What Do I Do Now?

My Nurse Case Manager has told me that the doctors are discharging me and I need to be transferred to a Skilled Nursing Facility.”

Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF’s) are specialized health care centers that provide a wide array of therapeutic services to continue to make you well so that you can return to home as soon as possible. In today’s world, hospitals are places where only the most acute and unstable patients are cared for until they are ready and safe enough to be transferred to a SNF. The fact that you are now well enough to be able to transfer to a SNF is great news. It means that you have made significant strides in your return to independence and a short stay in a SNF will get you even closer. Skilled Nursing Facilities are staffed with caring and competent therapists, nurses and doctors that can make sure that the treatment plan that has been determined by your hospital doctors and nurses will be carried out. Whether you’re recovering from a surgery or a medical problem, the caring staff at a highly ranked SNF will make sure that you get the best treatment and return to your prior level of function as soon as possible. “What does highly ranked mean?” Skilled Nursing Facilities are ranked by Medicare every year. You can find these rankings at www.Medicare.com/nursinghomecompare. This is a good place to start your search for a quality facility. After you’ve reviewed the website, discussed your options and received recommendations from your Nurse Case Manager or Social Worker, the next step is to ask a trusted friend or family member to go and tour a few facilities for you. Find out how often a doctor is in the facility. Is the facility clean and well maintained? Observe the staff to make sure they are happy and approachable. Once you’ve done these things you’ll be in a much better position to make an informed choice regarding your next level of your care. I sincerely wish you the best on your road to recovery.

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Alexander Senkoff, M.D.