Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Human Biology

Reader 1

Steffanie Guillermo

Reader 2

Jenna Monroy

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© 2021 Kate A Eisenbraun


This literature review will discuss the experience of patients within the US healthcare system, focusing on skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and their contribution to cyclical hospitalizations. SNFs differ from nursing homes and other long-term care facilities by providing short-term, post-operational rehabilitation at a cost lower than what is offered at hospitals. Despite their critical role, SNFs often face fundamental issues, such as understaffing, underfunding, and staff burn-out, which result in lower quality patient care. This thesis argues that the issues faced by SNFs are a result of inconsistencies with state and federal staffing regulations, as well as inadequate insurance reimbursements. Consequently, medical professionals are overworked, leading to poor care for patients. For these reasons, patients often experience cyclical hospitalizations after staying at SNFs. Additional factors, such as patient aging, social stigmas, and insurance complications, can also exacerbate the problems felt at SNFs. Overall, this thesis hopes to bring light to a systemic issue faced by many patients today. As the baby boomer population continues to age, SNFs will likely become more crowded, amplifying current conditions and increasing our need for healthcare workers. By illuminating the issues that SNFs and patients face, this thesis will inform future conversations about the cycle of rehospitalization.