Learning about tracheostomy and vent care, admissions, quality of life for our residents receiving care

When a family and loved ones receive the news their family member will need specialized respiratory care services it is a worrying moment. There are many unknowns and questions on what respiratory care services entails for the family and the loved ones. This specialized service is not offered at every skilled nursing facility (SNF) because it requires a different set of care skills and services.

This blog is to help families better understand the process of finding and receiving care for trach and ventilator care and what that means for their loved ones.

Since 2006, Kissito Healthcare has operated two facilities for ventilator care in Bastian and Fincastle, Virginia. Recently, we opened a new ventilator and trach care unit in our SNF in New Martinsville, VA.

What is a Tracheostomy?
A tracheostomy is a surgically created opening through the trachea (windpipe) to allow direct access for a breathing tube to be inserted. This procedure may be ordered by your doctor to help with certain conditions that make breathing more difficult. Those conditions could include severe lung disorders, neurological conditions, or an infection.

Some common conditions a patient may have that requires a tracheostomy may include Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Muscular Dystrophy, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), motor vehicle accident, post-COVID treatment, tumors¬, infections, Vocal cord paralysis (VCP), severe neck or mouth injuries or obstructive sleep apnea. These are some of the conditions that may require a tracheostomy.

What will this cost me?
Ventilator and trach care is a specialty care rate. Meaning, it is not an average cost as a rehab/long-term nursing facility cost. Due to the high cost, we require a secondary back up payer source. You will meet with our liaison to go over those details.

How long will it take your facility to get my loved one weaned off the ventilator or Trach?
This is one of the most common questions we are asked when a loved enters our centers for care. There are many factors that may affect this such as medical conditions, rehabilitation progress, support from family and the individuals own determination to return to as normal of a life as medically possible. We would love to have your love one home within 100 days. Unfortunately, the process is not always so quick, but our care teams develop plans individualized to your loved ones’ needs.

What therapies do you offer?
Your loved one will receive physical, occupational, speech, and respiratory therapy, based on the allowable hours with your insurance. Our respiratory therapists are on duty 24 hours a day and seven days a week. In addition to therapy, our vent and trach residents enjoy activities together and community outings to help with their social connections.

Are we allowed to stay in the facility with our loved one?
Because ventilator and trach services are not offered at all SNFs, patients often must travel far from their homes to receive care. Some residents may have to travel from their home state. Kissito Healthcare centers with vent/trach care often have patients from as far away as South Carolina. Our care centers are caring for other residents and unfortunately, overnight stays with family aren’t possible. Hotels near our facilities will allow a special rate for families visiting their loved one.

Our admissions team is committed to guiding, advocating, and facilitating the resident, family and referring hospital through the complicated process of transitioning from acute care to specialized ventilator care.
We are sensitive to the challenges residents and their loved ones may face when considering a transition in care especially over long distances. Our patient advocate can provide clarity about the process and provide information about our facilities. We will walk you through the process of applying for financial assistance face-to-face as part of our commitment to you.

Centralized referral processing gives discharge planners access to multiple care center locations through a single contact.

Author: Jeni Baker
Regional Admissions Director & Marketing, Kissito Healthcare