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FAQ

Patients and their families often have many questions when making the choice to receive skilled nursing care.  With so many options along the health care continuum, Liberty can help with the best option for your loved one.

These are the frequently asked questions our staff often hears from patients and their family when looking at long term care, skilled nursing and short term rehabilitation options in North Carolina.

How is care paid for in a nursing home?
How does Medicare pay for services in a skilled nursing facility?
Do patients have access to therapy?
How long does a patient receive short term rehabilitation?
Can a patient be admitted from home?
Does a physician have to refer a patient for admission?
Who will be taking care of the patient?
What types of things should a patient wear?
What personal items may a patient bring?
Can a patient go home for the holiday, a weekend or a day visit?
Does a patient need to be a certain age for admission?
What kinds of room accommodations are available?
What will my loved one do when they are not in therapy?
What visiting hours can patients and families expect? 
Can a patient see his/her primary care physician  during their stay?
Can family/friends bring a pet for a visit with a patient? 

How is care paid for in a nursing home?

Many options are available to pay for skilled nursing home care including Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, long term care policies, insurance and private pay.  Our facilities in North Carolina participate with many insurance plans.  Some of these plans have co-pay or co-insurance amounts the patient is responsible to pay.  Patients must have a skilled or medical need in order for Medicare and insurance to pay for services in a skilled nursing facility.  The Business Office or Admissions Office can conduct a financial verification and review with you what coverage is in place for the patient and what out of pocket costs may exist.

How does Medicare pay for services in a skilled nursing facility?

Medicare offers a 100 day benefit.  For Medicare to pay for a skilled nursing stay, the patient must have a three day qualifying hospital stay.  Traditional Medicare pays 100% on days 1 to 20 and days 21 to 100 have a $141.50 co-insurance amount the patient is responsible to pay. This co-insurance amount is set by Medicare and changes each January.   Patients must have a skilled or medical need for Medicare to pay for services.

Do patients have access to therapy?

All patients have access to physical, occupational and speech therapy.  Upon admission, patients receive an evaluation to determine the amount of therapy they need, including the amount they can tolerate.  There is no minimum amount of therapy each day the patient must tolerate, to qualify them for admission to a skilled nursing facility.

How long does a patient receive short term rehabilitation?

Each patient is different, depending on how they progress in therapy and their complete medical condition and history.  Short term patients average 2 weeks to 6 weeks in skilled care.

Can a patient be admitted from home?

A patient may be admitted from home and we recommend an appointment with the primary care physician.  The physician completes paperwork for the skilled facility to review including an FL2, medications list, history and physical.  For Medicare and certain insurances to pay for skilled care, the patient must have a skilled or medical need and a 3 day qualifying hospital stay.

Does a physician have to refer a patient for admission?

Depending upon payment source, a physician’s certification that a patient needs skilled care is necessary.  Our facilities receive referrals from physicians, hospitals, acute rehab, long term acute care, assisted living facilities, eldercare attorneys, adult day care, public agencies.

Who will be taking care of the patient?

Our facilities employ Certified Nursing Assistants, Licensed Practical Nurses and Registered Nurses to provide nursing care and medication administration including assistance with activities of daily living.  Our therapy departments have licensed physical, occupational and speech therapists along with Physical Therapy Assistants, Occupational Therapy Assistants.  A physician oversees the care of a patient.

What types of things should a patient wear?

Bring clothing items a patient can easily move in during therapy or their nursing care sessions; they should wear items they are comfortable in.  We suggest packing 5 nightgowns or pajamas, 7 pairs of underwear, 7 pairs of socks, 6 pairs of pants, shorts or sweatpants, 6 shirts or t-shirts, 2 pairs of tennis shoes or rubber soled shoes, 2 pairs of bedroom slippers and 2 sweaters or sweatshirts.  Patients are dressed each morning.

What personal items may a patient bring?

The facility provides basic items such as toothpaste, soap, shampoo, lotion, deodorant, bedding, towels and wash cloths, gowns.  Please bring specific brands a patient prefers so they feel as comfortable as possible.  Patients often bring photographs of family, motivational items, personal cell phones.  Speak with facility staff about bringing furniture items to ensure they comply with State fire codes.

Can a patient go home for the holiday, a weekend or a day visit?

Patients may occasionally want to leave the facility for a family gathering or holiday celebration.  Please talk with the facility social worker about planning a leave of absence because certain restrictions apply based on the patient’s medical condition at the time and who is paying for the care.

Does a patient need to be a certain age for admission?

Our facilities treat patients who range in age; however, we do not have a pediatric rehabilitation program.  Each facility reviews a referral based on the clinical need of the patient and the existing population currently being treated.

What kinds of room accommodations are available?

Our skilled nursing facilities offer both private and semi-private room accommodations.  Some facilities provide dedicated short term rehabilitation units that offer private rooms with a television and phone.  Our large semi private rooms allow patients to have private space and the peer support when they need it the most.  Click here for a list of our locations.

What will my loved one do when they are not in therapy?

Oftentimes, patients are tired following their therapy sessions.  Our facilities encourage patients to participate in facility activities that may include men’s groups and women’s group, community outings, book clubs, access to a putting green, movie nights, exercise groups, use of the Wii, and computer use with wireless internet access.  In addition to monitoring a patient’s condition, nursing provides basic education to the patient and family about medications, how to monitor blood sugars, basic medical condition information. 

What visiting hours can patients and families expect?

All our facilities encourage family and friends to visit with patients and to actively participate in physical therapy and occupational therapy.  Visiting hours are posted within each facility lobby and generally are 8:30 am until 8:00 pm.  These hours are suggested guidelines so that patients may receive an adequate amount of rest each day.  Please talk with the social worker or the nurse manager to arrange an alternative visiting time.

Can a patient see his/her primary care physician during their stay?

Patients are assigned an attending physician at admission.  Our facilities have a medical director and other physicians who are assigned to oversee the care patients receivve during their stay.  Contact the Admissions Office for a complete list of the physicians who have priviledges at the facility.  Please let us know your physician’s name and we will contact them about getting credentialed to see patients.

Can family/friends bring a pet for a visit with a patient?

 Our 19 locations are pet friendly and many have a facility dog or cat who regularly visits with patients.  We realize not everyone wishes to have a pet visit; please let us know your wishes and we will make sure the patient is not disturbed.  Owners should bring paperwork showing their pet is current on all shots including a rabies vaccine, and be on a leash.  We kindly ask that pet visits be limited to the specific patient.