Nebraska hospitals struggling to transfer post-acute care patients

Nebraska Hospitals are struggling to transfer post-acute care patients to longer-term facilities
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 5:10 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 9, 2023 at 11:16 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Nebraska hospitals have faced countless hardships over the past few years, and the latest is the struggle to discharge and transfer acute care patients to a more appropriate facility.

On Wednesday, the Nebraska Hospital Association (NHA) released their 2023 January Throughput Report, which highlighted the high number of patients who are healthy enough to transfer out of acute care facilities, but post-acute care facilities like nursing homes and rehab centers don’t have the space.

Factors for the limited space include the closures of 35 long-term care facilities and 27 assisted living facilities across Nebraska since 2017.

The report also shows 227 patients last month had to stay in their acute care bed while waiting to be transferred for a week or more, with 104 patients having to stay longer than a month.

“Every day 20% of our inpatients are in a delay or can’t find placement,” said Melinda Kentfield, Chief Nursing Executive of Methodist Fremont Health. “It also causes that complete bottleneck of not being able to get those patients needing admission into those higher-acuity beds.”

The NHA is hoping several bills in this legislative session will pass to give more funding and grants to post-acute care facilities.