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What Are Skilled Nursing Facilities?

skilled nursing facilitiesYou may have heard the term skilled nursing facility but may not truly understand the scope of these facilities. So what are skilled nursing facilities?

SNF vs. Nursing Home

Many people think a skilled nursing facility (SNF) is just a nursing home. However, instead of long-term daily care, a SNF offers patients the tools they need to get back on their feet. Instead of simply living in a nursing home where all your care is provided for you, staff members at a SNF help you learn to care for yourself independently so you can return home.

For example, if you’ve had an extended hospital stay and your muscles are weak and atrophied from a prolonged period of inactivity, you may spend a few days in a SNF. You’ll work with physical therapists to regain strength. If you’ve suffered a stroke, occupational and speech therapists at a SNF will help you regain motor and speech skills. Or if you need IV antibiotics for an infection but aren’t sick enough to remain in a hospital, you may be transferred to a SNF for skilled nursing care.

How Do I Pay for SNF Care?

Following a qualifying hospital stay, traditional Medicare Part A will pay for up to 100 days of SNF care each year. The first 20 days are paid for at 100 percent; the next 80 are covered at 80 percent. If you have a Medicare replacement plan through a private insurance company, you have the same 100-day benefit. You’ll need to check with your specific plan about copays and deductibles.

What if I Can’t Go Home?

If you find you’re not comfortable going home after rehabbing at a SNF, you can transition to intermediate care, which is traditional nursing home care. Along with assistance in the activities of daily living, you may be able to continue receiving skilled services like physical therapy, wound care or IV therapy.

Hopefully, this information helps you understand what are skilled nursing facilities a little better. If you’d like more information, please call Santé at 480‐563‐2402.

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