Selecting a Skilled Nursing Facility
A letter from Glen Roebuck, Executive Director of Post Acute Services
With more than 28 years working in senior health care, and as the Executive Director of Post Acute Care for Genesis Health System, I have a unique perspective regarding the selection of a skilled nursing facility for you or your family member. On a personal note, I have also done this for my family members, both in the Quad Cities as well as in other communities around the country.
If you are reading this, your care team at Genesis has determined that you will need the services provided within a skilled nursing facility (“nursing home”) for at least a brief period of rehabilitation. To make this process easier for you and your family, Genesis has carefully selected a Preferred Provider Network of facilities that agree to follow specific quality and clinical guidelines to achieve the desired rehabilitation outcome.
While no outcome is ever guaranteed, this close partnership with Genesis allows the best opportunity for you to have a successful rehabilitation experience. Our preferred Provider partners are:
These providers have contractually agreed to specific clinical standards and protocols to ensure the best continuity of care between Genesis and the respective facilities. Each of these facilities provides RN coverage 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. They regularly report quality, clinical performance, and customer satisfaction data to Genesis and we meet weekly to review trends and address ongoing quality improvement.
In addition, each of these facilities has a Genesis physician and/or Nurse Practitioner on site. Please note that the likelihood of a patient requiring readmission to the hospital drops by 50 percent when a patient goes to a facility where a Genesis Nurse Practitioner is on site.
As required by law, Genesis will provide you a list of all skilled nursing facilities in the area. While we encourage your selection of one of the above preferred providers, you may choose another facility, and we will facilitate that transfer. We encourage consumers to ask the following questions when selecting a skilled nursing center for short term rehabilitation:
- What is your current rate of readmitting patients back to the hospital within 30 days?
- How frequently do you care for people with my family member’s medical condition?
- What percentage of your short term rehabilitation patients discharge home or to a more independent setting?
- How many days per week can I expect to receive physical, occupational and speech therapy services at the facility?
- How often will a physician or nurse practitioner be available to see my family member?
Medicare provides a five star rating system for skilled nursing facilities. We strongly caution consumers to not rely on only one factor, such as geographic proximity or a five star rating. For example, many five star facilities limit the types of patients they serve, the days and times of admissions, the types of medications they provide, etc. This is true in the Quad Cities.
It is much easier to achieve a higher star rating if a facility chooses not to care for those most in need of medical services. The data we provide on our list of providers, as well as the much deeper management and monitoring done within our Preferred Provider Network, directly correlates to quality care and rehabilitation.
Your Care Coordinator can provide additional guidance related to bed availability and the level of medical care provided at specific facilities. Due to the limited number of patients in outlying areas, many rural locations do not have data to share. We encourage you to use the questions above when assessing facilities with limited data availability.
The information presented above stems from my years of experience, conversations with hundreds of patients and families, and inside information and expertise regarding what is most important in selecting a skilled nursing facility. Each patient and family’s needs are different, and identifying the correct fit for you is more than just the closest facility, or the one with the newest décor. We hope this information is helpful in your decision making process. Should you have further questions, please contact your Care Coordinator.
Executive Director, Post Acute Care
Genesis Health System
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