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Sanford Health Continuing Care Centers

Frequently asked questions

What is a skilled nursing facility? How does it compare to assisted living or basic care?

Skilled nursing is the highest level of care outside of a hospital setting. This level of care provides daily 24-hour services by a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse. All four living centers also offer a full complement of skilled therapy services including speech, physical and occupational therapy. In order to qualify for skilled nursing services, the resident must meet the requirements through a formal assessment that is completed by a hospital or living center social worker.

Basic care and assisted living normally have licensed nursing staff working on an on-call or as needed basis. Many caregivers working in basic care or assisted living are also certified nurse assistants, but it is not required. To determine what level of care is appropriate for your loved one, please speak with a social worker at any of our living center facilities.

How do people pay for skilled nursing care?

The following are options to fund a stay at a skilled nursing facility: Medicare is the federal health insurance program. In order to qualify for Medicare stay in a skilled nursing facility, you need to meet certain qualifications. These may include:

Medicare eligibility

  • Three-day skilled hospital stay
  • Need for skilled nursing or rehabilitation services

At best, Medicare will pay for 100 days of services in a skilled nursing facility (20 days in full then 80 more days with a co-insurance portion going to another payment option). Medicare Part A is for inpatient hospital and skilled nursing services, Medicare Part B is for outpatient therapy services that can also be provided in a skilled facility, and Medicare Part D is for prescription drug costs.

Nursing home insurance has becoming increasingly popular in recent years. The amount of coverage varies widely with each company and individual policy. Questions on coverage should be directed to your insurance professional.

Private pay, also known as out-of-pocket, is another payment option. Often a person needing skilled nursing placement has accumulated savings, retirement funds or personal assets that may be used in paying fees for skilled nursing services.

Finally, Medicaid is the state health/welfare program that pays for skilled nursing services once a resident has exhausted all other payment options. Medicaid is not limited by the number of days that it will pay. A social worker at one of the four Sanford Health Living Centers would be able to help you with Medicaid information.

Transfering assets can result in disqualification when applying for Medicaid benefits. Medicaid will look back five years from the date of skilled nursing admission. Also, asset limits vary from having a spouse placed in a skilled nursing facility to having a single or widowed person placed in a skilled facility.

Will I need to sign my assets over to Sanford Health?

No. Individuals or legally appointed guardians maintain control over their assets.

What will be the cost of skilled nursing care?

North Dakota has equalized rates, meaning that residents who need the same services would pay the same rate whether they were private pay or Medicaid. Medicare, as always, has its own rates. All rates, both private pay and Medicaid, are set by the state of North Dakota and are based on a nursing assessment (minimum data set) that identifies the amount of care a resident would need. It would be hard to estimate a specific daily rate, although the average rate in North Dakota is about $195 per day.

To compare rates of all North Dakota facilities, click here »

What does it cost to live at a living center?

Rates for residents vary depending upon the level of care required. Doctors and facility staff work closely together to determine that level of care. Preferences for either a private or semi-private room also influence the room rates. Other considerations are the rates set for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

What is provided with a skilled nursing facility's daily rate?

A daily rate at a skilled nursing facility is an all-inclusive rate that includes all daily care, housekeeping, laundry/linen, dietary services, activities, lodging and a limited number of over-the-counter medications.

It does not include prescription medications, doctor visits, hospital services and lab services (unless on a Part A Medicare stay). Other amenities excluded from the daily rate include private phone service, cable television and private room fees.

Can I choose Sanford Health Continuing Care Centers and keep my current Bismarck/Mandan doctor?

Most commonly, the answer to this question is yes. The two hospitals in Bismarck/Mandan have a shared credentialing agreement. Your doctor can follow your care at any of our continuing care center facilities as long as he/she is has privileges in one or both hospitals, is willing to complete the skilled nursing facility required visits and has an arrangement for on-call services.

Why should I choose Sanford Health Continuing Care Centers and one of its four facilities for the care of my elderly parent?

Sanford Health Continuing Care Centers is a division of Sanford Health, a fully integrated health system. By choosing one of our four living centers, you are making an educated decision to use a health system with an accredited hospital, clinics, lab services, medical equipment store, hospice, home health services, pharmacy and a variety of other medical services.

Within our integrated system, our four skilled facilities have access to all of these services and the expertise that goes with each.

Is there a waiting list for admission? How do I get on the waiting list?

All four facilities within Sanford Health Continuing Care Center would be happy to help you with an application and maintain your name on a waiting list if no bed is currently available. With four facilities and 339 licensed beds, Sanford Health Continuing Care Centers often can meet your immediate needs within our system and is willing to transfer residents to the facility of choice once a bed is available at that particular facility.

Do you provide respite care?

Respite care is a short-term temporary care that provides caregivers a break for vacation, a medical need or other situation. Respite care consists of 24-hour nursing care, meals and laundry. Respite care is offered by all our facilities upon availability.

I will need rehab after my surgery. Can this be provided at Sanford Health Continuing Care Centers?

Yes, we provide therapy services in all our facilities. Please contact our admissions coordinator for more information.

Can I eat with a resident if I am visiting over meal time?

The four Sanford Health Continuing Care Centers are more than skilled nursing facilities; we prefer to call them home to our residents. Dining with your loved one is always an option while visiting. Visitor meals can be purchased at the front desk or from nutrition services at any of our four facilities. Please let nutrition services and nursing staff know in advanced if you plan to eat with your loved one so we can provide space and the appropriate environment for your special meal.

What are the visiting hours at Sanford Health Continuing Care Centers?

We want our residents to consider our facilities home. Just like in any person's home, there are no truly designated visiting hours outside of keeping common courtesy in mind. If you plan on visiting your loved one later in the evening or early in the morning, understand that our facilities are home to many residents so please keep noise and disruptions to a minimum. Family members of residents who may be in the dying process can remain with their loved ones at all times.

For the safety of our residents, outside doors are locked in the later evening hours and opened again the next morning. If access is needed at off hours, a family member can access our residents' home by arrangement from associates who are present 24 hours per day. Please check with your specific facility for times when doors are locked as this may vary slightly between facilities.

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