Every facility must have an admissions agreement which describes the services available to each resident. The following checklist is intended to highlight those areas which protect the rights of the resident and should give some assurances of the quality of care which is to be provided to the resident.
- Is there a clear, itemized list of services which are included in the basic daily rate?
- Is there a clear, itemized list of extra services and charges?
- Does the facility require the signature of the resident or their legal guardian?
- Does the admissions agreement state they are willing to accept Medicaid-eligible residents and those who convert to Medicaid any time after admission?
- Does the facility require a down payment from potential Medicaid or private pay residents?
- Does the facility require residents to initially be private pay for a period of time before converting to Medicaid?
- Does the agreement provide a reasonable timeframe (i.e. 30 days) to be notified of any increase in the facility’s fees or charges?
- Does the agreement include an understandable statement of residents rights, or is it stated in a separate document?
- Does the Residents Rights document outline the procedures for filing a complaint about the care or services provided within the home? The name of the local Ombudsman should be made available upon request.
- Does the agreement, or any accompanying form, seek a blanket consent for medical treatment or pharmacy services?
- Do any agreement provisions waive or limit the facility’s liability for lost or damaged personal possessions or injury to the resident?
- Does the agreement provide reasons the resident can be discharged for other than (1) medical reasons, (2) the resident’s welfare or that of other residents, (3) nonpayment except as prohibited by Medicaid?
- Does the contract provide for a minimum number of days advance notice to any discharge or transfer initiated by the facility?
- Does the agreement explain how many days a resident’s bed can be held should the resident be absent during a hospitalization, family event, etc.?
- Things to keep in mind before you sign the agreement.