Skilled Nursing Homes and Getting a Power of Attorney Explained Via the Happy Hospitalist–Good Advice To Read Up On For An
Posted Jul 21 2012 5:26pm
I have just a couple clips of his entire blog post but you really should read his entire post on this topic. I did and as always I learn from everyone and the question he answers relates to the question of whether or not a hospital can force a patient to go to a nursing home and Medicare covering the visit. I think this is especially good information for seniors to be aware of and what a palliative care consult is. He advises all to get a power of attorney as there are some avenues to go through to get one if a doctor or hospital needs one but a power of attorney will trump it, but almost any doctor can make a decision to send you to one if it is determined you lack the capacity to make that decision. Read the last comment regarding the time of death at the bottom of his clip, interesting and provokes a few thoughts for sure. With the abbreviated jargon of SNF as he stated is pronounced sniff, this kind of gives a new meaning to sniffing one out if there’s a bit of slang chatter involved:)
He also clarifies that nursing homes are not prisons either and that you can leave if you want if you have the capacity to make that decision and the power of attorney or court appointed guardian can also release you without penalty of Medicare paying. Good stuff and well written. I would say even if one is not a senior, the power of attorney is a good idea as you never know what could happen, especially when having any surgical procedure. BD
Many elderly patients get admitted to the hospital with profound weakness due to their acute and chronic medical conditions. Many of them will leave the hospital with profound weakness from their acute and chronic medical conditions (and unfortunately without a palliative care consult). In many situations, these patients will be too weak to take care of themselves. They will need extra help with their activities of daily living either from family or from trained home health care representatives. Patients who cannot safely return to the community often need to transition through a nursing home (with skilled nurses) before returning home. These are called skilled nursing facilities, or SNF for short (pronounced sniff).
Can a hospital force a patient to go to a long term nursing facility or short term skilled nursing facility (SNF)? The answer is no. No doctor, no nurse, no physical, occupational or speech therapist anywhere in America can force you or your loved one to go anywhere they don't want to go. If a patient wants to go home, they have every right to go home, with one caveat. They have to have the capacity to make their own medical decisions.
I implore everyone to get a POA. If you're in the hospital, you can get these from from the hospital. You can also find free POA forms off the internet. Discuss your wishes with your POA so they will always make decisions for you that are consistent with your wishes should the time come someday that you can not. Otherwise some family member may force your doctors to resuscitate your decomposing body over and over again just to document your time of death past the midnight hour so they could collect one last VA disability check from your cold dead body. Yes, that really happened to me.