Answering Skilled Nursing and Nursing Home Admissions Questions

by Danielle Batdorff, BSHA/HIS
Director of Admissions
Jada Palm

Hospital Liaison
The GRAND of Dublin

If a person has never been through the process, the thought of entering a skilled nursing or rehab facility can be a little overwhelming. It’s natural to have several questions. We’ve put together a list of the most commonly asked questions to help you better understand what to expect.

What is skilled nursing?

Skilled nursing is a type of intermediate care in which the patient or resident needs more assistance than usual. This setting is designated for physical, occupational, and speech therapies, to aide in strengthening the patient who has a goal of returning to their home at baseline. Skilled nursing services are offered to patients who need IV medications administered, who may have wound care needs, or who may need teaching on medication management, an example of this would be newly diagnosed diabetics.

What is the difference between short-term care and long-term care?

Short term care is a temporary solution that may last from a few days to a few months. Long term care is typically utilized for in-house placement for the duration of the patient’s life.

What social activities are offered?

Skilled nursing facilities offer a full calendar of social events and activities. Residents are encouraged to join in as many activities and social events as they like. Some examples include; art classes, ice cream socials, bingo and cards, game and movie night, quest performers and church services.

In addition, they offer wellness programs, exercise classes, beauty salons, small dining areas, café and restaurant style dining rooms, and outdoor sitting and walking areas.

What should I bring with me?

It is recommended that you bring comfortable clothing for working out in therapy along with good fitting shoes. Personal hygiene items (all labeled with your name), photo ID, insurance cards, advanced directive paperwork (Power of Attorney and Living Will paperwork).

What are the rooms like?

Some facilities offer both single and double occupancy rooms. Each facility has its own characteristics which make it unique and sets it apart from the other down the street. An example; The GRAND offers single occupancy rooms with walk-in showers, individual heating/cooling units, refrigerators, Wi-Fi and cable. Patient’s medications are locked securely in each patient room and we strive to provide a home like atmosphere.

What does Medicare cover?

Medicare part A covers skilled nursing care under certain conditions for a limited time.

  • You must have a qualifying hospital stay. This means you meet the minimum 3 night inpatient hospitalization requirement.
  • You have part A and days left in your benefit period.
  • Your doctor has ordered skilled services due to a medical condition which requires the need for 24/7 nursing care and therapy services offered 5 to 6 days a week.

Medicare covered services include;

  • A semi-private room
  • Meals
  • Skilled nursing care
  • Physical and Occupational Therapy
  • Speech-Language Pathology Services
  • Medical Social Services
  • Medical supplies and equipment used in the facility
  • Ambulance transportation (when other transportation endangers ones health) to the nearest supplier of needed services that aren’t available at the SNF
  • Dietary Counseling

Medicare part A will pay as follows;

  • Days 1-20 – pays at 100% with no patient responsibility
    (Remains $0 co-insurance for 2018)
  • Days 21-100 – patient responsibility of $164.50 per day co-insurance
    (2018 co-insurance will be $167.50)

Additional information can be obtained through Medicare.gov

How do I find out what my insurance will cover?

Insurance benefits and eligibility will be checked prior to admission to the building, but you may also call the member services number on your card and a customer service representative will provide you with details of your coverage options.

What is the next step and what can I expect once I select a facility?

Once you have selected a facility you will notify your hospital social worker and he/she will send the referral to the building for review. You may choose to tour the building. Your clinical is then reviewed by the admissions and nursing team to make ensure the facility can clinically manage your stay, and then the hospital liaison will visit you in the hospital to answer any questions you may have. If you need an authorization from your insurance to admit, the facility will then start that process. Once authorization has been received the facility will communicate with the hospital social worker.

What are your staffing ratios?

At The GRAND skilled setting, our ration is 1:12 or 1:13, with an STNA on each hall. Our staffing ratios are significantly above average.

How often is therapy provided and will I have a schedule?

Therapy is provided at the discretion of your ordering physician, the therapy team, and your needs. You can ask for a specific schedule if that works better for you. At The GRAND, the therapy team will meet with you either the day of your arrival or the next day.  An example, some prefer mornings, some prefer afternoons and some prefer to have their therapies separated. Meaning occupational therapy may be planned for the afternoon and physical therapy planned for the mornings.

What sets your facility apart from the others?

The GRAND offers several amenities that set us apart from our competitor’s. We have Digger and Finch pub, our ice cream parlor, Movie Theater, beauty salon, pharmacy, chapel, licensed in-house therapy team and team of dedicated nurses and STNA’s and low patient/staff ratios, we offer outstanding service to our residents.

What are your visitation hours and/or restrictions?

Each facility will have set hours of operation. The most common hours of operation most facilities follow are 8am to 8pm, 7 days per week. The GRAND’s hours are 8:30am to 8pm, Monday through Friday and 9am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday. There may or may not be restrictions on when visitors can be with their moved one. The GRAND does not have such restrictions and provides security 7 nights per week.

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