Nursing Homes provide residential care and treatment to individuals who require constant supervision and constant nursing.
These are also individuals who have considerable problems performing day to day activities. Nursing homes ensure that nursing aides as well as skilled nurses are available round the clock.
Nursing homes are often referred to by other names like rest homes, intermediate homes, skilled nursing facilities or SNFs or even convalescent homes. Residents in nursing homes can be the elderly individuals or even young adults. These could be individuals suffering from mental or physical disabilities. In addition to medical and nursing care, individuals residing in nursing homes could also receive therapy like occupational therapy, speech therapy or physical therapy. These could also include rehabilitation related therapies. Therapies are most common after surgeries following ailments or accidents. Certain nursing homes also provide assistance to individuals who suffer from conditions like Alzheimer’s or Autism. Depending on where these nursing homes are located, the individuals may also have specific legal rights or bindings.
United States has three main types of nursing homes or nursing care facilities.
An intermediate nursing care facility is a kind of nursing facility for people who are either disabled, or they are elderly individuals or they suffer from an acute illness. Such nursing homes usually offer a lower level of intensive care compared to the intensive care offered at hospitals or skilled nursing homes. The medical expenses at the intermediate nursing care facilities are usually borne by the individual or his/her family. The individual’s health insurance or third party services like hospices may also cover the cost of the stay and/or medical services provided at the intermediate nursing facilities.
The second kind of nursing care facilities in the United States are the assisted living nursing care facilities. These are nursing care facilities which are specifically for disabled individuals. These nursing facilities provide assistance with day to day activities as well as supervision of those activities. For these individuals, independent living is not recommended but they also do not require round the clock supervision and the level of medical care that is provided at nursing facilities. Most of these individuals are also too young to be staying in retirement homes. Assisted living promotes independence and dignified living while providing these individuals the personalized care and attention that they require.
The most common form of nursing facilities are the skilled nursing care homes. These are the nursing homes that are certified to be a part of and to get reimbursed from public health programs like Medicare. While Medicare programs cover the elderly aged 65 years or older and is run by the federal government, Medicaid is a health benefits plan that provides coverage to low income individuals and families. Medicaid is jointly funded by both the state governments and the federal government but is managed at the state level. Medicaid also has eligibility criteria in order for an individual or a family to receive coverage.
A large section of the dollars funded by the federal and the state governments to the Medicare and Medicaid programs are used to provide coverage for the nursing homes that provide skilled care to the elderly residents and disabled. The licensing process for nursing homes is overseen by the state departments. In every state, the state department has a contract with the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Service of that state to review and monitor the nursing facilities in the state that are eligible to offer care and nursing assistance to individuals enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid. The Social Security Act lists their broad guidelines and requirements. It also places the responsibility to monitor, review and enforce requirements with the Secretary of Health and Human Services. CMS is also entrusted with working on the details related to this law as well as the structure and details of how it would be implemented in the state. CMS performs the task by writing out regulations as well as manuals.
Nursing Homes Staff would include administrative staff who the family does not work with much once the individual is admitted into the center.
The size of the administration staff could depend on the size of the nursing facility. Nursing home administrations mostly require a license in order to run the nursing home. In addition to administration, there would be support staff like cleaners, janitors, maintenance men and custodians. The staff who have daily contact with the residents of the facility are called direct care staff and they include medical professionals like registered nurses, licensed practical nursing staff or certified nursing assistants.