Range of motion (ROM)

The movement of a joint to the extent possible without causing pain.


See resident assessment protocols

Reasonable and necessary care

The amount and type of healthcare services generally accepted by the provider community as being required for the treatment of a specific disease, illness or condition.

Registered nurse (RN)

A nurse who has graduated from a formal program of nursing education (two-year associate degree, three-year hospital diploma, or four-year baccalaureate) and has passed a state-administered exam. RNs have completed more formal training than licensed practical nurses and have a wide scope of responsibility.


The combined and coordinated use of medical, social, educational and vocational measures for training or retaining someone disabled by disease or injury to the highest possible level of functional ability. Different types of rehabilitation include: vocational, social, psychological, medical and educational.

Rehabilitation services

Services designed to improve or restore a person's functioning. Includes physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. May be provided at home or in a facility. May be covered in part by Medicare.


The process by which healthcare providers receive payment for their services. Third parties, such as the Medicaid and Medicare programs, or other entities that insure and represent patients, often reimburse long-term care providers.


A person living in a long-term care facility. Since nursing facilities are licensed healthcare facilities, residents are often also referred to as patients.

Resident assessment

Also called patient assessment. A standardized tool that enables nursing homes to determine a person’s abilities, what assistance the person needs and ways to help the person improve or regain abilities. Resident assessment forms are completed using information gathered from medical records, discussions with the individual and family members, and direct observation.

Resident assessment instrument (RAI)

A standardized tool used by nursing homes to assess residents and plan for their care. The RAI is an overall evaluation of a resident’s status, comprising MDS, RAPs and the care plan.

Resident assessment protocols (RAPs)

A series of 18 indicators used by long-term care providers. Coding of items on the MDS triggers them. They typically help monitor things such as cognitive loss, visual function and other areas and become part of the care plan.

Resident assistant (RA)

RAs generally work in assisted living residences and provide direct personal care services, but they are not certified nursing aides. Depending on the state, this position is also available in some nursing facilities.

Resident care plan

A written plan of care for nursing facility residents, developed by an interdisciplinary team that specifies measurable objectives and timetables for services. The plan is to meet a resident's medical, nursing, mental and psychosocial needs.

Resident census

Also called “patient census.” The total number of residents in the facility and the total number of residents in each long-term care treatment classification on a selected day.

Resident days

Also called patient days. The number of residents in a facility multiplied by the number of days spent in facility. It reflects the total accumulation of days because some entities pay on a per diem basis.

Residential care

The provision of room, board and personal care. Residential care falls between the nursing care delivered in skilled and intermediate care facilities and the assistance provided through social services. It can be broadly defined as the provision of 24-hour supervision of individuals who, because of old age or impairments, need assistance with the activities of daily living.

Resource utilization groups

Resource utilization groups – see RUGs

Respiratory therapy

The diagnostic evaluation, management and treatment of individuals with deficiencies or abnormalities in the cardiopulmonary (heart-lung) system.

Respite care

Respite care Service in which trained professionals or volunteers come into the home to provide short-term care (from a few hours to a few days) for a disabled or incapacitated person. Allows day-to-day caregivers some time away from their demanding caregiving role.

Retirement community

A grouping of senior citizens who are nearly self-sufficient and choose to live among others their age. Nursing services are not typically offered, though activities and other services are.

Revenue codes

A code entered on the UB-92 billing form that identifies where services are being provided, such as observation, pharmacy, etc.

Reverse mortgage

This is a home loan that gives cash advances to a homeowner, requires no repayment until a future time, and is capped by the value of the home when the loan is repaid. Some funding analysts believe greater use of reverse mortgages could significantly ease long-term care funding pressures on governmental sources.

Risk management

This is the practice of minimizing potential liability exposure for a facility or individual. A provider’s overall risk management goal is to enhance the safety of residents, visitors and employees while also minimizing the possibility of financial loss to the provider. Unlike many professions in healthcare, there are no set education requirements for risk managers. Many, however, possess a bachelor’s degree in nursing or some other degree in healthcare or law.


RN – see registered nurse

RUGs (Resource utilization groups)

A system of 53 different classifications used for Medicare Part A reimbursement for the 505 elements on the MDS form.