Post-Acute Care Preparedness in a COVID-19 World

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2020 Jun;68(6):1150-1154. doi: 10.1111/jgs.16519. Epub 2020 May 21.


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has led to a surge of patients requiring post-acute care. In order to support federal, state and corporate planning, we offer a four-stage regionally oriented approach to achieving optimal systemwide resource allocation across a region's post-acute service settings and providers over time. In the first stage, the post-acute care system must, to the extent possible, help relieve acute hospitals of non-COVID-19 patients to create as much inpatient capacity as possible over the surge period. In the second stage after the initial surge as subsided, post-acute providers must protect vulnerable populations from COVID-19, prepare treat-in-place protocols for non-COVID-19 admissions, and create and formalize COVID-19 specific settings. In the third stage after a vaccine has been developed or an effective prophylactic option is available, post-acute care providers must assist with distribution and administration of vaccinations and prophylaxis, develop strategies to deliver non-COVID-19 related medical care, and begin to transition to the post-COVID-19 landscape. In the final stage, we must create health advisory bodies to review post-acute sector's response, identify opportunities to improve performance going forward, and develop a pandemic response plan for post-acute care providers. J Am Geriatr Soc 68:1150-1154, 2020.

Keywords: COVID-19; post-acute care; skilled nursing facilities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Civil Defense / methods*
  • Coronavirus Infections*
  • Health Care Rationing*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Subacute Care / methods*
  • United States / epidemiology