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Healthcare Acronym: SNF - Skilled Nursing Facility

November 06, 2012
Group owner Richard Martine


Healthcare Acronym: SNF - Skilled Nursing Facility

By: Richard Martine   Post Date : November 06, 2012
The healthcare industry has many different facilities designed to meet patient needs. While hospitals and physicians' offices may be the conventional destinations when an illness or injury occurs, there are several other options depending on a patient's specific needs. Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) are accredited healthcare providers that offer extended care supervised by medical professionals. A Skilled Nursing Facility is staffed by licensed nurses who observe patients, manage their daily care, administer treatment and rehabilitation, and evaluate patient progress toward specific goals. Treatment may include intravenous drugs, speech therapy, and rehabilitative physical therapy--all of these methods require the attention of medical professionals. Some patients in a Skilled Nursing Facility may also require close monitoring to ensure their condition remains stable.

A Skilled Nursing Facility will often host a variety of different medical professionals. Nurses, speech-language pathologists (SLPs), physical therapists, and visiting physicians all may be regularly employed or temporarily contracted at accredited SNFs. Prior to enrolling, it is essential for patients to not the specialties of the regular medical staff to ensure their services are capable of meeting patient needs. An accredited Skilled Nursing Facility must operate under strict requirements set forth by the Social Security Act. Legally, each patient in a skilled nursing facility must have his or her condition personally supervised by a physician, who is available for emergency contact if necessary. Records for each SNF patient must be stored in order to maintain accreditation. Skilled nursing care must be accessible for patients around the clock, and each SNF is required to have at least one RN on staff. Since many patients in these facilities require regular medication, the Skilled Nursing Facility is responsible for maintaining adequate pharmaceutical storage conditions and dispensation protocol. Other Social Security Act mandates include compliance with all state SNF regulations and maintenance of a solvent budget.

Patients--and particularly elderly patients on fixed incomes--may struggle to find accredited a Skilled Nursing Facility within their budget. Fortunately, Medicare offers compensation for a variety of skilled nursing scenarios, but stays in these facilities may be limited under certain conditions. If patients require only custodial care--defined as simple assistance with day-to-day activities as opposed to specific medical conditions--Medicare does not provide compensation. Patients searching for payment solutions are advised to consult the human resources departments of local healthcare providers.

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