A skilled nursing facility offers 24-hour nursing care and usually has physicians on-site or on-call. Services offered at a skilled nursing facility typically include: nursing care, dietary services, housekeeping, custodial care, physician supervision, activity programs, social services, transportation and care planning. The patient or family members need to understand the admissions process of a SNF to determine if it is an appropriate placement option.

Admission Criteria

A SNF offers a place of residence for someone who no longer requires hospitalization but cannot live at home due nursing related needs. Specialized care facilities may provide dialysis, dementia care, Parkinson's care, respiratory treatment and chronic psychiatric or terminal illness care. A physician documents that the patient requires skilled nursing care before admission to a SNF. A patient or their family need to ensure that the cost of the SNF is covered by their insurance or is affordable for the patient.

Patient Rights

Upon admission to an SNF, patient rights are explained and given to each resident. The outline of patient rights will assist the patient in understanding what can be expected in services and treatment.

Each SNF creates their own resident rights statement, but typically five factors are prominent within a patient rights statement.

The resident has the right to be treated with dignity at all times.

A resident reserves the right to be informed of all medical treatment concerned with their care including the right to refuse medications or treatments and to see the physician of one's choice.

A resident has the right to know all services offered and payment fees before initial admission to the facility. The outline of services and fees should be in written form as well as verbally relayed.

A patient has the right to manage their own money or choose who they want to do this for them.

Finally, the resident has the right to privacy in services, care, communications and property.

Contracts and Agreements

A patient along with their family or representative completes a wide array of paperwork before the admission process is finalized. An admission contract is signed to indicate services and fees along with all reasoning of why further charges my incur in the future. Physician's orders such as the certification of level of care, medications and treatments are secured upon admission. A patient may meet with a dietitian, social worker or activity coordinator to gather other important information to initiate any specialized services the individual may want. All information gathered at the admission process assists the facility in creating an individualized plan of care for the patient that addresses their personal assessed needs.