Levels of Care

Discharge Planning is a process used to determine what you, as a patient, need for a smooth transition from one level of care to another. Discharge from the hospital does not necessarily mean that you have fully recovered. It often means that your physician has determined that your condition is stable and no longer requires acute hospital care.

Just as there are many levels of care in Antelope Valley Hospital—from emergency treatment to surgery and intensive care—there are different various levels of post-acute care. To ensure a smooth transition out of the hospital and from one level of care to another, it helps to understand various types of care. You can ask your case manager to further explain the range of available options and whether your insurance will pay for the services you choose.

Acute Hospital Care
During this phase of care, physicians determine a patient’s overall treatment plan. This may include acute nursing care, surgery or invasive testing.

Discharge Home
In many cases, patients and their families are safely able to provide ongoing care at home following a hospital stay. Although some follow up care may still be required, it can often be provided in an outpatient setting and may include such things as additional diagnostic testing, physical therapy and dialysis.

Home Health Care
Many medical services that require the skill of a professional can be provided safely at home through home health care. Common home care services include wound care, physical therapy and intravenous (IV) therapy. A nurse or therapist visits the home for about an hour at a time. Home health does not include basic homemaker services.

Skilled Care
Patients who need a higher level of care following a hospital stay may be referred to an Acute Rehabilitative Unit (ARU) or a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF). This allows the continued provision of skilled nursing care, physical therapy or respiratory therapy in a non-hospital setting.

Non-Skilled or Custodial Care
These options are not usually covered by insurance, although some services are paid for through Medi-Cal or SSI. They include long term placement in skilled nursing facilities, board and care homes or assisted living facilities.

Skilled Nursing Facilities
Because acute hospital stays have become very brief, many patients benefit from additional time in SNFs—once known as convalescent homes or hospitals. In the Antelope Valley, there are four Skilled Nursing Facilities:

Antelope Valley Health Care Center – (661) 948-7501
Antelope Valley Nursing Care Center – (661) 949-5524
Lancaster Health Care Center – (661) 942-8463
Mayflower Convalescent Hospital – (661) 943-3212

Due to the limited number of facilities in the region, it may be necessary to locate a SNF outside of the Antelope Valley. Your discharge planner will help locate the closest SNF capable of providing the care you need.