Skilled nursing care is medical care provided by skilled and licensed health professionals such as registered nurses and physical, speech, and occupational therapists.
Skilled nursing care services may be utilized as short-term rehabilitation care for patients recovering from an illness or injury, or they may be necessary over the long term for individuals who need ongoing care due to a chronic medical condition.
Examples of skilled nursing care include:
- Wound care
- Intravenous therapy (IV)
- Catheter care
- Physical therapy
- Monitoring of vital signs and medical equipment
Does Medicare Cover Skilled Nursing Care?
Skilled nursing care may be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Benefits, or private health insurance. State Medicaid programs have different rules that determine when skilled nursing care is necessary and covered by Medicaid.
The patient is eligible for home health care coverage in certain circumstances after he or she spends at least three days in a hospital or have a Medicare-covered stay in a skilled nursing facility.
However, the patient still needs to meet certain eligibility requirements such as being entirely confined to his or her home and needing skilled care. Also, the person must receive home health services within 14 days of their hospital or skilled nursing facility discharge to receive home health care under Medicare coverage.
Skilled nursing care can be provided in a variety of senior care settings.
Skilled Nursing Care in the Home
Aging in place is something that many aging adults don’t want to give up, regardless of their deteriorating health condition. Today, more seniors are choosing to age in place than ever before, so home health has answered back by offering skilled nursing care services in clients’ homes.
Home health care services enable a senior to receive effective medical treatment while staying at home and keeping their independence as long as possible.
Skilled Nursing Care in Assisted Living Facilities
Aging people who want to keep some level of independence but require support with activities of daily living (ADLs) may need to consider a move to an assisted living facility (ALF). Assisted living facilities provide different levels of care. However, if a resident’s care needs exceed the services provided by ALF, they must hire a home health care agency to come and provide additional services.