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Transitional Care Program

A short-term hospital-stay to help patients regain strength, mobility and independence right in our community


What is Our Transitional Care Program?

When recovering from surgery, illness or injury, many patients find they need additional care – after their hospital stay, but before they are ready to return home.

Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital addresses this need by offering Transitional Care, a Short-Term Rehab Program, inside the hospital. As a special service to smaller communities, Medicare allows Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital to provide rooms for patients that are ready to transition from in-patient acute care to Skilled Nursing Facility care without leaving the hospital. This care is also available to patients with Medicaid and commercial insurance, as authorized. 

Our Transitional Care Program

  • Helps patients to return to the community more quickly, while still receiving the appropriate level of care until they are able to return home or transfer to a facility for longer-term care.
  • Provides 24-hour care from a skilled medical team in a stable, therapeutic environment.
  • Offers ready access to hospital services such as x-ray, lab testing and needed physical, occupational or speech therapy, as needed.

How do patients qualify for the Transitional Care Program?

Patients may be able to participate in the program if their medical needs cannot be met at home or in a long-term care facility, but their condition no longer requires a stay in an in-patient acute care setting.

  • Medicare Patients
  • The hospital stay requires the use of patients’ Medicare skilled nursing facility benefit.
  • Medicare will cover up to 20 days at 100% provided patients have an ongoing qualifying medical need.
  • Our Transitional Care Program is not intended for permanent placement; it is for continued care until patients are able to return home or transfer to a facility for longer-term care.

Medicaid or Commercial Insurance Patients

  • Services and length of time vary based on patient needs and coverage, and will be pre-certified.

What are some typical conditions treated during a transitional care hospital stay?

  • Wound care
  • Recovery from major surgery, joint replacement or vascular or abdominal operation
  • Rehabilitation after a stroke
  • IV medication therapy or nutritional therapy
  • Strength training after a lingering illness or prolonged hospitalization for acute medical care
  • Intensive physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy
  • Pain management
  • Respiratory care

How Long Can Patients Stay in Transitional Care?

The length of stay depends on each patient’s individual needs and progress. Patients may remain in the program for as long as they have skilled therapeutic goals to achieve. Once these goals are met, Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital will discharge the patient home or to another setting.