COVID-19 Notice: Malman Law’s staff is working at office & from home so that we can do our part to fight the spread of this virus within our community.

Learn more x
Free Consultations | Tap To Call Today: 1.888.625.6265

Speak to a Lawyer 24hrs a Day


Free Consultation, Call Now!

Nursing Home versus Skilled Nursing Facility: Is there a Difference?

Schedule Free Case Review

Free Case Reviews

Please fill out the form below and a representative at Malman Law will contact you within 24 hours to discuss the specifics of your personal injury case.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Nursing Home versus Skilled Nursing Facility: Is there a Difference?

When you look for a nursing home for a loved one, you may be perplexed at the number of options. Today, you have a few senior nursing facilities and deciding on the right one can be a challenge. You know of nursing homes, because those are the more familiar option.

While you may assume there is one type of nursing home, you will soon realize there are two different types. These two are rather distinct; therefore, it is important you understand how skilled nursing varies from nursing homes before selecting one for your loved one.

The terms are often used interchangeably, but these nursing home types are extremely different from one another.

The Regulations Governing Nursing Home Facilities in Chicago

One important difference is how these facilities are regulated. The national government does not have a regulation for nursing homes. Instead, every state’s Department of Health oversees nursing home facilities and combines them with regulators from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). They then work to regulate and oversee nursing homes.

How are Regular Nursing Homes Regulated?

Nursing homes have inspections known as CMS surveys. These are used to look for violations and safety threats to residents. The administrator assesses their received survey and will create a plan of correction for the DHS authorities to review. If they fail to fix what they propose, they may face fines or have their license revoked.

How are Skilled Nursing Homes Regulated?

Skilled nursing facilities are federally regulated. The U.S. Department of Health and CMS take a more comprehensive approach to reviewing and regulating these facilities compared to regular nursing homes. That is because a skilled home has an experienced medical staff including registered nurses and physicians. Nursing homes often have custodial care, which does not require the same regulations.

What is Skilled Nursing Home Care?

Skilled nursing homes are exactly as they sound. They have professionals on-site and there regularly taking care of loved ones. The staff in these facilities are permanent, and they are not brought in as-needed. Instead, you can expect one of the following on-site always:

  • Panel of medical directors
  • Audiologist
  • Licensed nursing
  • Registered nursing
  • Speech and language therapists
  • Vocational nurses
  • Licensed physicians

These professionals are not found in a nursing home regularly. They are available daily to skilled nursing home residents, and they will provide them with a safe, comfortable environment that caters to their disability, illness, or just complications associated with aging.

Skilled Nursing Care in a Home

Sometimes, skilled nursing home care is done at the patient’s home; instead of a facility. These services are provided by registered nurses or therapists. The service must be prescribed by a physician to have the services covered by Medicare – or at least a portion of it.

Skilled Nursing Care in Assisted Living

Some assisted living facilities will offer skilled nursing care. When registered, residents will have a care plan created by a licensed, registered nurse and the team at the facility will follow that plan. They have personal care and nursing staff there around the clock, but the supervision is not as in-depth as a regular skilled nursing home facility.

What is a Regular Nursing Home?

Traditional nursing homes do not provide specific types of services to specific patients. Instead, they provide generalized custodial care. Residents in a nursing home still receive excellent care, but that care is not medically focused. Therefore, nursing homes are best for residents who need assistance, but do not have specific medical needs.

A nursing home does not have a limit on how long a resident can stay either. Skilled nursing home does. Medicaid and Medicare do not pay for nursing homes; therefore, there is no financial assistance or limitations in that respect.

Nursing homes are often a permanent residence, while skilled nursing care is used temporarily. In some cases, skilled nursing homes can be used for end-of-life care, but it depends on the patient’s situation.

Because the service is less medical-based, the services your loved one would receive at a typical nursing home include:

  • Help with daily hygiene needs
  • Providing meal services
  • Offering housekeeping
  • Providing general care
  • Assisting residents with mobility issues
  • Offering transportation
  • Assisting with toileting
  • Helping patients dress

Nursing homes provide adults with daily care and assistance so that they are safe, healthy, and happy. The care is often customized to the resident’s level of mobility and special medical needs.

