A Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) is a medical facility that provides short-term skilled nursing care on an inpatient basis, following recent hospitalization. As part of the continuum of care, SNFs provide the most intensive care available outside of a hospital.
For Medicare certification purposes, a prospective SNF patient must have been hospitalized for at least 3 days in the last 30 days and must also require skilled nursing care or rehabilitation therapy on an inpatient basis. SNFs may be hospital-based or free-standing. Under CMS rules, certain Medicare-certified hospitals may be reimbursed for providing skilled nursing care.