In the world of health care and assistance, terms can make a difference. And in the nursing home setting or settings akin to a nursing home, one will eventually hear terms like “skilled care” or “custodial care.”
When a loved one needs help in a nursing home, or sometimes their own home, these distinctions can play a role in the services delivered, and the willingness of various systems or insurances, to pay!
Sometimes nursing home staff or doctors will suggest your loved one will only need or benefit from custodial care, whereas you may think that skilled care would help them maintain their current health or possibly improve their current health.
The amount Medicare or long term care insurers or others will pay for skilled services versus custodial services vary too–in fact some will only pay for skilled services and not custodial services–so if you have a hassle with these issues, that you cannot quickly resolve, you might want to check with an elder law attorney too. Don’t be afraid to find an advocate or be an advocate yourself…sometimes nursing home staff or doctors will suggest your loved one will only need or benefit from custodial care, when more care or services–skilled care–services are warranted.
Have a look at the quick graphic or explanation published by the feds here: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare-Medicaid-Coordination/Fraud-Prevention/Medicaid-Integrity-Education/Downloads/infograph-CustodialCarevsSkilledCare-[March-2016].pdf