Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) or Nursing HomeA skilled nursing facility (SNF) is a place of residence for people who require 24-hour nursing care and have significant problems with activities of daily living. Residents include the elderly and younger adults with physical disabilities. Adults 18 years or older can stay in a skilled nursing facility to receive physical, occupational, and other rehabilitative therapies following an accident or illness. Hospitals often have arrangements with SNFs to provide follow up care after a patient no longer needs the level of services that an acute care hospital provides.
Most SNFs have two basic types of services: skilled medical care and custodial care. Skilled medical care includes services of trained professionals such as a registered nurses and physical, occupational, and speech therapists that are needed for a limited period of time following an injury or illness. Custodial or personal care includes assistance with what are known as the activities of daily living, which includes bathing, dressing, eating, grooming, and toileting.
Private insurance and Medicare pay for nursing home care only for limited time periods following a hospitalization. For Medicare payment, patients must have been hospitalized for at least 3 days and enter the nursing home within 30 days of the hospitalization. Only the first 20 days are 100% covered; after 20 days, there is a daily deductible. There is a 100-day maximum related to any one hospitalization and diagnosis. Patients must be making regular progress as documented by medical professionals. If progress toward independence is no longer occurring, insurance coverage ends.