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What Is Skilled Nursing Care?

Chris Murray
Posted on: November 20, 2017 by Chris Murray

One of the most common concerns that the average person has regarding home health care is the quality of care that their loved one will receive. As we have discussed in previous blogs, many are concerned that the staff members of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home healthcare are inferior to registered nurses working in hospitals. Home healthcare in particular is subject to concerns over the level of care that patients receive. While every facility differs, this misconception is largely untrue. Reputable health care facilities have standards and requirements for caring for patients; in fact, some even require their staff members to be registered nurses.

The term “skilled nursing care” refers to a high level of medical care that is provided by licensed, trained individuals, such as registered nurses and therapists. Because of this, skilled nursing care is generally more medically-based than traditional nursing care. Some examples of skilled nursing care include:

  • IV therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Wound treatment
  • Injections

Another distinguishing detail about skilled nursing care is that it is typically provided for a set amount of time, generally as much time is needed to treat the patient’s immediate health needs and rehabilitation. The common practice is for seniors or patients to stay at these facilities as a first stop and take care of their more specialized health needs before moving into a long-term residential facility such as a nursing home or assisted living. Skilled nursing services are provided by home health care providers, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes, but is is important for potential residents and their family members to thoroughly research each facility, as not all facilities offer these services.

Traditional nursing home care may not provide exactly the same type of care as skilled nursing facilities, but traditional nursing care and assisted living facilities do have their advantages (even if they are not quite as medically-focused). One major difference is that skilled nursing home care facilities often have a limit on how long residents can stay, whereas nursing homes and assisted living facilities can be a permanent residence for seniors and other patients. Traditional nursing homes and assisted living facilities often do provide daily or even round-the-clock assistance, but the services that they provide are typically assisting with day-to-day tasks such as bathing, dressing, meals, housekeeping, transportation, and other daily care.

It is also important to note that skilled nursing care, unlike traditional nursing homes, is frequently government-covered or certified (for example, Medicaid and Medicare do not cover traditional nursing homes), so those staying in traditional nursing homes will not receive any financial aid. However, this does not mean that traditional nursing homes inherently provide a lesser quality of care; many states require their facilities to be inspected and licensed by parties such as their state’s Department of Health or Department of Social Services.

About Caitlin Morgan

Caitlin Morgan specializes in insuring assisted living facilities and nursing homes and can assist you in providing insurance and risk management services for this niche market. Give us a call to learn more about our programs at 317.575.4454.

Posted in: blog Home Health Care