Selecting a Skilled Nursing Facility
A letter from Glen Roebuck, Executive Director of Home, Outpatient and Senior Living Services
With more than 30 years working in senior health care, and as the Executive Director of Home, Outpatient and Senior Living Services 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. The points below are designed to offer some recommendations in your decision-making:
Please be aware that Genesis Health System offers both short term rehabilitation and long term care services on our Silvis, DeWitt and Aledo campuses. Each of these facilities is highly regarded for their service, safety and quality of care. Should these locations be most appropriate for you, we welcome the opportunity to seamlessly continue your health care services within one of our outstanding facilities.
We recognize that these locations may not work for all of our patients and their families. We have engaged in partnerships with area facilities, placing full time Genesis Nurse Practitioners in these facilities to enhance the level of care and medical oversight. Nurse Practitioners currently provide services at the following Genesis Preferred Providers:
Please note that the likelihood of a patient requiring readmission to the hospital drops by 50% when a patient goes to a facility where a Genesis Nurse Practitioner is on site five days/week.
The decision to admit to a skilled nursing facility is often a difficult and emotional decision for patients and families. Please understand that according to national benchmarked satisfaction surveys of skilled nursing facilities, 89% of patients and their families would recommend the facility they have chosen to others. A very high percentage of patients and families are very pleased with the care and services received within their chosen skilled nursing setting.
We strongly encourage patients and their families to select skilled nursing providers based upon the medical needs of the patient and the expertise and performance offered at the specific facility. The list which accompanies this letter designates three important factors which directly impact the quality of care: Nurse Practitioner support, readmission rates, and 24 hour RN services. Pertinent questions to ask of facilities when considering admission include:
- How long are your average short-term rehabilitation stays? (Should be 16 days or less)
- 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?
View the Medicare five star rating system for skilled nursing facilities.
When considering the selection of a skilled nursing facility, 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 directly correlates to quality care and rehabilitation.
As required by Medicare, Genesis Health System will provide you a list of all skilled nursing facilities within our area. Your Care Coordinator can provide additional guidance related to bed availability and the level of medical care provided at specific facilities. This information changes frequently. Due to limited volume for 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, Home, Outpatient and Senior Living Services
Genesis Health System
Click on the buttons below to view a list of skilled nursing providers throughout Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois