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What is a Skilled Nursing Facility?

What Is A Skilled Nursing Facility Main

Key Summary

Looking for a higher level of care that is more specialized than Assisted Living Communities can provide? Learn more about Skilled Nursing.

You’re looking for a higher level of care for yourself or a loved one —something more specialized than the care provided by Assisted Living Communities. You may have come across a possible answer: finding a trusted Skilled Nursing Facility, also known as a “SNF.”

What is a Skilled Nursing Facility and what types of services are typically provided by a SNF in the 21st century? Further, what are the differences between Skilled Nursing Facilities vs. Nursing Homes? Referah has put together a comprehensive guide to understand what a SNF is, the types of services and treatments you can expect to receive in a SNF, and an overview of how skilled nursing works financially. Additionally, read on to learn who qualifies for a stay in a Skilled Nursing Facility and how to find a location that meets your needs.

Defining the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)

A Skilled Nursing Facility provides a high level of care over a relatively brief, defined period, usually not more than 100 days. This type of care provides an individual with in-patient treatment and rehabilitation at a location that is staffed by licensed nurses and other medical professionals.

The terms “Nursing Home” and “Skilled Nursing Facility” are not exactly interchangeable. Nursing Homes provide medical care, but for patients who will rely on Medicaid for financial support. There will often be a separate SNF within a Nursing Home, providing more specialized medical care. Both Nursing Homes and Skilled Nursing Facilities regularly provide 24/7, supervised medical care on-site, with Skilled Nursing commonly used for short-term rehabilitation stays. The cost of Skilled Nursing is usually only partially covered by Medicare and only for a short period of time after hospitalization.

In a Skilled Nursing Facility, you receive a high level of medical care that is provided by or under the direct supervision of licensed health professionals, including Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Registered Nurses (RNs), as well as physical, occupational, and speech therapists.

Skilled Nursing Facilities provide daily access to therapy and rehab programs for many types of needs, such as joint replacements, stroke recovery, and neurological conditions. Review other services and activities provided by Skilled Nursing Facilities.

What Are Examples of Skilled Nursing Care?

There are several types of services that Skilled Nursing Facilities provide. From wound care to other types of assistance for illnesses and conditions, skilled medical professionals oversee the following:

  • Post-hospital and post-surgical care
  • Incontinence, catheter and colostomy care
  • Medication administration and IV services
  • Diabetic management
  • Blood transfusions
  • Restorative rehabilitation services
  • Speech-language pathology services
  • Special dietary needs
  • Medical supplies and medical equipment for duration of stay
  • Feeding tubes
  • Management of infections
  • Monitoring blood pressure and blood glucose levels
  • Injection services
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • 24-hour emergency services
  • Rehab programs for joint replacements
  • Fall prevention
  • Assistance with mobility and transportation
  • Around the clock care and security

There are many factors to consider when selecting the best SNF for you or your loved one. For further guidance before making a decision, you can refer to our article How Do I Choose a Skilled Nursing Facility.

Who is a Candidate for a Skilled Nursing Facility?

Skilled Nursing is not just for seniors, it is available for people of all ages who are recovering from an injury or serious medical condition such as a stroke or heart attack, and are making the transition out of the hospital.

All Skilled Nursing care must be ordered by a doctor and must be covered in the various stages by Medicare, Medicaid, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), or private health insurance. Medicare provides payment for post-hospital care in SNFs for up to 100 days. It begins on the first day a patient receives Medicare-covered inpatient hospital or Skilled Nursing Facility care.

As Skilled Nursing Facilities are used for short-term rehab, your stay will often require recorded assessments so staff can monitor progress and make adjustments to ensure sure you’re receiving the healthcare you need for recovery. Your SNF team will develop and maintain a specialized care plan that helps you achieve your health goals, and when the time is right, return home or to a new community. When researching SNFs, look for a community that will outline a clear plan for your particular situation and will carry out that plan every day.

Find Skilled Nursing Facilities Near You

If you or a loved one is transitioning out of the hospital (or might find yourself in that situation in the near future), a Skilled Nursing Facility is likely the best option. Whether you are continuing to recover from an injury, illness, or surgery, the professional staff at a SNF can provide a high level of medical care. Referah is here to help you get started and give you the tools you need to find trusted Skilled Nursing Facilities in your area. Begin your search today.

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