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Skilled Nursing Definition

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Updated June 01, 2009

Definition: Skilled nursing is a term that refers to a patient's need of care or treatment that can only be done by licensed nurses. Examples of skilled nursing needs include complex wound dressings, rehabilitation, tube feedings, or rapidly changing health status.

Skilled nursing facilities, often times referred to as nursing homes, are residential facilities where patients can receive skilled nursing services 24 hours a day. Medicare will pay for skilled nursing facility services if a physician has deemed that a patient requires skilled nursing care.

Skilled nursing does not include palliative or hospice care services or long-term care needs.

Also Known As: nursing homes
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