Frequently Asked Questions
Cornerstone Healthcare is committed to helping our patients and families make an informed choice when it comes to making important healthcare decisions. When you or a loved one is experiencing a critical illness or injury, we understand how important it is to find a healthcare provider you can trust, who puts the patient first and who will care about you. We have compiled a list of answers to the questions we receive most often. We are here to help. Do not hesitate to contact your local Cornerstone Hospital to schedule a tour so that we may address your questions in a personalized meeting. We look forward to meeting you!
Making the Right Choice
Is a Long Term Acute Care Hospital right for me?
Long Term Acute Care Hospitals (“LTACHs”) provide care for those who are ready to be discharged from a general acute care hospital, but require an extended period of intensive medical care before they are ready to return home. Treatment and care is designed to bridge the gap between the acute care hospital and home.
Are Long Term Acute Care Hospitals and Nursing Homes the same?
No. Cornerstone Hospitals are licensed and certified as acute care hospitals designed for patients suffering from critical illness, injury or chronic conditions that require an extended period of intensive medical care. Patients are generally admitted to LTACHs following treatment in a general acute care hospital, but they may be significantly debilitated while continuing to require intensive diagnostic procedures. Nursing homes, also referred to as skilled nursing facilities (“SNFs”) or long term care facilities (“LTCs”), also care for patients for an extended period of time, but are not licensed hospitals nor equipped to provide intensive medical care requiring higher levels of staffing and daily physician visits.
How is Cornerstone different from general acute care hospitals?
Cornerstone Hospitals are acute specialty care hospitals designed for patients suffering from critical illness, injury or chronic conditions that require an extended period of acute intensive medical care. In many cases, our patients experience multi-system failures involving the pulmonary, renal, cardiac, integumentary (skin-related) or neurological systems. Care is provided under the oversight of an interdisciplinary treatment team and typically encompasses a higher degree of physical rehabilitation as tolerated by the patient. General acute care hospitals focus on restoring patients with acute conditions that can be resolved over a shorter period of time.
Why do patients and families choose a Cornerstone Hospital?
Patients and loved ones choose Cornerstone for our commitment to patient experience and clinical outcomes. Our interdisciplinary teams strive for superior patient care and to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our patients.
How can I get treatment at Cornerstone?
Cornerstone admits patients seven days a week as referred by physicians or case managers at an acute care hospital or other healthcare facility. Referrals may be made for patients currently in a hospital, rehabilitation facility, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or at home. All patient referrals are evaluated by clinically trained healthcare professionals for medical necessity and appropriateness of care prior to admission. In cases where the patient is enrolled in a managed care health care insurance plan, medical necessity authorization is typically required as well.
Is my care is covered by my health benefit plan or by Medicare?
Some health benefit plans, as well as “Medicare Advantage” plans assert “expanded” benefits such as immunizations, well patient visits and even fitness center memberships. Curiously, your policy may not cover our services – as the health plan medical management staff may prefer to continue your care in the community/tertiary hospital or to transfer you to a lower level of care. In cases where Cornerstone’s services are deemed medically appropriate by your physician, we and your physician can assist you in appealing these situations. However, the final decision as far as health plan medical necessity typically rests with your plan.
Medically Complex Care
Can you care for the needs the medically complex and highly acute patient?
Cornerstone Hospitals are staffed with Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certified nurses and respiratory therapists. These clinicians are trained to treat the most medically complex patients. Our interdisciplinary clinical teams are directed by physicians, and include healthcare professionals involved in all aspects of a patient’s care: nurses, respiratory therapists, physical medicine specialists, radiologists, pharmacists, dietitians and case managers.
What types of patients can benefit from a Cornerstone Hospital?
Patients are admitted to a Cornerstone with a variety of medical conditions, which may include:
- Wound Care
- Critical Conditions, including multiple system failure, pre and post-operative organ transplant care and post-surgery with complications
- Cardiac and Heart Conditions
- Kidney and Renal Concerns
- Gastrointestinal and Stomach Conditions
- Infectious Disease
- Neurological Disorders
For a more complete list of medical conditions we treat, click here.
Do your hospitals offer critical and intensive care?
Yes. Cornerstone Hospitals are equipped with Intensive Care Units (“ICUs”) or High Intensive Units (“HIUs) where intensive, round‐the‐clock treatment is provided to the most medically complex patient.
What types of programs are offered at Cornerstone?
Cornerstone Hospitals offer a range of programs for critically ill patients, including:
- Pulmonary Medicine – Specialized care for patients with acute or chronic respiratory disorders who may have tracheostomies, ventilators or require extensive respiratory treatments to maintain normal breathing without mechanical support.
- Wound Management – Aggressive wound healing protocols for patients with complex wounds, impaired or compromised tissue, and who are at high risk for other complications.
- Medically Complex – Designed for patients with multiple system disorders. . This program is designed to restore patients with a combination of pulmonary, circulatory, digestive, skin, renal and neurological disorders.
These programs are enveloped in an aggressive physical rehabilitation protocol as tolerated by the patient. Licensed and certified physical therapists are trained to address basic mobility, self-care, swallowing and strength endurance so our patients can return to independent living whenever possible.
Patient Care Plan
Who will be caring for me or my loved one?
Patients have access to members of their interdisciplinary treatment team each day, to include their attending physician. Physicians oversee patient care and monitor the patient’s progress daily, developing a treatment plan in concert with the interdisciplinary treatment team based on the patient’s individual needs. Patients also have 24 hour access to staff nurses, respiratory therapists and other professionals trained in both critical care and rehabilitation therapies. Each patient is assigned a case manager to help guide the patient and family through the hospitalization and discharge.
Who decides the patient’s length of stay?
Case managers develop and maintain a plan of care that brings together other members of the clinical team to provide an integrated, patient-centered plan of care. Case managers discuss the patient’s treatment and goals with the physician, patient, family, and when applicable, the managed care plan to determine where and when discharge is to occur.
Is nutrition part of your treatment?
Yes. Each patient is assigned a registered dietitian who develops a nutritional plan tailored to the patient’s medical needs and personal preferences. Our nutritional program is designed to deliver variety and options, while meeting nutritional goals.
How often will a patient receive therapy?
Each patient has a tailored plan of care. Participation in all therapies is based on the patient’s ability level and need. Cornerstone practices early and aggressive physical intervention and therapy.