Outside the hospital, a nursing home is the facility where a patient can receive the most extensive care. A nursing home, also known under the names Skilled Nursing Facility, Nursing Center, Convalescent Care and Long Term Care Facility, offers residents (who may be suffering from an illness, recovering from an accident, or senior citizens, at least 55 years old) skilled and custodial care (such as eating, bathing, toileting and dressing). Skilled nursing care, which includes medical treatment and monitoring, is provided by a registered nurse.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 15,700 various nursing homes all around the US provided services to approximately 1.4 million residents (this statistical information was made available last February 2015).
Nursing homes are primarily designed for the elderly who need a high level of medical care and assistance. Due to this, care for residents is entrusted to skilled nurses and trained staff members. Because of the uniqueness in patients’ medical needs, some nursing home facilities now also have units for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s as well as facilities for those needing short-term rehabilitative care (such as those recovering from an illness, a surgery or an injury).
Despite the necessity of housing their senior loved one in a nursing home, many families find this type of long term care facility financially burdensome, considering the cost of a semi-private room, which is at $222 per day, while the cost of a private room is up to $248 per day. While a long term care insurance policy would be a big help to augment family savings, families may have another source for financial benefits, namely Medicare.
According to SeniorAdvice.com, a senior adult requiring stay in a nursing home facility for 100 days or less may qualify for Medicare benefits, but only if he or she:
- is 65 years old or is suffering from renal failure;
- is currently receiving Medicare Part A benefits, which is Hospital insurance;
- has undergone hospital confinement for at least three within the past 30 days;
- has been determined (by a physician) to be in need of rehabilitation or skilled care in a facility that is Medicare-certified.
Those who qualify for Medicare benefits will be covered 100% for the first 20 days of stay in a nursing home; for the succeeding days, however, the patient will have to shoulder a part of cost incurred in the facility (patient may pay using his or her own money or avail of long-term care insurance benefits if he or she has a policy.
According to USA Today, quality reporting measures for nursing homes will be instituted in 2016, giving consumers a better picture of the care a specific nursing home provides to its patients.