What Is Skilled Nursing?admin
Skilled nursing care facilities, commonly referred to as nursing homes, are licensed healthcare facilities that are inspected and regulated by the state’s Department of Health Services. They offer long- and short-term care for individuals who need rehabilitation services or who suffer from serious or persistent health issues, such as Alzheimer's disease, that are too complicated to be tended to at home or at an assisted-living facility.
Skilled nursing care offers trained professionals performing services that are needed temporarily due to an injury or illness, such as a nurse tending to a postoperative wound or dispensing and monitoring medications, a physical therapist working with a resident to rectify strength and balance issues, a speech therapist assisting a resident in reclaiming their ability to communicate following a stroke, or an occupational therapist helping a resident to become independent again, particularly when it comes to dressing, personal hygiene, and eating.
A skilled nursing care facility also provides pharmaceutical, laboratory and radiology services, social and educational activities, laundry services, limited transportation, and end-of-life or hospice care.
Some facilities are specially designed to accommodate seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, dementia, or respiratory conditions. The staff also provides custodial or personal care focusing on helping residents with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, personal hygiene, eating, maneuvering in and out of bed and/or walking, and incontinence.
Differences between Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living
Deciding between skilled nursing care and assisted living can be difficult. It's important to know a skilled nursing care facility may be needed if your loved one requires around-the-clock care, particularly if they might wander if not supervised. Skilled nursing also provides assistance with meals, medications, mobility, and personal hygiene. Ultimately, the purpose is to provide more assistance than the current family or caregiver can handle, but also to offer the comfort of being able to reside in one's own home while not having to live alone.
Assisted living centers are recommended for when the senior does not require much medical care but needs more assistance than can be provided in their home. Assisted living facilities allow residents to independently live in their own rooms or small apartments. They also provide meals, housekeeping, and transportation services, along with assistance in personal hygiene, medications, and dressing, much like skilled nursing. There is also a resident doctor and nurse on staff. Centers have a scheduled calendar of events for residents and families, such as arts and crafts, current events, and field trips.
Is it covered?
Medicare Part A covers skilled nursing care in a skilled nursing facility under certain conditions and for a limited time. Medicare-covered services include a semi-private room shared with other patients, meals, skilled nursing care, physical and occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, medications and supplies used in the facility, ambulance transportation, and dietary counseling.
It's important to note that Medicare covers swing-bed services in certain hospitals and when the hospital has entered into a "swing-bed" agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services. With this, the facility can "swing" its beds and provide hospital or skilled nursing facility-level care as needed. When swing beds are used to furnish skilled nursing facility-level care, the same coverage and cost-sharing rules apply as though the services were furnished in a skilled nursing facility.