NSCA gives new definition to subacute care

After intense consultation with hundreds of providers, the National Subacute Care Association (NSCA) in Bethesda, MD, recently proposed a new definition of subacute care that should help the industry incorporate itself into existing clinical treatment plans and reimbursement practices.

"We also recognize that others in the health care industry will have ideas and a definition of their own. And we’re ready to work with them in refining a workable, universally accepted concept of subacute care," says Richard Clark, association chairman and senior vice president at Arbor Healthcare in Lima, OH.

The NSCA’s definition is: Subacute care is a comprehensive, cost-effective inpatient level of care for patients who:

• have had an acute event from injury, illness, or exacerbation of a disease process;

• have a determined course of treatment;

• though stable, require diagnostics or invasive procedures, but not intensive procedures requiring an acute level of care.

The severity of the patient’s condition requires:

• active physician direction with frequent on-site visits;

• professional nursing care;

• significant ancillary services;

• an outcomes-focused interdisciplinary approach utilizing a professional team;

• complex medical and/or rehabilitation care.

Typically, short term subacute care is designed to return patients to the community or transition them to a lower level of care, the definition adds.

For more information, contact Bill Robinson, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, National Subacute Care Association, 7315 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 424 East, Bethesda, MD 20814. Telephone: (301) 961-8680.