Massachusetts nursing homes are a perfect choice for individuals, or couples, that require a facility providing continuous skilled nursing care for medical needs or rehabilitation services from injury, disability or illness. All nursing homes in Massachusetts are required to have an effective transfer agreement with one or more hospitals. Residents may find their nursing home is connected to Massachusetts General Hospital which was rated the #3 hospital in the United States for Neurology & Neurosurgery and #5 in Geriatrics.
Massachusetts Nursing Homes Defined
Massachusetts nursing homes are divided into two categories; SNF (Skilled Nursing Facilities) and NF (Nursing Facilities). Both facilities are designed for residents who require skilled medical, nursing care and related services or rehabilitation services. NFs will provide services to individuals who because of their mental condition require care and services which can be made available to them only through institutional facilities. Neither facility may be used if the primary treatment is for a mental disease. The distinguishing factor of nursing homes from other types of senior care is the 24/7 medical treatment capabilities they provide. Assisted living or home care would be for individuals who only need help with some daily tasks but aren’t yet to the point that they need nursing care.
Regulation of Massachusetts Nursing Homes
Nursing homes are regulated by federal and state law. Massachusetts nursing homes specifically have resident rights they must follow. Residents are guaranteed the right to living a dignified life and to have the nursing home defend those rights. Life in the nursing home should not be significantly different in terms of being able to visit people inside and outside of the nursing home, participate in treatment and care planning decisions, and even can continue to share a room with their spouse, if desired. If residents are unhappy they are able to express grievances to the nursing home and receive a response. If the resident suffers from communication difficulties or cognitive problems the nursing home must still make every effort to understand the problems the resident is having.
Nursing home inspections fall under the responsibility of the State. The State receives funding for nursing homes from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) which is a component of the Federal government's Department of Health and Human Services which oversees the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Medicare and Medicaid dollars spend a large portion of their funds for to cover nursing home care.
Paying for Nursing Homes in Massachusetts
Many Massachusetts residents are able to utilize the state program MassHealth Standard to cover most of the costs of a nursing home. There are eligibility requirements that could disqualify people from the program including having too much income or assets. Residents may be able to liquidate their assets to a level that will be accepted by MassHealth Standard. To find out eligibility for that, residents should contact the MassHealth Customer Service Center at 1-800-841-2900. Veterans may additional options through Veterans Affairs (VA) and Veterans' Services (VS) to have nursing care cost covered, if they are eligible. Nursing home cost in Massachusetts is well over the national average. With an average stay of 30 months, saving and planning for nursing home care is extremely important.
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