Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of frequently asked questions. If you have further questions, feel free to contact us and we will respond as soon as possible.
What is a skilled nursing facility (sometimes called a “skilled care facility”)?
Generally speaking, a skilled nursing facility is a clinical care provider of 24-hour licensed nursing. A “SNF,” as they are often referred to, is primarily engaged in providing services for residents who require medical or nursing care and/or therapy services for the rehabilitation of injured, disabled, or sick persons.
Care typically includes: rehabilitation, intravenous therapy, post-surgical stabilization, pulmonary management, and wound care.
Additionally, we provide assistance with administration of medications, and aid in a variety of daily living needs, including dressing, bathing, walking, and eating.
Does a skilled nursing facility provide other services?
Most facilities do provide additional services. Following are the types of services available:
-Podiatry and optometry
-Housekeeping & laundry
-Beauty/barber shop (additional fees)
Will my own doctor check on me in the facility?
-This depends on whether your doctor chooses to see patients here. We are always open to new physicians willing to see patients at the facility. If not, We have our Medical Director, Dr. John Rachow from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
-While everyone’s medical condition varies, typically the physician will make rounds and see your family member monthly for the first 3 months and every 2 – 6 months thereafter.
-Upon discharge, we will release information pertaining to your medical status to your personal physician at your request.
How do I know if I qualify for Medicare or Medicaid? What’s the difference between programs?
Medicare is a federal health insurance program. It typically covers some expenses related to a stay in a skilled nursing facility, but only after an inpatient hospital stay covering a period of three midnights and only for a related illness or injury.
Generally, you may be eligible for Medicare if you or your spouse has paid into Social Security for at least 10 years.
Additionally, you must be:
-Age 65 or older and receiving social security retirement benefits,
-Under age 65 with certain disabilities and have received social security disability
benefits for 24-months,
-Or be any age but diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease.
Talk to a social worker at your hospital or visit www.medicare.govfor more information on eligibility requirements and to find out what services Medicare covers for skilled nursing facility stays.
Medicaid is a federally-supported, state-operated health care assistance program that pays for health care services.
-Who is eligible? Certain individuals or families with substantially low incomes, who may have no medical insurance or inadequate medical insurance.
-Generally, eligibility is based on extreme financial need and medical necessity.
Speak to a social worker at the hospital or visit www.cms.hhs.gov/medicaid/eligibility to learn more about eligibility and the criteria specific to each. Because each state operates its own Medicaid program, eligibility requirements and coverage vary from state to state.
Also, to find Medicare & Medicaid-certified skilled nursing facilities, go to The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals
What should I bring with me to the facility?
-First and foremost, bring all of your Medicare/Medicaid cards.
-Provide any and all insurance coverage cards to the admissions representative at the facility.
-Also, make sure to have drivers license and social security cards with you as they may be needed to complete the admission process.
Also, bring items that will make your stay more restful and easier on you, such as:
-Comfortable clothing, with your name clearly written on the label. Bring enough clothing for at least 7-10 days.
-A pair of non-skid, supportive shoes & socks
-Toothbrush/toothpaste, denture cups
-Comb, brush, personal lotions, deodorant & other essential toiletries
-Hearing aide, eyeglasses & eyeglass case
-Reading materials, family photos
-Small television & telephone, you may arrange to have these services provided at your expense. You may also bring your cell phone should you wish to use it instead of a wall jack telephone.
What should I leave at home?
-Large amounts of money
-Electrical items, including extension cords, space heaters, and electric blankets
How do I know if I or a loved one can still live at home or should move into some kind of facility?
Look for some of the following signs to guide you as to whether you or a loved one needs help:
-Requiring daily assistance with eating, dressing, bathing, or using the toilet.
-Forgetting to take medications or perhaps taking too many.
-Behaving in ways that could be harmful (to yourself or to others).
-Wandering away from home or frequent signs of memory loss.
If you find you or a family member need help, here are some options, one of which may suit your specific situation:
-Find the right skilled nursing facility if you or a loved one has suffered an illness or injury and requires rehabilitation and/or continuous medical care, whether for the short or long-term. And, keep in mind that unfortunately there may be certain medical conditions that cause continued decline, regardless of the clinical solutions available.
-Move into an assisted living community, which offers independent living with assistance in the areas of housekeeping services, provision of meals, and personal care.
-Continue to live at home after recovering from an injury or illness, but bring in additional assistance such as home care professionals and/or utilize community services (Meals on Wheels, for instance).