What is Skilled Care?

HCHS Skilled Nursing is a place to continue a patient's recovery from an injury or illness. It is a safe, nourishing environment where patients can work on getting stronger to safely return home. Skilled Care involves many elements including the care of experts: nurses, physician, therapists, nutritionists, social workers and rehabilitation assistants in a comfortable, home-like setting. An important asset is the continual, personal attention given to patients.

These are the services provided in Skilled Care (also known as Skilled Nursing):

• Occupational, Physical, and Speech Therapy

• Physician on site

• Private, large, comfortable rooms

• IV Medications and/or Feedings

• Diabetes and Dialysis Management

• Wound Care

• Continuity of care across all medical settings

• Primary Care can follow patient's progress

• Activities (movies, games, books)

• Outdoor patio/garden

• Convenient parking

What makes someone a candidate, or eligible, for Skilled Care?

HCHS Skilled Nursing is a place to continue a patient's recovery from an injury or illness. It is a safe, nourishing environment where patients can work on getting stronger to safely return home. There are several criteria to be a patient on skilled care. At least one of the following requirements has to be present to be covered by most insurance companies, including Medicare and/or Medicaid:

•Three consecutive overnights in acute hospital within past 30 days

•Services ordered by physician/provider

•Willing to actively participate in daily therapy

•Medicare Part A (Hospital) benefit and available days to use

•Authorization of private insurance

Can I come to Hancock County Health System for Skilled Care after I have been cared for at another hospital?

YES, you can come to HCHS Skilled Care from being treated at another hospital for an injury, illness or even after an operation or procedure. Physicians/providers from other hospitals may refer to their hospital's skilled nursing unit, but you do have choice. You can tell them you want to go to HCHS Skilled Care so you are close to family and friends.

What benefits are there by going to skilled care rather than just going home after a hospitalization?

Sometimes people need a little extra time and therapy to regain strength and mobility to return home safely and prevent at-home accidents and/or falls.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Each year, 2.8 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.

  • More than 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.

  • Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures.

To learn more about Skilled Care at HCHS, call 641-843-5000 and ask for Jennifer Weiland or the HCHS Social Worker.

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