Differences Between Post-Acute Care and Skilled Nursing Care

Post-Acute Care and Skilled Nursing Care

Understanding the differences between post-acute care and skilled nursing care can be confusing, especially when the terminology is frequently used mutually regarding senior care. The confusion often arises when the term “skilled nursing care” is used. Essentially, skilled nursing care is used to describe the type of service that is offered. The need for skilled nursing services doesn’t always mean that there is a need for placement in a facility. While there are a variety of senior care facilities that play a vital role to a patient’s treatment, skilled nursing care can take place in a private home.

What is Skilled Nursing Care?

Skilled nursing care is a high level of care that must be provided by a licensed healthcare professional. This type of care can be provided in a variety of settings but must be ordered by a doctor to be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, or private health insurance. Skilled nursing care can be used to describe both a type of care and a senior living option, like a nursing home or assisted living care. Typically, skilled nursing care is a short-term approach where nurses provide specific medical care in response to health conditions, injuries, and procedures. This includes a senior citizen who may need assistance with managing daily needs, such as getting dressed, bathed, and using the bathroom. Skilled nursing also involves professional staff who are able to administer medications and use  specialized equipment. 

Skilled nursing care can take place in a variety of settings such as:

  • A hospital wing
  • An independent facility
  • A nursing home
  • An assisted living home facility
  • A personal residence 

What is Post-Acute Care? 

What happens when an elderly person experiences chronic discomfort from an illness, has a heard attack, surgery, or a bad fall causing them to become incapacitated? Typically, a skilled nursing facility or post-acute care is an option when patients are recently released from a hospital. A post-acute care facility often provides a range of medical care services that support the individual’s continued recovery for patients who need 24-hour a day supervision.

Post-acute care facilities are advantageous for many patients because they offer quality care and condition management. The average length of stay for short term post-acute care is about four weeks, though a patient can remain in the facility for as long as they need care. Typically, for admission to a skilled nursing facility, a patient must commit to one and a half hours of therapy a day. Physicians are usually on staff, but nurses handle much more of the daily care. 

There are big advantages to patients being placed in post-acute care facilities. Hospitals have developed partnerships with post-acute care facilities across the country to ensure patients receive the transitional care they need to recover and reduce their chances of being  readmitted to the hospital. 

Short-term Acute Care at South Coast Post Acute 

South Coast Post Acute is one of southern California’s top-tier post-acute care facilities. Our services are designed to provide best-in-class short-term acute care for patients with immediate health needs who have recently been released from the hospital. Our approach is to stabilize and induce our patients’ successful recovery.  Contact us today to learn more.

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