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⭒ New Developments

California Adopts Standard Admission Agreement for Nursing Homes

— New Regulations Require Its Use Beginning January 2, 2006 —

California Adopts Standard Admission Agreement for Nursing Homes

Effective January 2, 2006, all California nursing homes must use the new standard admission agreement recently adopted by the California Department of Health Services (DHS) as part of regulations published on July 6, 2005. This historic accomplishment is the result of a decade of determined advocacy. In 1997, the Legislature passed SB 1061 (Vasconcellos), a CANHR-sponsored bill that required DHS to develop and implement the standard admission agreement by January 2000. (Download the agreement and regulations below.)

Over five years late and less than perfect, California’s standard admission agreement is still a tremendous achievement. It will allow consumers to enter a nursing home without being subjected to the deceptive, illegal and self-serving admission agreements most operators use. California is the first state in the nation to adopt a standard admission agreement.

The standard admission agreement and the new regulations will benefit residents and their representatives by:

  • Clearly stating that a resident’s representative assumes no personal financial liability when signing the agreement on behalf of a resident.
  • Fairly describing the resident’s and nursing home’s rights and obligations;
  • Prohibiting nursing homes from: (1) presenting an arbitration agreement as part of the Standard Admission Agreement; or (2) requiring residents or their representatives to sign an arbitration agreement or any other document as a condition of admission or continued stay. The top of any arbitration agreement must contain a prominent, bold-faced advisory alerting residents that they “shall not be required to sign this arbitration agreement as a condition of admission…”

All California nursing homes must use the standard agreement, including skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), intermediate care facilities (ICFs) and distinct part SNFs and ICFs.

Important Standard Admission Agreement Documents

CANHR’s Fact Sheet