Rehab Select Blog

What is a Skilled Nursing Facility? 3 Things to Know

Posted by Bobby Stephenson

Jun 19, 2018 9:00:00 AM

skilled nursing facilityHas a skilled nursing facility been recommended for you or a loved one by a medical care team? If so, you probably have a lot of questions about this type of care and the facilities that provide it. So what is a skilled nursing facility? How do you know if you really need one? Will Medicare cover skilled nursing care?

Here we’ll answer these questions as we outline 3 important things to know about skilled nursing centers.

Contact Rehab Select today to learn more about your local skilled nursing  facility.

1. What is a Skilled Nursing Facility?

A skilled nursing facility is an inpatient care center that provides skilled nursing care. This is a level of care that must be provided by trained professionals – registered nurses and/or physical, occupational or speech therapists, for instance – and may include services like wound care, medical/vital signs monitoring, intravenous (IV) therapy, respiratory care, management of medical equipment and various rehabilitative therapies, among others.

2. Who Needs a Skilled Nursing Facility?

Care at a skilled nursing facility is generally recommended for people who do not need the level of care offered at an acute-care hospital but require a higher level of medical care or therapy than can be managed at home or through outpatient care services. It may be recommended as a short term option to help people regain health and independence, or as a long term care option for those who cannot safely or effectively care for themselves at home. Common examples of circumstances that can make skilled nursing care necessary include:

  • A need for daily nursing and/or medical care and/or close medical monitoring due to chronic illness.

  • A need for rehabilitation therapy and care to aid in recovery from injury, illness, surgery, stroke or other serious medical events.

  • A need for assistance with managing wound care, medications and/or necessary medical equipment.

  • Difficulty managing self-care, medical care, and or activities of daily living safely/effectively at home.

3. Does Medicare Cover Care in a Skilled Nursing Facility?

Medicare will cover care in a skilled nursing facility for a limited time after a hospitalization under certain circumstances. This level of care must be medically necessary, as determined by a health assessment, to be covered by Medicare, and you must be admitted to a skilled nursing facility within 30 days of a qualifying hospital stay – which is a stay of at least three days as an inpatient in an acute care hospital. Coverage is limited to a maximum of 100 days. Patients receive full coverage for up to 20 days, and partial coverage for the remainder of that 100-day period. Medicare’s website can offer more information on getting coverage for skilled nursing care, as can hospital social workers or admitting staff at your local skilled nursing facility.

Download the Guide: Myths and Facts About Medicaid Eligibility in Alabama

Topics: Skilled Nursing