WHAT IS SKILLED NURSING?

A nursing home, skilled nursing facility (SNF), care home, or rest home provides a higher level of residen al care. They are a place of residence for people who require continual nursing care and need significant help with activities of daily living. Nursing aides and licensed nurses are available 24 hours a day. Residents include the elderly and younger adults with physical or mental disabilities. Residents in a skilled nursing facility may also receive physical, occupational, and other rehabilitative therapies following an accident or illness. Some nursing homes assist people with special needs, such as people with Alzheimer’s disease.

A skilled nursing facility (SNF) is a nursing home certified to participate in and be reimbursed by Medicare. States have a contract with Medicare to monitor those nursing homes that want to be eligible to provide care to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. Congress established minimum requirements for nursing homes that want to provide services under Medicare and Medicaid. These requirements are broadly outlined in the Social Security Act, which also entrusts the Secretary of Health and Human Services with the responsibility of monitoring and enforcing these requirements. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is also charged with the responsibility of working out the details of the law and how it will be implemented.