Choosing a Nursing Home
and the Admissions Contract
Request a Tour of the Entire Home
Visit During Meal Time
Observe Interaction Between Residents and Staff
Inquire About Services the Home Provides
The Nursing Staff
Certified Nurse Aides (CNA's) provide most of the care in nursing homes and
largely determine the quality of care. A home with a high turnover of staff has
great difficulty providing consistent good care.
Finances and Admission Contracts
If Medicaid and/or Medicare coverage is planned, either on admission on in the future, you must find out if the home is certified to participate in these programs. OTHERWISE, THE RESIDENT'S EXPENSES WILL NOT BE COVERED. If the source of payment is Medicaid, the nursing facility may say that there are no Medicaid beds available. If the facility is Medicaid-certified, this is erroneous information and you should contact the ombudsman.
Upon entering a nursing home, you will be asked to sign an admissions agreement. An admissions agreement is a contract that describes the legal relationship with the nursing home. The agreements you make in the admission contract are very important because they describe the services you receive, your rights and responsibilities, and the charges for your care.
If a nursing home is considering admitting you, ask for a copy of their admission contract as soon as possible. Most admission contracts are quite long and contain legal terms . The more time you, your representative or your attorney have to review the contract, the better. Some contracts may contain illegal requirements. A court would not enforce these requirements. Other requirements may be legal but unacceptable to you. You may negotiate agreements to change the contract.
Under federal law, Medicare/ Medicaid approved nursing homes cannot require anyone other than the resident to guarantee payment. Federal law also prohibits facilities from charging deposits or pre-admission fees to anyone whose nursing home care will be covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
The admission contract should give the daily room rate and state the services it covers. The facility should also give you a list of optional services and the charges for them. It is important to find out what services are covered in the daily rate. Some facilities charge extra for common services that you might expect are covered by the daily rate.
Please review the attached checklist to help evaluate nursing homes that you are considering.
Admission Contract Checklist
You may want to use the following checklist when you sign the admission agreement to make sure everything is covered:
Signing the Contract
The contract should be signed by the nursing home resident or his/her legal representative. Federal law prohibits Medicare/Medicaid approved homes from requiring anyone other than the resident to be financially responsible. If you are asked to sign the contract and are only agreeing to make payment out of the resident's funds, write that statement on the contract, sign it and make sure the nursing home representative initials this change. The ombudsman program can assist you if there are problems with this process.
The information contained in this web site applies only to GEORGIA, USA. It is intended only as INFORMATION and does not constitute legal ADVICE, nor does reading, downloading or otherwise using this site create an attorney-client relationship. Anyone seeking specific legal advice should contact an attorney licensed in the appropriate state, and should never rely upon the information provided herein, or any other web site, for that matter.