National projections suggest that hospitals may be overwhelmed with patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection in the coming months. Appropriately, much attention has addressed the acute challenges in caring for this surge of critically ill patients. What has received less attention, however, is what happens as patients—most of whom will recover, even in the highest-risk groups—begin to do so. Many patients with COVID-19 will need postacute care to recuperate from their infection. However, postacute care facilities currently lack the capacity and capability to safely treat patients with COVID-19 as they transition from the hospital to other care settings or to their homes. In this Viewpoint, we present the scope of the problem and outline a series of steps that may be helpful as postacute care organizations prepare for the coming increase in patients with COVID-19.
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Corresponding Author: David C. Grabowski, PhD, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, 180 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115-5899 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Published Online: March 25, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.4686
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Grabowski reported that he receives research support from grants P01 AG032952, R01AG054656, R56AG062544, and R01AG060935 from the National Institute on Aging; the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality; the Arnold Foundation; and the Warren Alpert Foundation; serving as a paid consultant to Vivacitas; serving on the Scientific Advisory Committee for NaviHealth; and receiving fees from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and the Research Triangle Institute. Dr Joynt Maddox reported that she receives research support from grants R01HL143421 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and R01AG060935 from the National Institute on Aging; and has previously done contract work for the US Department of Health and Human Services.
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