Admission to an Alabama skilled nursing facility is a rather complex process and one that many individuals or families find stressful and intimidating. For that reason, you will find that most, if not all, facilities provide staff assistance in managing the process. That said, knowing what to expect can ensure that you're well-prepared, with all the right facts, figures and paperwork in hand to ensure that the admissions process is as smooth and efficient as possible. Here, we'll outline the basic steps of that process to make that preparation easier.
Before you or your loved one can be admitted to a skilled nursing facility, there are a few prerequisites that must be in place. These include the following items:
A physician's order for care in a skilled nursing facility – This order, similar to a prescription, confirms a patient's need for admission.
Physician's order for medications and treatment – In order to care for you or your loved one, medical staff and other caregivers at skilled nursing facilities must have orders from a primary care physician or hospital staff for any necessary medications, treatments or therapies.
Current medical history and physical – The facility will need up-to-date medical information, including a report from a current physical examination and a complete medical history.
A Negative Tuberculosis screening – This is required for admission as a protective measure for facility residents and staff, and may consist of either a negative tuberculosis test or a chest x-ray deemed negative for the disease.
A state-required confirmation of need form – This form certifies that a patient meets the state criteria for care in a skilled nursing facility, and is completed by the patient's primary care physician or, if hospitalized, hospital staff.
If you will be transferred from a hospital, discharge planners or hospital social workers should take care of these 5 items for you. If not, your primary care physician is the person to talk to about getting these things done.
There is quite a bit of paperwork that must be completed for admission. This can be done before your admission day or on the day you're admitted. If you are hospitalized or have other circumstances that make it difficult to travel to the facility's admissions office, many skilled nursing centers have admissions teams that can come to you to complete this step. Generally, this paperwork will include treatment consent forms, medical information release forms, and information on patients rights and responsibilities, as well as facility policies and services.
Also completed with the assistance of facility admissions staff, this process establishes the details of how your visit will be paid for. You'll need to bring your insurance information with you for this assessment, including health insurance and any long-term care policies you may have in place. If you are in the hospital, your discharge planner or social worker may be able to fill you in on the documentation you'll need to present or call to the facilities admissions office for a list.
These are the basic steps you'll need to be prepared for as you begin the admissions process. However, the process differs to some extent from one facility to another, so calling the admissions office of your particular facility to go over the details is wise to help ensure that admission is as smooth and stress-free as possible.