Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Nursing Home and Skilled Nursing Care Differences Explained by Covenant Care Cofounder Stephen Edward Samuelian

Stephen Edward Samuelian
Both skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes are care providers that seniors utilize when aging-in-place is not an option, according to Stephen Edward Samuelian. Despite these terms being used interchangeably, they may not provide the same level of care.

Q: Is there a difference between skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: There are absolutely differences! A skilled nursing facility is certified by Medicare and regulated by the US Department of Health. Nursing homes are typically run by charitable organizations and not subject to federal regulation.

Q: Are both covered by Medicare?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: No, a skilled nursing facility is covered by Medicare for up to 100 days. Nursing homes are not.

Q: What is a transfer agreement?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: A skilled nursing facility must have a transfer agreement with area hospitals. This is a document that allows for the transfer of a resident with rehabilitative, restorative, or emergency care needs.

Q: What is defined as “skilled care?”

Stephen Edward Samuelian: Skilled care is medically-necessary care that is not typically administered by the patient. This includes intravenous injections, administration of certain types of medications, and physical therapy.

Q: Do nursing homes offer skilled care services?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: Some may, however, a skilled nursing facility is much more likely to have the correct licenses to perform these types of services. A nursing home tends to cater more towards seniors who need non-professional day-to-day care.

Q: How does Medicare certify a skilled nursing facility?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: Medicare verifies that the facility and staff are equipped to provide health-related services.

Q: What type of staff is typical of a skilled nursing facility?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: A skilled nursing facility will include a medical director as well as licensed nursing, vocational, and occupational therapists. It will also include certified language and speech pathologist and audiologists.

Q: What are some examples of custodial care that may be provided by a nursing home?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: Assisting with dining, bathing, dressing, and getting out of bed are all daily custodial activities.

Q: Do skilled nursing facilities offer day-to-day assistance?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: Absolutely.

Q: Are there licensed providers in nursing homes?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: Many have certified professional healthcare workers on staff. However, they are not regulated by the national government and may not have someone to cover every type of care needed.

Q: Who regulates nursing homes?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: Usually the facility’s local or state government.

Q: Is one type of care facility better than the other, in your opinion?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: That depends on a number of factors, including the resident’s ability to care for themselves. A senior who requires constant medical attention may find that a skilled nursing facility has more of the amenities they need to enjoy a better quality of life.

Q: Does Medicare offer any assistance in helping people determine which care is right for them?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: Medicare offers what they call a Nursing Home Compare Tool. However, since they do not regulate nursing homes, they are in reality comparing skilled nursing facilities.