There is a lot of confusion about all the types of outpatient health care services, so I thought it was time to clear things up. I have gleaned the World Wide Web to compile the best definitions possible.
Acute care: “... a pattern of health care in which a patient is treated for a brief but severe episode of illness, for the sequelae [injuries sustained via] an accident or other trauma, or during recovery from surgery ... usually given in a hospital by specialized personnel and may involve intensive or emergency care. This pattern of care is often necessary for only a short time.” (The Medical Dictionary/The Free Dictionary)
Adult day care: “Provides social and other personal services including supervision and assistance with some [activities of daily living services] in a community setting ... at anytime of the day but care is always less than 24 hours. Adult day care facilities are often used in combination with home and family caregivers in order to give the primary caregiver a break.” (Completelongtermcare.com)
Ambulatory care: “Medical care including diagnosis, observation, treatment and rehabilitation that is provided on an outpatient basis. Ambulatory care is given to persons who are able to ... walk about. A well-baby visit is considered ambulatory care even though the baby may not yet be walking.” (MedicineNet.com)
Assisted living communities: “... provide personal care and assistance with [activities of daily living] in a residential setting for those that aren’t able to live independently but do not require the level of round-the-clock care provided in a nursing home ...” (Completelongtermcare.com)
Chronic care: “Care and services ... to help achieve functional independence for those with continuing and long-term health problems ... Chronic conditions ... generally have no specific cure and require care over a protracted period of time ... often used interchangeably with Long Term Care ...” (Completelongtermcare.com)