Modeled on the Mayo Clinic’s successful efforts in Wisconsin and Minnesota and created by Mayo Clinic pulmonologist and Allevant Medical Director, Mark Lindsay, M.D., the program is designed to provide access to high quality post-acute services to rural America, the most persistently under-served region in modern healthcare.
Currently, most patients with post-acute needs receive their care in a skilled nursing facility. However, hospital-based Transitional Care programs offer a number of important advantages—more nurse hours per patient than most skilled nursing facilities, strong team culture, the ability to address sudden changes in condition with on-site physicians, radiology, and laboratory, and most importantly, a patient-centered approach that includes bedside rounds with the care team on a regular schedule.
“Hospital-based Transitional Care is the ideal setting for patients with complex health conditions and post-acute needs. By offering these services in rural hospitals, patients and families can get high quality post-acute care close to home,” Lindsay said. “Morton Hospital has the staff, the facilities, and the commitment to deliver exceptional Transitional Care. We are excited to join Morton Hospital on this journey to offer another post-acute care choice to residents Lewis County and the region.”
Evans went on to add that most patients receiving this care at Morton Hospital will be covered by the Medicare Swing Bed reimbursement program, although other insurers may participate as well. “In general, patients need to have a three-day hospital stay before being admitted for Transitional Care and have a need for skilled nursing or therapy services.”
An example of this patient could be the one who had a hip or knee replacement at a larger hospital that offers orthopedic surgery. Another example is the stroke patient who came into the Morton Hospital Emergency Department where they were stabilized and transferred to a larger hospital for neurological specialists. However, neither of these patients will complete all of their recuperation in that large hospital. Rather, they are typically transferred to a nursing home in that same city.
“It does not have to play out that way, though,” Leianne Everett Chief Executive Officer of Morton Hospital said. “Our community members can come home to Morton Hospital for their post-acute care where they will receive our own personal brand of compassionate, personalized care that you only find in a rural setting that isn’t plagued with the overcrowding and impersonalized care found in large facilities.
“We have a 25-bed hospital that historically has always had beds available to care for our community,” Everett said. “We’re ready and eager to care for our neighbors right here at home.”