You’re having to make some serious decisions regarding the care and living arrangements of a loved one. This time can be a challenging process to collect all the information you need while making the right decisions for your family.
We’re complied several questions and answers we commonly hear from people just like you. Click on the question below to reveal the answer. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to use the form below to ask us directly.
Q: What exactly is Skilled Nursing?
A: A Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitative Center provides 24-hour nurse supervision, meals, activities, wellness programming, and health management support to post-surgery and post-hospital residents. In addition, Skilled Nursing offers long term oversight for individuals who require 24-hour oversight and care management. Nursing staff members develop personalized care plans for each resident and work with them daily to ensure exceptional outcomes.
Q: In a Skilled Nursing facility, what's the difference between short-term and long-term care?
A: Short-term care refers to a facility providing Skilled Nursing /or rehabilitative care such as physical, occupational and speech therapies. At times, short-term Skilled Nursing can also be referred to as “post-acute” care, as residents are often referred directly for rehabilitation services from the acute care hospital. The approach with skilled nursing is to guide the resident through recovery, allowing them to return to a lesser level of care. Long-term care refers to daily monitoring of medical needs from 24-hour licensed nursing staff as well as providing assistance with activities of daily living.
Q: What can I bring to a Skilled Nursing/post-acute care facility?
A: Most facilities provide furnished suites with room amenities not unlike your favorite hotel. The room typically includes furniture, electric bed, linens, television, and telephone service. For short term residents, our suggestion is to pack a suitcase with toiletries and clothes for one week at a time. We do encourage our guests to bring family pictures and other personal mementos for recovery inspiration and returning to independence.
Q: What safety measures are in place at a Skilled Nursing facility?
A: Individuals with chronic health problems choose a Skilled Nursing facility for their post-hospital and post-surgery recovery for various reasons, one of which is safety. With 24-hour nursing staff and certified nursing assistants available to respond in case of a fall, medication reaction or other health issue, a Skilled Nursing facility offers peace of mind to the guest as well as the family. Our facilities offer an in-room nurse call system, as well as programs designed for frequent monitoring of our residents’ health needs. Exit door security, and specifically designed medical equipment are available to ensure the ongoing safety of our residents.
Q: What if my physician does not choose to follow our loved one from the hospital to your Skilled Nursing facility?
A: Our communities maintain strong relationships with not only the local hospital staff but with local physicians in the area. We will work with your preferences to choose a physician who is right for the residents’ specific needs.
Q: How often will a doctor visit my family member at the Skilled Nursing facility?
A: A doctor sees a resident as often as is medically necessary. Medicare and insurance companies may also make recommendations on how often a resident should be seen, but visits are determined by individual resident needs.
Q: How much therapy will my family member receive at your Skilled Nursing facility?
A: You would receive as much therapy as is medically necessary. The opinions of the therapy staff, as well as any recommendations from Medicare and the insurance carrier, are considered when a physician designs and orders a resident's therapy program.
Q: When will my family member’s therapy begin once admitted to the Skilled Nursing facility?
A: Each individual is assessed within 24 hours of admission to determine their individual needs and treatment typically begins shortly thereafter.
Q: How much does Skilled Nursing cost?
A: Skilled Nursing offers the most variety in cost and payment options of all the senior living options. The national average for a semi-private room is a little over $7,000 per month ($84,000 annually). For those paying personally for long-term care, the cost may be covered by a resident’s applicable insurance or specific long-term care policy. In many of our locations, we also accept VA benefits and Medicaid. As payment for services is an individual process, please speak with one of our financial advisors located in each of our facilities.
For a Skilled Nursing or therapy stay, a short-term guest may be eligible for Medicare, private pay and private insurance. We accept most major insurance and are willing to negotiate on your behalf with those carriers currently not contracted. Again, contact us today to speak with a financial advisor to discuss financial coverage and payment options.
Q: What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?
A: Medicare is a federally funded government program that covers a specific duration of skilled services including physical, occupational and speech therapies, typically for short-term stays. Medicaid is a state program to help offset the cost of nursing home care for individuals who meet eligibility, and is considered a long-term option for individuals who may need financial assistance.
Q: How does Medicare works?
A: A skilled care stay is often needed after a surgery or hospitalization due to illness or injury. Medicare provides coverage for skilled care on a short-term basis when the following criteria are met:
- A senior is currently receiving Medicare Part A (Hospital insurance) benefits and is therefore 65 years or older or has been formally diagnosed with renal failure.
- A hospital stay of three or more consecutive days (three midnights) within the past 30 days.
- A physician has determined that skilled care and/or rehabilitation is medically necessary due to a current health condition.
- The skilled services required are provided in a facility that has been certified by Medicare.
If all of these conditions are met, Medicare will contribute to the nursing home cost required on a short-term basis (up to 100 days). Specifically, Medicare will provide 100% coverage for Skilled Nursing costs for the first 20 days of a nursing home stay. From day 21 through day 100 of the benefit period, the individual is responsible for paying 20% of the total cost while they continue to meet Medicare requirements.
Q: How does my insurance work with Medicare to cover my health care cost?
A: Most Medicare supplement insurance will cover the co-pay up to day 100 of skilled services, providing the individual continues to meet Medicare requirements. Prior to admission, all insurance is verified by our facility financial advisor to give the family peace of mind that services will be covered.
Q: Will room service be available to my family member if I don’t want to eat in the dining room?
A: Dining in the resident suite is an available option. Please notify your care team of your request and your meal will be delivered to you as requested, unless contraindicated by your physician of plan of care.
Q: What activities will be available for my family member as an individual?
A: At the time of admission, we spend time to get to know your family member and complete an interest survey. We will suggest wellness programming such as healthy eating cooking classes to compliment the short-term therapy. Residents at our facilities are offered a large variety of individual and group activities including games, outings, art and craft classes, spiritual activities, among others.
Q: When can family and friends come to visit?
A: Visitation with family and friends is always encouraged. Should the resident be short-term care, the visitor should check with the nurse to avoid conflict with the resident’s therapy schedule.
Q: Are pets allowed?
A: Pets are allowed with current vaccinations. Please check with your preferred community for their specific requirements for allowing pets.
Q: What exactly is a Memory Care community?
A: Memory Care communities are specially designed to serve residents with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia. Services and amenities related to this type of care may also be offered in assisted living or skilled nursing care settings. Those services and amenities designed specifically for memory care may include self-contained neighborhoods, secured units or buildings, comprehensive supervision and security, medication assistance, rehabilitation programs and daily activities designed to keep minds active.