What Is Skilled Nursing/Rehabilitation Care?

Skilled nursing care is a type of residential care for people who temporarily need medical care and assistance with living activities 24 hours per day. It’s considered an inpatient service for those receiving rehabilitation. Skilled nursing facilities have registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and other caregivers who receive specialized training in caring for the elderly. This type of hospital also typically provides occupational, speech, and physical therapies.

Skilled nursing communities must meet heavy regulations set by the government. They are also closely monitored by Medicare and other payers. These long term care facilities may not discriminate against residents based on race, color, ethnicity, religion, age, sex, or any other protected characteristic. Practicing any form of discrimination in skilled care or assisted living can carry heavy penalties from the government’s regulatory agencies and divisions, such as the public health department. Skilled nursing facilities must provide residents and their families copies of their legal rights related to care. Those rights vary by state and by the facilities’ types.

Who Qualifies for Skilled Nursing Care?

Most patients who enter skilled nursing long term care do so after a surgery, stroke, or a significant illness or injury that significantly diminishes their physical strength. A plan is developed immediately to help the patient return to self-sufficiency and independent living. Other factors make a difference in whether a patient can enter skilled care.

  • Patients who have new feeding tubes may stay in skilled nursing facilities until family members or other loved ones can learn to clean, use, and manage the medical equipment.
  • Some funders may require the patient to receive a certain number of days of care in an acute care hospital before entering long term care.
  • Patients who may need long-term feeding or medications through IV therapy may spend time in a skilled nursing care facility.
  • If a patient needs extensive physical, occupational, respiratory, speech therapy, or telemetry monitoring, they may qualify to receive that care in a skilled nursing setting.

Who Pays for Skilled Nursing Care?

To be reimbursed by Medicare, a skilled nursing facility must provide specific services. Some of the requirements are licensed nurses, daily physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, IV or nutrition therapy, specialized wound care, pain management, and hospice care services. Social services are also an important component.

Stays in skilled nursing facilities are costly but are usually covered, at least partly, by Medicare, Medicaid, or private health plans. After a hospital stay, Medicare will pay for up to 100 days of care if the patient meets the criteria. As of 2020, patients are responsible for $176 per day for days 21 through 100 of the stay. A Medicare supplement policy may cover the copay.

If the patient is not ready to go home safely at the end of this time, Medicaid or private insurance may help pay for a more extended stay. Sometimes patients pay out of pocket. Skilled nursing services cannot charge buy-in fees as some assisted living facilities do. Patients or their families must receive written information about costs before they move into the skilled nursing or assisted living facility.

How Is a Skilled Nursing Facility Different from a Nursing Care Home?

Nursing homes are semi-residential to long term residential, whereas patients in a skilled nursing facility often have a short-term rehabilitation need. Often, the patient stays temporarily to receive rehabilitative services after surgery, heart attack, serious injury, or another debilitating medical situation. When patients enter skilled care facilities, they receive a complete health assessment to determine the best health goals for rehabilitation. The care plan includes services focused on physical recovery and strategies for mental health care, medications, and the recovery of self-care abilities such as how to bathe and dress.

Where Can I Learn More?

Camelot Senior Living serves patients from communities all over South Louisiana who need short-term or long-term care that does not meet the criteria for acute care but cannot be provided through in-home nursing care. Since 1978, we’ve offered specialized senior care services with the highest level of honor and integrity. We bring you and your family compassionate care, seeking to glorify God in all that we do, true to our faith-based mission. With skilled nursing and assisted living facilities in southern Louisiana, we seek to provide quality care while preserving dignity and working toward independence. We strive to be a prominently recognized name in the field of skilled nursing services in the country.

At Camelot Senior Living, we never stop looking for ways to better care for our patients while controlling costs, improving outcomes, and managing productivity. If you or a loved one needs skilled nursing care services, contact us today to learn how we can help with your care needs and care options. Our knowledgeable and professional team can answer all your questions and walk you through the process step by step.