DOI: 10.4037/ajcc2023289 ISSN:

Severity-of-Illness Scores and Discharge Disposition in Patients Admitted to Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals

Dena H. Tran, Zain Nagaria, Harsh Y. Patel, Dalwinder Basra, Kam Ho, Waqas Bhatti, Avelino C. Verceles
  • Critical Care Nursing
  • General Medicine


After an intensive care unit (ICU) admission, nearly 20% of survivors of chronic critical illness require admission to a long-term acute care hospital (LTACH) for continued subspecialty care. The effect of the burden of medical comorbidities on discharge disposition after LTACH admission remains unclear.


A retrospective cohort study was performed involving patients with chronic critical illness who were discharged from the medical ICU and admitted to an LTACH between 2016 and 2018. The patients’ Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II), Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA), Nutrition Risk in the Critically Ill (NUTRIC), and Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) scores at the time of LTACH admission were calculated from electronic medical records. The mean scores on each instrument were compared by discharge disposition.


A total of 156 patients were admitted to the LTACH from the medical ICU between 2016 and 2018. They had a mean (SD) age of 61.5 (13.3) years, a mean (SD) body mass index of 28.1 (8.3), a median (IQR) ICU stay of 16.3 (1-108) days, and a median (IQR) LTACH stay of 38.2 (1-227) days. Patients who were discharged home had lower mean (SD) APACHE II (14.6 [5.0] vs 18.2 [5.4], P = .01), SOFA (3.3 [2.1] vs 4.6 [2.1], P = .03), NUTRIC (3.3 [1.4] vs 4.6 [1.4], P = .001), and CCI (4.3 [2.5] vs 6.1 [2.8], P = .02) scores on admission to the LTACH than those who were not discharged home.


Severity-of-illness scores on admission to an LTACH can be used to predict patients’ likelihood of being discharged home.

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