Medical Coverage for Both

The biggest difference between skilled nursing care and nursing homes is the coverage. Medicare and Medicaid do rely on 24-hour care for residents as a medically necessary cost and part of coverage. However, they do not cover every aspect.

Paying for nursing home options often relies on a person setting up long-term care insurance policies beforehand. Sometimes, these facilities are paid for from a savings account where money was set aside to pay for long-term care.

Most residents use Medicare or Medicaid. These programs look at the resident’s income and assets, then determine if they fall within the state-assigned limits.

Skilled Nursing Receives Medicare and Medicaid

Skilling nursing facilities are regulated by Department of Health, while nursing homes are not. Therefore, they have regulatory requirements and Medicare personally ensures these facilities meet qualifications. The care at a skilled nursing home, such as medical attention, physical therapy, and administering medications requires more skill. Medicare will cover treatment in a skilled nursing facility for up to 100 days. Some seniors stay longer, but if you must stay past the 100-day mark it will be from your own pocket or other long-term care insurance policies.

Medicare does not cover traditional nursing homes, because they lack the regulations that skilled nursing facilities provide.

Skilled Nursing Care is Short-Term

Another key difference is the longevity. Skilled nursing homes are not meant for long-term care. Instead, a resident will stay there until they are medically able to move back to a traditional nursing home. For example, a patient is released from the hospital and may be prescribed skilled nursing until they recover from an illness and then can move toward long-term nursing home care once again.

Residents may also move from a nursing home into a skilled nursing facility for a short period recovering from an injury, illness, or surgery. Then, after they have been rehabilitated they move back to their original nursing home.

What if a Resident Needs Long-Term Skilled Care?

Some skilled nursing homes offer long-term care. After all, there are some residents who may not be expected to recover enough to move back to a traditional nursing home. In these instances, you would want to see if the nursing home you pick offers skilled care long-term or if they are a short-term care facility.

Most long-term care facilities will have respiratory therapists and other services on-site. Long-term facilities are typically combined with a nursing home so that they can care for patients longer than the short period of a typical skilled nursing home.

Safety and Hazards in Skilled Nursing Homes versus Typical Nursing Homes

One key difference to note is the risk factor. A skilled nursing home is subject to heavy scrutiny by the state and federal government. They must meet specific regulations, inspected regularly, and hazards are caught and corrected faster than a typical nursing home.

State nursing home inspections, unfortunately, understate the issues found in nursing homes, including present dangers. While government oversight has seen improvements over the past few years, the health and safety violations of state nursing homes are still astounding and unacceptable.

Therefore, if you are looking at a typical nursing home, make sure you research the inspection history, complaints, and choose one that puts themselves above the minimum state-required standards for health and safety.

The New Inspection Process

A new inspection process was initiated November 28, 2017. However, it may take a few years for all nursing homes registered to undergo the new inspection due to the sheer volume of nursing homes in the country.

The findings from inspections for one year will not be used to calculate the star rating of nursing homes. And ratings may not always reflect the most recent inspection until the government can catch up on all inspections. However, these new health and safety inspection requirements are designed to reduce the number of neglect and abuse cases in typical nursing home facilities as well as skilled nursing homes registered in Illinois and the rest of the country.

When Abuse or Neglect Happens, Contact an Attorney

Despite your efforts to research and find the right facility, your loved one suffered a serious injury or illness due to neglect or abuse. You can hold that nursing home accountable and prevent the same from happening to others by reporting it and contacting an attorney at Malman Law.

Our team will advocate for your loved one, help you receive the compensation you deserve, and protect others from receiving similar treatment.

To get started, meet with one of our advocates today by calling 888-625-6265 or request a free consultation online today.

Related Posts

Why People Choose Malman Law

You’ll want your lawyers to be this good.
You’ll want our experience on your side.
  • Icon

    Credibility & Experience

    25,000+ Cases over 25 Years
  • Icon

    Track Record of Success

    25,000+ Cases over 25 Years
  • Icon

    Team of Litigation Lawyers

    25,000+ Cases over 25 Years
  • img

    They are very helpful, and when it comes to getting things done with your case I had the pleasure of working with Jason Kellerman he was awesome I highly recommend them.

    - Britany Weaver

  • img

    I’m very pleased to recommend Malman Law to my friends and relatives! I have to mention how efficient and professional in dealing with my case has been with everyone that I’ve been in contact with at Malman Law. Mrs. Sabo is outstanding as well as her secretary and assistant in responding quickly to any of my questions or concerns. This firm has gone above and beyond to keep me updated and get answers to my questions at any time, weekends included! Malman Law rules in my opinion!

    - Cheryl Wagemann

  • img

    I’ve been knowing about this Law firm for many years through friends, referrals & advertisements, never I thought I would need their services because I believed things & situations don’t happen to me like this, long story short I was in a situation that I needed help & advice!!! In the right direction, I connected with the Firm & a very patient, understanding professional woman by the name of Margie assisted me in what I needed 🙂 Thank you I will refer as I was as referred as well This firm really does care!

    - Elvira G.

  • img

    I was rear-ended by a semi-truck on my way to work. I was transported to the hospital and my car was totaled. In the aftermath, Dan Petrich and Anna Schmidt from Malman Law helped me get set up with physical therapy and negotiated with the insurance companies to make sure the resulting settlement would cover my medical bills and a rental car until I could get a new car. I would highly recommend their services.

    would do everything they could for me.

    - Tony S.

  • img

    I contacted Malman Lawafter my work injury. So professional from my first phone call. Mr. Malman’s investigator, Dan, came right out to our home. Everything was explained in detail so I know what to expect during this process. I certainly recommend anyone ever in need of a personal injury lawyer to call Malman Law. Truly the best!! Thanks, everyone!

    - Devin Jones

  • img

    Attorney Greg Lamorena was my lawyer when I slipped and fell. He kept me updated throughout the case and was always available to talk when I had questions. He is a great lawyer and could not be happier about my settlement!

    - Annie Ong

  • img

    Alexis was the attorney on my case! She kept me in the loop about everything with my case. If I had any concerns I was able to contact her and she’ll answer my questions right away. If you’re interested in working with Malman Law I would highly recommend Alexis she was GREAT. I would highly recommend Malman Law if you’re ever in need!

    - Eugenia Cathery

  • img

    They are so efficient and professional. Always available to help. Attorney Boyer was great and very good with my case. I really appreciate Malman Law. I gave them 5 stars because there is nothing higher.

    - Omolewa Snyder

  • img

    I have had an amazing experience with Malman law so far. From the start, Dan was super easy to work with, got me the medical attention I needed, and fast. Couldn’t ask for better communication. Neil Kilcoyne has been nothing but the best I could not recommend a better attorney. Malman Law is a 10 out of 10 law firm.

    - Trevor Harris

  • img

    Hi, I just want to acknowledge Jay McCarron, Kelly & the firm at Malman Law for representing me as they continue to work on my case. Thanks for keeping me updated & responding quickly to any of my questions or concerns. I would highly recommend you and your firm to friends & family. E. P.

    - Ernest Pitts

  • img

    Alexis was the attorney on my case and she was GREAT. She made sure I was updated on everything about my case. I would highly recommend Malman Law if you’re ever in need.

    - Ariel Fleming

  • img

    I had the best experience with Jason and Jay attorneys from Malman Law they really went all the way to settle my case I’m telling you there just the best!! Recommend 100%!

    - Carmen Rivera

  • img

    Adam Meadow acted as the attorney for a family member who was in a car accident. He was highly personable and actively listened to our issues throughout the litigation process. He was able to get us a settlement for the reparations of the accident. We would recommend their services!

    - Greg Gustafson

  • img

    Excellent customer service and a great experience. Malman Law handled the whole process and it was very smooth. The settlement was a great success. I would choose Malman Law again in the future.

    - Malak St.Clair

  • img

    Helped me out of a big jam when my auto was hit twice when and the other drivers had no insurance. Adam Meadow is the only Lawyer I will call for helping me and my daughter.

