Critical Access Hospital Transitional Care: An essential partnership and pathway for Acute Care Hospitals to create desperately needed capacity during COVID-19 Pandemic

MECHANICSBURG, Pa., March 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — There are over 1300 critical access hospitals (CAHs) in the United States. These fully-staffed facilities can be valuable partners and reduce the burden on our PPS acute-care hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most CAHs are equipped to take less acute and post-acute care patients, which can reduce the impact on PPS teams and allowing them to commit resources to addressing the most severe cases.

Allevant Solutions, a leader in Transitional Care programs for CAHs is offering a 5-part webinar series and learning modules to help CAHs prepare for additional patients by providing Transitional Care using swing beds, as well as to help reduce provider stress and burnout. 

Modeled on the Mayo Clinic’s successful efforts in Wisconsin and Minnesota and created by Mayo pulmonologist and Allevant Medical Director, Mark Lindsay, M.D., the Program is designed to provide access to high quality post-acute services to rural America.  

“Transitional Care is for patients who have been hospitalized due to a surgical or medical episode and are discharged from a large facility, yet still have care needs that may be best met in a Critical Access Hospital setting; such as daily nursing care, therapy treatment, or respiratory care,” said Dr. Mark Lindsay.

“Hospital-based Transitional Care Programs offer a number of important advantages over other post-acute options, such as readily available physicians and medical providers, on-site laboratory and radiology resources if needed, and most importantly, a patient-centered approach that includes bedside rounds with the care team on a regular schedule. Rural hospitals can offer patients and families a high quality recovery option,” Lindsay said. 

Although critical access hospitals are licensed for up to 25 beds, the average census is just over four. The existing capacity, high nurse-patient ratio, the availability of on-site laboratory, radiology, therapy and physician services makes Transitional Care an essential and high value proposition with COVID-19 pandemic.  President Trump’s administration lifted the 25 bed cap and 96 hour rule that applies to acute admissions. 

Although Allevant has supported development of ventilator and complex respiratory programs, training and education, we believe the greatest impact and role that CAHs can provide may not be necessarily caring directly for acutely ill COVID -19 patients but rather by providing an essential pathway for other patients residing and recovering from illness or surgery in acute care hospitals that can be safely cared for in CAH swing bed programs.  Mayo and Allevant supported transitional care have been established in just over 60 CAHs representing less than 5% of the CAHs.  We recognize there are several other critical access hospitals that have developed high quality swing bed programs but we believe there is a tremendous opportunity to dramatically expand transitional care to address the rapidly increasing demands with the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Allevant is committed to provide training and education through webinars and on-line education, as well as implementation resources to all interested critical access hospital teams.   Allevant will support acute care hospitals to maximize the opportunity and help acute and critical access hospitals create the necessary collaboration to be successful. 

“Allevant continues to monitor the national, regional, and local impact of COVID-19. Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our staff and health care community we serve. We are working hard to determine how we can best help and will leverage our resources and networks to support health systems and communities during these difficult times.  We take comfort knowing that individuals and organizations that are deploying best practices are preventing and reducing the spread of COVID-19 and are saving lives,” said Tom Buckingham, President of Allevant.  

Hospitals can register for the webinar series by emailing

There is an webinar about the program through the National Rural Health Association on March 19, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. CDT. A recording will also be available. The registration link for the webinar is:

About Allevant Solutions

Allevant Solutions, LLC, developed by Mayo Clinic and Select Medical offers consulting services to rural hospitals and skilled nursing homes including methodologies, algorithms and processes which incorporate clinical services, quality improvement and business expertise developed by Mayo and Select Medical. Through these services, Allevant enables its clients to increase the availability of post-acute care and also reduce the costs associated with providing the rehabilitative services that many patients need even after they have overcome a life-threatening illness or accident.  To learn more, visit

Any questions, please contact:
Monica Bourgeau, Vice President at Allevant
(m) 503-314-4912,

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