General Interest

COVID-19 Transfers to Low Acuity Care Sites

CDPH has released information and guidance on low acuity alternative care sites.

Alternate care sites may admit individuals from California Department of Public Health (CDPH) licensed SNFs. Patients must be lower risk decompensation and semi-ambulatory.

Alternate care sites have all of the following:

  1. staffing that includes physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, personal care attendants, respiratory therapists, behavioral health workers, pharmacists, supportive medical care providers, and social worker
  2. basic laboratory testing and x-ray capabilities
  3. ability to provide IV fluids and hi-flow oxygen
  4. nebulizer treatments and suctioning, if the appropriate personal protective equipment (i.e. N95) and setting (single room) are available.
  5. Some alternate care sites with sufficient staffing may be able to accept patients with a higher level of ADL needs.

Transfers to Alternate Care Sites

Triage centers, SNFs and emergency departments may request transfer to an alternate care site for patients who require medical monitoring, as a substitute for low-acuity hospitalization. SNFs may transfer individuals who meet the admission criteria for alternate care sites. The decision to transfer a patient to an alternate care site will be made by the receiving alternate care site and the SNF, in conjunction with the local public health department, and CDPH. SNFs transferring patients to alternate care sites must hold a transferred patient’s bed for at least 14 days, and, accept the return of a resident from the alternate care site unless CDPH determines otherwise.

Process for Transfer to Alternate Care Site

The process includes:

  1. The transferring facility calls the All-Access Transfer Center (AATC) to request the transfer of a stable, COVID positive patient to an alternate care site
  2. AATC will do an initial screening using the admission guidelines and connect with the appropriate alternate care site.
  3. The facility intake coordinator will coordinate confirmation of the transfer including medical records and test results.
  4. The facility intake coordinator will call AATC who will coordinate the physical transfer of the patient.