    - Devri Lott

  • img

    I cannot give enough praise to the team at Malman Law, for helping with my case. My children were involved in an auto collision and the attorney Adam along with his paralegal Michelle worked diligently until the matter was resolved and my entire family was happy. I would definitely recommend Malman Law for anybody going through legal troubles.

    - Adrian Lopez

  • img

    A close friend recommended me to Malman Law. I currently have a case with them due to a car accident I had and ever since the accident they have been taking care of everything for me without me having to worry about anything. They took care of the medical bills & helped me get physical therapy right away. I highly recommend them.

    - Vanessa Leon

  • img

    Bella Feinstein, Jason Kellerman, and Terry Davey have been instrumental in helping me through many difficult situations. Not only did they work to get my mom a settlement, but they have also continued to help me through the legal process of relocating my mom to a different state. I’m very grateful for their hard work and good advice.

    - Nyah Vuljanic

  • img

    This law firm is the best they got me paid and Malman Law kept in constant communication with me which meant a lot to me I would highly recommend this law firm to anyone who. In the position, they are awesome sincerely. Jeff walker

    - Jeff Walker

  • img

    Mr. Kellerman of Malman Law shows compassion for his clients. Returns calls and emails promptly, he takes time to listen to his clients, and gather facts accordingly.

    - Steve Acosta

  • img

    Everyone at Malman Law made me feel welcomed and heard. My lawyer, Adam Meadow, as well as staff, kept me up to date and were more than happy to do so! I would highly recommend their services. Also- a plus is many employees are fluent in Spanish. My experience was easy and worthwhile.

    - Adrianna Gomez

  • img

    Dan Petrich was the best man for my case of falling through my porch of an apartment I rented. He made sure I got what I deserved not only $ wise but medical wise and that my hospital bills and Dr bills were left at a $0 balance before closing my case. I was definitely happy and glad I choose him. Thank you. 5 stars

    - Jose Cruz

  • img

    Steve Malman helped me with my auto case. He quickly responded and answered any and all the questions I had. My case was a success as well as 2 other family members I recommended to him won their cases as well. Definitely a 5 star!

    - Meagan Cruz

  • img
    Malman Law goes above and beyond handling your legal injury case needs. From the first appointment through to the ending verdict my sister and brother in law were very happy with their case results. Highly recommended!

    - Eddie Villarreal

  • img

    I am very impressed with Malman Law and my experience with Tiffany Alberty. She was very professional and knowledgeable. I appreciate the great communication and never felt out of the loop. She was very patient and hard working on my case. I would highly recommend this firm. Thanks for the hard work and all your help!

    - Madissen Miller

  • img

    Malman Law is definitely professionals and skilled at what they do. Mr. Adam Meadow always kept me informed and never hesitated to answer my questions and was open to hearing my concerns. Wouldn’t think twice about referring them to family and friends. Thank you to all at Malman Law!

    - Christina Ocon

  • img

    Mailman Law, Excellent firm!! Tiffany Alberty and her assistant Margie Gallegos were super efficient and knowledgeable. Great communication—very quick response and great follow up! My case was resolved sooner than expected. I highly recommend them!

    - Adriana Martinez

  • img

    So glad I contacted Malman Law regarding my accident. Professional and caring. Thank you Mr. Malman. I most definitely recommend to anyone if you need the best to call Malman Law!!!

    - Virgil Sanner

  • img

    I really appreciated and enjoyed Yennin Calderon’s service. I called asking questions and she was so helpful. Not only did she answer all my questions and concerns. It was also a bonus that she was bilingual in Spanish! Loved the warmth she brought. Thank you!

    - Jazlyn Caraballo

  • img

    My experience with Malman Law was great. I worked with Attorney Tiffany Alberty and her assistant Margie. Both communicated what was going on with my case, explained the next steps, and got my case resolved early. I would highly recommend Malman Law.

    - Ashley Jenkins

View more testimonials

What’s your case worth? Submit for a free case review


2 years ago I was involved in a trucking accident involving a 14-wheeler truck that nearly disabled me for life. Steve fought to make sure that I received the most possible compensation for my injuries. I was about to take the insurance company’s lowball offer, but decided to call Steve first – it was the best decision I’ve made yet

NOAH TAFFELPersonal Injury Victim