What Exactly is a SNF?

As recent as ten years ago, when people referenced SNFs, they were generally talking about a traditional long term care nursing home. In recent years, the SNF model has evolved to include specialized short term rehabilitation centers, geared towards helping people return home after a serious illness, injury or operation.

These centers are staffed with a team of licensed therapists, compassionate nurses and doctors. Admission eligibility depends on a few factors. First, are you in need of long term care or short term rehabilitation services? If you are in need of short term rehabilitation and you have Medicare or private insurance, both will help pay for these services. Prior to entering a SNF, Medicare beneficiaries must have been hospitalized for a minimum of three consecutive nights. Medicare covers the first 20 SNF days paid in full. Days 21-100, the Medicare beneficiary either pays a daily co-insurance rate or may have opted for a secondary insurance that picks up these co-payments. Medicaid traditionally pays for long term care services. What should you do if you’re discharged home but don’t feel strong enough to be home? Medicare allows a 30-day window for people who return home to be admitted into a  SNF, as long as the patient was in the hospital for at least three consecutive midnights. There is no need to readmit to the hospital, as you can be directly admitted to a SNF. There are multiple skilled nursing facilities in your area, how should you choose where to go? Visit Seniorsbluebook.com for a complete list of providers as well as www.Medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare offers a reliable rating system based on staffing, quality measures and health inspection outcomes. Understanding the 5-star rating system  is crucial to ensuring that you receive exceptional clinical care from a reputable facility. New SNFs will not obtain their 5-star rating until after one year of operation. As with rated facilities, it is incredibly beneficial to schedule a tour for yourself or a loved one to gain understanding about your SNF of choice. While on a tour of the SNF be sure to observe the staff  friendliness, building cleanliness, amenities and overall feel of the facility. It’s our privilege to guide you through this process and be your personal resource on the path to optimal wellness. ~

Editor’s Note: This article is sponsored by Monarch Healthcare Management.