What is Skilled Care?
Skilled care is for patients who still need a high level of nursing care, but not to the same degree that is given in acute care. This program requires the direction of a physician and management by a professional nursing staff and other health team members twenty-four hours a day. Medicare and Medicaid have set up specific guidelines for this level of care. When the patient no longer meets this criteria, discharge or transfer is planned with the assistance of the Skilled Care Coordinator.
Benefits of Skilled Care
- Greater flexibility in the use of hospital staff and facilities to meet the community’s changing healthcare needs.
- Promotes continuity of care by providing acute and skilled care.
- Allows patients and families to become involved in the establishment of health related goals.
- Provides immediate access to professional nurses, physicians, and emergency care.
- Involves physicians, hospital staff, family, clergy and community volunteers in providing care that promotes physical, psychological, social and spiritual well being.
- Assists the patient and family in evaluating post-hospital care needs through participation in the discharge planning process.
- Maintains a familiar environment for the patient and his/her family.
How Long Can a Patient Stay in Skilled Care?
The skilled care program at Community Medical Center is intended to be short term and rehabilitative in nature. Admission to skilled care is dependent on acute care census and projected admissions.
Acute care patients always have the first priority for hospital beds, and assistance with transfer arrangements will be available if needed. Since skilled care is designed to be short term and rehabilitative, patients and families need to be aware that they should start early in planning for discharge. The Skilled Care Coordinator will be actively involved in helping you and your family prepare for discharge throughout the skilled care stay. There are various options for ongoing care and supportive community resources to assist in this transition.
A patient sometimes chooses to have ongoing care at Community Medical Center after he/she no longer qualifies for the skilled level of care. A brief private pay option is available with the patient becoming personally responsible for the hospital bill at that time. Special arrangements must be made through the Skilled Care Coordinator.
What if the Patient Needs Acute Care again?
Should a skilled care patient become acutely ill again, he/she will be discharged as a skilled care patient and readmitted as an acute care patient. This is done under the direction of a physician and usually doesn’t require a room change.
Click for printable information regarding our Skilled Care Program.