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4 Answers To Common Questions About Skilled Nursing Care
Posted By: Becky Davis - 12/27/2017 12:00:00 AM

A skilled nursing care facility, also known as a nursing home, is a licensed healthcare facility that is regulated and inspected by the Department of Health Services. Short and long-term care is offered at these establishments for those who need rehabilitation or for those who have persistent or serious health issues. The care at these facilities goes beyond what you might get with home care or in an assisted living location.

What services are offered in a skilled nursing facility?

In a skilled nursing facility, trained professionals provide any number of services for their patients. Post-operative care like giving out medications and taking care of wounds is available. Physical therapists work with those who need help building strength and balance. If a person has a stroke, speech therapists are available to help them learn to communicate better. Occupational therapists work in skilled nursing centers as well, helping people become independent again through therapy centered on eating, personal hygiene, and other daily tasks.

Other services provided at skilled nursing care facilities include laboratory testing, pharmaceutical services, and social activities. Transportation, laundry services, and hospice care can also be available at some facilities.

What is assisted living vs. skilled nursing?

You might have a difficult time deciding between assisted living and skilled nursing care. If your loved one needs 24 hour care, a skilled nursing facility may be needed. These facilities provide assistance with medications, personal hygiene, meals, and mobility. The choice of providing this type of care for your loved one in their own home may be a better option.

Assisted living is not as comprehensive as skilled nursing care, although many of the same services are offered. If your loved one does not need a lot of help with daily tasks or medical care, or is able to live mostly independently, this may be your best option. However, there are not typically as many trained medical or therapy staff available.

Is skilled nursing care covered by Medicare?

For a short amount of time, and under certain conditions, Medicare Part A will cover skilled nursing provided in a nursing home. Medicare covered services include a somewhat private room shared with other occupants, physical therapy, occupational therapy, ambulance transportation, and meals. Skilled nursing care, pathology for speech and language, and supplies and medications used while in the facility are also covered.

You should be aware that some hospitals have a "swing bed" agreement for coverage with Medicare and the Department of Health and Human Services. This policy allows the hospital to switch care, providing either a skilled nursing facility level of care or hospital care depending upon when one is needed. Medicare has the same coverage and cost sharing rules for hospitals that have a "swing bed" policy that would be used for skilled nursing facilities.

How do I determine eligibility?

If you or your loved one have Medicare, you have coverage under Part A if you have days left in your benefits period. You also meet qualifications if a doctor has determined that you need daily care under the supervision of rehabilitation therapy staff or skilled nursing staff. If you need a skilled nursing facility for only rehabilitation services, care is considered daily. You are still eligible even if the therapy services are only offered five or six days a week.

You must need and receive the services each day they are offered. You also have eligibility if the nursing services are needed for a hospital related medical condition. If you have a condition that starts in the skilled nursing facility while you are being treated for a condition related to your hospital stay, you are also eligible.

Skilled nursing care at Bivins Pointe

Contact the experienced team at Bivins Pointe in Amarillo, Texas to learn more about our skilled nursing services. Call us at (806) 350-2200 or Contact Us by email for more information. You can also visit us in person at 6600 Killgore Dr in Amarillo, Texas to see how we can help you and your family.

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