Medicare Glossary

Definitions for common Medicare terms

skilled nursing facility

DEFINITION: A skilled nursing facility provides the staff and equipment to administer skilled nursing care, rehabilitation services or other health care services.

Original Medicare will pay for a stay in a skilled nursing facility if the enrollee was admitted as a hospital inpatient for at least three nights prior to the stay in the skilled nursing facility (a subsequent skilled nursing facility claim can be covered without another hospital stay, as long as it occurs within 30 days of the first skilled nursing facility stay).