Skilled Care

What is the Skilled Care?

This very important care happens between hospitalization and returning home, and some patients don't realize they can choose where to receive it.

Skilled Care at Story County Medical Center is designed to help you or a loved one recover from illness or surgery with 24-hour attention from a skilled, compassionate team of medical specialists in a caring, comfortable environment.

We are widely respected as a trusted Skilled Care facility, and offer a wide range of in-hospital therapy and rehabilitation services for patients who must learn to function more independently, and to care for their own health needs as part of their road to recovery.

Click here to download a skilled care brochure.

What Services Are Provided While You Are In Skilled Care?

Physician Evaluation: Our care team will be in continuous contact with your healthcare provider, who will evaluate your progress and visit you as required by your condition.

Rehabilitation Services: Our on-site, professional rehabilitation staff will work closely with your physician to develop an individualized treatment plan designed to enable you to reach the highest level of function in the least amount of time, while helping you achieve independence in all areas of your life. Rehabilitation services are provided five days a week, or more if necessary, and include:

You may ask your therapist about your care plan at any time during your hospital stay.

Nursing: You will be attended by specially trained Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs) and Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs). They will check on you routinely to monitor your condition and see that your needs are met. You may notice some changes in your daily schedule if you move from acute care to skilled care. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about these changes at any time.

Social Services: Our social worker is available to you and your family to provide social/emotional assessments, assistance with discharge planning such as arranging for home health care or nursing home placement, as well as provide help with financial concerns or other social issues.

Care Plans: Our Multi-disciplinary Care Plan Team consists of trained specialists in a variety of fields who will consult with your provider, and meet with you and/or your family on a regular basis to coordinate your plan of care and discharge planning efforts.

Food and Nutrition Services: The medical center's dietitian will assess your dietary needs according to your condition and develop an individual meal plan. Our food and nutrition department offers a wide variety of menu items with a restaurant style menu for your dining pleasure. A staff member from the food and nutrition services department will visit to assist you in making menu selections.  Dietary changes will be adapted to your improving condition, and changes can be made by you or at your provider's request.

Breakfast is served between 7:15 am and 7:45am, lunch is served between 12pm and 12:30pm, and dinner is served between 5:15 pm and 5:45pm.

Dental Services: Services from a respected local dentist are available if required.

Who Pays For Skilled Care?

Most insurance companies cover skilled nursing care. Check your policy to determine your coverage. If you need assistance determining your skilled care benefits, please call our social services department at 515-382-7734.

Medicare will pay for skilled care provided that your condition, care and documented progress continue to meet the skilled care guidelines. Medicare will pay for everything for up to 20 days except for any charges that Medicare does not recognize.

If you require skilled care beyond 20 days, you or your supplemental insurance company will then be responsible for a portion of any remaining "recognized" charges. No Medicare benefits are available after 100 days of care within a "benefit period." (Some supplemental insurance coverage benefits offer an additional 30 days of skilled care.)

For Medicare/Medicaid contact information, click here.

Additional Information

As a skilled care patient, you are protected by a Patient Bill of Rights. A copy of this will be presented and explained to you as soon as possible upon your admission to Story Medical.

The "Swing Bed" Program at Story County Medical Center allows patients to remain in the same hospital room throughout their stay regardless of the level of care provided (i.e., acute care, skilled care or observation).

Who Do I Contact for Admission Information?

For admission information, please contact our Social Services Coordinator, Jill Bohnet, at or (515) 382-7014 or Meagan Ausborn-Henderson, Director of Acute and Skilled Care Services, at (515) 382-7733.