Admitting from Home to Skilled Nursing & Rehab

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I work at a local hospital and am interested in learning more about your admission process. Our department often receives questions about how to admit a senior directly from home to a skilled nursing and rehab center, and we are a little confused about how it works.

Would you be able to outline those requirements for us? Any advice would be helpful.



How to Admit a Senior from Home to a Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center

Dear Alice:

What a good question! Admission requirements can definitely be confusing for families. Hopefully, this overview will help:

  • When an older adult wants to be admitted to a skilled care or rehab center, we need to review their most up-to-date clinical information. This includes a History and Physical, as well as a medication list. For seniors living at home, their primary care physician’s office is probably the best place to locate this information. If the senior receives home health services, their notes will help, too.

  • This clinical information is what rehab centers will use to determine if the patient meets the qualifications for skilled nursing care or long-term care.

  • The patient’s insurance will also play a role. Medicare requires a 3-night inpatient stay in a hospital before admission. If the senior was recently hospitalized, they may be able to use their Medicare benefit.

  • Managed care insurance companies typically require therapy notes before they will be able to approve a patient’s admission to a skilled nursing center. Like Medicare, they will only pay if skilled care is necessary. They don’t cover long-term care expenses.

  • Medicaid does not pay for skilled nursing care; however, it does cover room and board for long-term care. They require what is called a “Level Of Care” before a patient can be admitted.

  • Long-term care insurance may also help cover room and board for an older adult. Each policy is different though. We can help review a senior’s policy to see if theirs will cover long-term care.

If the senior doesn’t have any type of insurance that will cover their skilled nursing or rehab care, they will need to pay out of private resources. In this situation, a deposit check is typically required upon admission.

We know this can all be tough to navigate. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We can help you walk through the process!