Skilled nursing facilities are places where patients go when they need 24/7 medical care from skilled nurses. They generally have beds in rooms that patients share during their time at the facility. The purpose of this type of situation is to have a licensed nurse take care of health care needs that only a skilled nurse can provide.
There can be a variety of health problems that are best served by a skilled nurse. Some of these are: extended rehabilitation, IV therapy, pulmonary therapy, tracheotomy care, and chronic medical conditions which have been exacerbated. Due to the patient needing 24-hour specialized care, the price of a skilled nursing facility is very high.
An Astounding Bill
Currently, the average cost across the nation for a skilled nursing facility is $8,266 per month. Since this number takes into consideration all states, that number can go up or down depending on the location – but not by a whole lot.
States that have a higher cost of living tend to have higher costs for skilled nursing facilities as well. As for Southwest Virginia, the average monthly cost of a skilled nursing facility is $7,800. We came up with that number by looking at the average cost of individual facilities located in this region.
Medicaid Can Help
Few families can afford the hefty price tag that comes with a skilled nursing facility. For those who are over 65 and on Medicaid, it’s the best option. Medicaid will cover the room rate (double or more occupancy), skilled nursing care, all meals, all types of necessary therapy related to the health condition (such as occupational, physical, and speech), social services, medical supplies needed to treat the patient, medications, dietary counseling, and any emergency transportation to a hospital.
Medicaid is specific when it comes to rules and what it will cover. For example, a doctor must deem the skilled nursing necessary. For the first 20 days there is no cost, and the 21st day to the 100th is billed at $170.50 (2019 pricing); the patient is responsible for the remaining costs after that.
Skilled nursing isn’t a long-term situation that Medicaid is willing to take care of; rather, it’s there to help people who have serious, shorter term needs.
Other Payment Options
Once the maximum Medicaid limits have been paid, long-term care insurance can kick in if the patient has it. This type of insurance covers costs associated with medical care that won’t be paid by other forms of insurance. If the patient doesn’t have long-term care insurance, the money will have to be paid from their bank savings account or retirement funds.
Where to Go?
When faced with a serious medical issue, the number one factor is quality, competent care. After that, it’s important to take other things into consideration, such as location. Would the bedridden patient rather look out the window at a pleasant countryside, or buildings surrounded by smog? These choices aren’t always available for some families, but if they are it’s best to choose a facility that is more conducive to healing both the body and mind.
Prior to deciding which facility to choose, consider taking a tour and visiting with staff members. It’ll give a better feel of how things run and what the situation will look like. You can also look into online reviews and any word of mouth referrals before choosing the right skilled nursing facility.