Making the decision to begin exploring nursing home facility placement for yourself or a loved one can be a difficult one.  It is a process that most do not have experience with until it becomes a need.  For family, it can seem overwhelming and raise the question of “Where do we start?”  Here is a helpful guide that may help to reduce stress and make a transition easier and smoother for everyone involved:

Documents required for nursing home admission

Before your loved one is admitted to a nursing home, you will need to provide the facility with the documents listed below. The first five items on this list are completed by hospital staff or by your loved one’s primary care doctor.

  1. Physician’s order for admission to a nursing home. This order is similar to writing out a prescription and must confirm the patient needs to nursing home-level care.
  2. Physician’s order for medications and treatment. Your loved one will have a new physician and caregivers at the nursing home. In order to provide care, they’ll need orders from a primary care physician or hospital staff.
  3. Medical history and physical examination. The nursing home’s attending physicians need up-to-date information about your loved one. The primary care physician should perform a physical exam and report to provide current medical history.
  4. State-required form. Every state has a required form for nursing home admittance. It certifies that a patient meets state nursing home qualifications. It also means the person’s medical needs can be fulfilled by a nursing home. Either the hospital or the primary care physician will fill out and sign this form. It can be obtained at any nursing home in the state where your loved one will be receiving care. 
  5. Health care tests. Nursing homes are required to offer flu shots, pneumonia vaccines, and tuberculosis (TB) tests within three days of admission. If newly admitted patients have had these services recently, the nursing home may ask for proof. 
  6. Completed admissions paperwork. Paperwork can usually be filled out before or on the day of admission. Although the process varies depending on the individual community and a senior’s state of residence, it’s common for essential forms to be filled out at the facility with a staff member. The patient or their agent, the legally responsible party under Power of Attorney, will sign their name several times after learning about nursing home policies, responsibilities, legal certificates, and the cost and care provided. Because nursing homes are regulated by state and federal laws, the community needs written proof the patient learned this information. Part of the paperwork includes the patient’s consent to be treated. As part of the application process, you may need to bring your loved one’s Social Security card, documentation related to Medicare or Medicaid, and insurance cards. 

Once the facility determines a resident is eligible for admittance, the financial component of admission comes into play.  This step ensures the new resident has the means to pay for nursing home care. The resident and their family will need to disclose financial information and complete paperwork to answer questions such as the following:

Is the patient currently enrolled in Medicare (Part A or B) or Medicaid? Do they plan to apply?

Does the patient have supplemental insurance?

Does the patient receive VA benefits, railroad retirement, SSI funds, or a private or government pension?

What are the patient’s assets, including cash, checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds, CDs, trust funds, and real estate holdings?

Does the patient have any paid-up life insurance, burial insurance, or long-term care insurance policies?

Has the patient transferred assets in the last 3-5 years?

What’s the patient’s current living situation?

How much is their current monthly rent or mortgage payment?

Deciding to enter into a nursing home or senior care facility can be a tough choice. We are dedicated here at Montrose Health Center to easing you into these new living circumstances and making sure that the process is as smooth and painless as possible!