As we turn the spotlight to our Skilled Nursing services, we should probably start with the question, "What is Skilled Nursing and how is it different from private duty care?"
Skilled nursing refers to a patient's need for care or treatment that can only be done by licensed nurses. Get the facts on skilled nursing with this review of this branch of medical care and the patients served by it.
Examples of skilled nursing needs include complex wound dressings, rehabilitation, tube feedings or rapidly changing health status. A number of patients may have a health status that changes quickly.
This includes accident victims or people who've developed or contracted a serious illness. People who have experienced strokes often require rehabilitation and must learn how to talk, walk or feed themselves all over again.
Medicare covers various skilled therapies (physical, speech–language pathology and occupational) and skilled nursing services, including observation and assessment, management and evaluation of a care plan, or patient education. Medicare regulations also list nine specific services that are defined as skilled and covered by Medicare.
Freudenthal Home Health's Clinical Director, Trisha England, RN, MSN, goes on to say "Unlike skilled home health which is based short-term, case-based needs, private duty care is more about providing assistance with the activities of daily living and can be more long term and doesn't required a licensed nursing professional."
Private duty care can include companionship, personal care, like bathing and hygiene, meal preparation, housekeeping, medication management/administration, and even home maintenance and lawn care. While these items are still very important, they are not covered under medicare.