What is a "Skilled Nursing Facility" or "Nursing Home"?
A skilled nursing facility or nursing home is a health care facility or a distinct part of a hospital which provides continuous custodial and supportive care to patients whose primary need is skilled nursing care on an extended basis. These facilities provide 24-hour inpatient care and, at a minimum, include a physician, skilled nursing staff, dietary, and pharmaceutical services, and an activity program.
All nursing homes in California are licensed by the California Department of Public Health (DPH), and must meet California nursing home standards. In addition to being licensed, nursing homes which choose to participate in the Medicare and Medi-Cal programs must be certified by the federal government in order to qualify for payments from these programs. Federally-certified facilities must meet federal standards as well as the California requirements. Most California nursing homes are certified to participate in both Medicare and Medi-Cal.