How a Skilled Nursing Facility Works

Any patient entering a skilled nursing facility receives an initial health assessment as well as ongoing health assessments to evaluate physical and mental health, medications, and the ability to handle activities of daily living, such as bathing and getting dressed.

Skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes are barred from discriminating against residents based on race, color, ethnicity, religion, age, and other protected characteristics.

Skilled nursing facilities that violate the rules can be reported to authorities, such as the local long-term care ombudsmen and state nursing home regulatory agencies.

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For example, a woman who suspects her mother was denied entry to a particular nursing home in California because of her race could report the incident to the California Department of Public Health.

If her mom doesn’t have any other care options, she might take up the matter with the facility and try to get her mom admitted. If there are other equally good options, she could also consider choosing another facility.

A skilled nursing facility is required by law to provide you with a written description of your legal rights, which can vary by state. A doctor must verify that the person requires daily skilled nursing care. The person must also have days left in their benefit period.