Skilled Nursing Facility Admission Process and Improvement of Admission Census

Ola Nkpa
Director of Admissions
Arlington Court Skilled Nursing & Rehab Center

Arlington CourtA skilled nursing facility is an organization where patients who were previously admitted to a hospital are seen or after being released by the hospital. The reason patients are sent down to a skilled nursing facility is to enable them fully to recover from injuries, surgeries etc.  While there, the patients are taken care of by skilled nurses alongside other professionally trained medical staff. They usually get to go home afterwards.  Most of these patients at a typical skilled nursing facility are older patients.

The skilled nursing center is more like a rehabilitation center. A lot of people confuse the Skilled Nursing Facility with Nursing home. A Skilled Nursing Facility is a short-term residence stay usually lasting for a few days to a few months. Nursing home on the other hand is a long-stay permanent residence stay for people. In both types of stays, the patients are provided good services round the clock.

Before the admission process into a Skilled Nursing Facility, it is required that one must have met the necessary requirements needed for an admission into the facility. Typically, patients are sent to the hospital and sometimes are transferred to a Skilled Nursing Facility from an Emergency department which have been known to be the easiest and most convenient way to admit patients into the nursing facility, and a start to direct admission into the facility.

Basic admission process into a Skilled Nursing Facility usually takes a few hours on average but can also take up to several hours. The basic requirements needed to be admitted into a skilled Nursing facility includes having an insurance preferably Medicare (which often covers a stay of one hundred days on average, as long as patient s meets the three-day hospital stay rule), having an insurance that still contains benefit days, if the physician has indicated the need for s daily nursing care for the patient, and usually requires a patient to have stayed up to three days at a hospital. It is usually advised that a patient has a secondary insurance because after a certain period, a co-pay may be required to cover patient’s bills.

The facility usually gets information on where the patient is coming from, and there should be documentation from the patient’s healthcare provider prior to completing the admission process-Referral. These documents include the doctor’s note stating the need for a skilled nursing facility care, medical history, power of attorney papers, code status papers, end-of-life care requests and wishes, living will if available, a certified paper filled out by the hospital showing that the patient has met all the requirements needed for a nursing facility admission, a Patient Review Instrument (PRI) which is usually completed by the patient’s nurse at the hospital should be sent out to the various nursing facilities the patient or patient’s family had chosen, and all other admission paperwork’s as required by the Skilled Nursing Facility the patient is being sent to as needed prior to the patient’s admission into the facility.

Nursing Care Facilities have been in close competitions with each other over the years, making it had to have an assurance of high census daily. It is also tougher to maintain census when here are open options for people such as assisting living. Census maintenance is a huge focus for administrators, as this can be controlled. Some of the ways to maintain census include taking note of key competitors and learn better ways to effect changes to build your facility’s census, maintain quality ambience so that when family members (who are the key buyers) come in, they would be impressed, and rest assured that it is a good ambience suitable for their loved ones. A good environment with basic amenities attracts buyers. Positive attitude from staff can take a brand name to various places from the lips of former patients to the ears of prospective ones. If a patient is treated well alongside smiles and proper care, he or she would talk about their experiences to family and friends who would sing he praises along and end up leading people to the facility, making it an experience based free advertisement.

In conclusion, the basic admission process into a Skilled Nursing Facility is not as difficult as most people think it is, if one has the physician’s order stating the need to be in a skilled nursing care facility, the right paperwork, and insurance coverage. Some of the key factors to maintaining a good admission census include taking note of competitors, good ambience, caregiver’s care attitude towards patients. If all these are put into consideration, a huge difference would be noticed in the daily census.