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Choosing a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility

SNF; SAR; Sub-acute rehab

Description

When you no longer need the amount of care provided in the hospital, the hospital will begin the process to discharge you.

Most people hope to go straight home from the hospital after surgery or being ill. But even if you and your health care provider planned for you to go home, your recovery may be slower than expected. So, you may need to go to a skilled nursing or rehabilitation facility.

Skilled nursing facilities provide care for people who are not yet able to care for themselves at home. After your stay at the facility, you may be able to return home and care for yourself.

Plan Ahead

If your surgery is planned, discuss discharge arrangements with your providers in the weeks beforehand. They can tell you whether going straight home will be good for you.

If your stay in the hospital was not planned, you or your family should discuss discharge arrangements with your provider as soon as possible during your time in the hospital. Most hospitals have staff who coordinate discharge planning.

Planning ahead helps ensure you can go to a place that provides high-quality care and is located where you would like it to be. Keep in mind:

Choosing the Right Facility for you

It is always a good idea to check out different skilled nursing facilities. Visit two or three places and choose more than one facility where you would be comfortable.

Things to consider when choosing a place:

Get answers to questions like:

References

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website. Skilled nursing facility (SNF) care. www.medicare.gov/coverage/skilled-nursing-facility-snf-care. Accessed September 2, 2021.

Gadbois EA, Tyler DA, Mor V. Selecting a skilled nursing facility for postacute care: individual and family perspectives. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2017;65(11):2459-2465. PMID: 28682444 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28682444/.

Skilled Nursing Facilities.org website. Learn about skilled nursing facilities. www.seniorcare.com/nursing-homes/. Accessed September 2, 2021.

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Review Date: 5/3/2021  

Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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