What Services and Activities Do Skilled Nursing Facilities Provide?
There are many services and activities offered through Skilled Nursing. Learn more about what’s available at local facilities.
If you or a loved one has recently been admitted to a hospital and needs continued care, a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) may be the best care option. Surrounded by a staff of licensed nurses and other medical professionals, an individual will receive 24/7 supervised medical care and daily access to therapy and rehab programs, such as joint replacements, stroke recovery, and neurological conditions.
A Skilled Nursing Facility, also known as an “SNF,” is for people seeking higher, more specialized care than what’s offered at an Assisted Living Community. Skilled Nursing Facilities provide a high level of care over a short-term period — usually no longer than 100 days — for in-patient treatment and rehabilitation. Longer-term care is available, based on patient eligibility and circumstance.
Each state has several requirements to qualify for extended care services at a Skilled Nursing Facility, including eligibility for Medicare or Medicaid, a minimum length of in-patient hospital care stay, a maximum time elapsed since hospital stay, and more. Let’s take a look at what Skilled Nursing Facilities have to offer, who qualifies, and how care is generally paid for.
What Are Examples of Skilled Nursing Care?
Skilled Nursing Facilities are staffed with multiple trained medical professionals such as licensed nurses, physical and occupational therapists, speech pathologists, and audiologists. Around-the-clock services provided at an SNF aren’t limited to in-patient care and medical treatment. A team of professionals is also available to assist with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) like bathing and getting dressed. Additional Skilled Care examples include:
- Post-hospital and Post-Surgical Care
- Wound Care
- Rehabilitative services such as Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Stroke Rehabilitation
- Meals and Nutritional Counseling
- IV Therapy
Beyond the comprehensive services provided at a Skilled Nursing Facility, other activities may be available through the Senior Living Community. If this is the case, you or your loved one will benefit from the well-being programs created for socializing, physical engagement, increased mental stamina, and more. Community activities can include arts and crafts, exercise classes, cooking classes, outdoor excursions, ice cream socials, and more.
What Qualifies a Patient for Skilled Nursing Care?
Typically, those admitted to Skilled Nursing Facilities are recovering from surgery, injury, or acute illness. However, seniors with debilitating health issues, chronic severe conditions, or requiring constant medical supervision (i.e., feeding tubes, ventilators, etc.) qualify for Skilled Nursing care.
If you or your loved one is looking to financially cover SNF care using Medicare, you will need to meet the state’s required criteria. While the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requires states to follow some general guidelines, some requirements for Medicare-covered admission include:
- A qualifying in-patient hospital stay of at least three days.
- Your Physician believes you need continued treatment (for the same issue you were treated for in the hospital) and full-time supervision of skilled nurses and therapists.
- You are admitted to a skilled nursing facility certified by Medicare.
Be sure to check with your local state guidelines for the documentation needed for admission to a Skilled Nursing Facility. Below is a helpful checklist of documents you’ll want to have ready:
- Physician’s order for admission to a nursing home.
- Physician’s order for medications and treatment.
- Medical history and physical examination.
- State-required form.
- Health care tests.
- Completed admissions paperwork.
Who Pays for Skilled Nursing?
The three primary financial means of covering Skilled Nursing Facilities expenses are private funds, Medicare, and Medicaid. It is essential to understand the difference between Medicare’s short-term coverage and Medicaid’s long-term funding options.
While some people may have savings, investments, or other private funds available to pay for Skilled Nursing, many people do not. People needing financial assistance and having no more than $2,000 in assets may qualify for Medicaid, which can help pay for the living space and accommodation at an SNF.
On the other hand, Medicare will pay for care and short-term medical needs of up to 100 days of treatment, under Part A, B, C, D, and F. Below is a helpful breakdown to detail how each part of Medicare works:
- Part A covers your hospital stay (about three days) and doctor visits. And will help pay when you go to rehab, where days 1-20 are fully covered, and then days 21-100 are covered at 80%).
- Part B covers your flu shot, shingles shot, or prostate exam.
- Part C coverage is the same as A and B (combined in one program) and covers other dental and vision services.
- Part D covers the cost of your prescription drugs.
If you find this interesting, be sure to check out our next article, “Do Skilled Nursing Facilities Accept Medicaid or Medicare” for more helpful information.
Find an SNF in Your Area
Whether you or a loved one is looking for long- or short-term care, the overall goal for an SNF is to help each patient get healthier and back to living as independently as possible. If you or a loved one needs assistance after a hospital stay, Referah is here to help you get started and give you the tools needed to find trusted Skilled Nursing Facilities in your area. Begin your search today.