Transitional care settings have evolved since the 1980s as Medicare prospective payment has affected acute hospital reimbursement and hospital length of stay. These settings include hospital-based subacute units, typically called transitional care units, subacute care units in freestanding nursing facilities and long-term care hospitals, This article focuses on these transitional care settings: what they are, how they developed, what reimbursement issues affect these settings, and what is likely to happen next. In the future, advanced practice nurses may-not only refer patients to transitional-care settings, but also may find them to be sites for practice

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