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Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) vs. Nursing Facility (NF)

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  • In Coding
  • October 15, 2015
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Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) vs. Nursing Facility (NF)

What is the difference between a skilled nursing facility (SNF), place of (POS) code 31, and a nursing facility (NF), POS code 32.
Per CPT®, POS code is 31 describes a facility that primarily provides inpatient skilled nursing care and related services to patients who require medical, nursing, or rehabilitation services, but does not provide the level of treatment available in a hospital. POS code 32 is similar, and describes a facility that provides nursing care and related services for the rehabilitation of injured, disabled, or sick persons above the level of custodial care to other than mentally disabled persons. Always make sure you are using the correct POS.
The care rendered in each location is different. Care provided in a SNF requires the involvement of skilled nursing and/or rehabilitative staff on a daily basis, which might include registered nurses, licensed practical and vocational nurses, physical and occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, and audiologists. Care that can be given by non-professional staff isn’t considered skilled care, but rather custodial or personal care, and includes assistance with activities of daily living, such as: bathing, dressing eating, grooming, getting in and out of bed, or toileting.

John Verhovshek
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About Has 570 Posts

John Verhovshek, MA, CPC, is a contributing editor at AAPC. He has been covering medical coding and billing, healthcare policy, and the business of medicine since 1999. He is an alumnus of York College of Pennsylvania and Clemson University.

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