When you are admitted to a nursing home, you will be asked to sign an admission agreement that explains your rights and responsibilities and those of the nursing home. In years past, this involved signing contracts written by nursing homes that often contained deceptive or illegal terms. Signing the Agreement The person being admitted to the nursing home is the only person required to sign the Standard Admission Agreement. (California Health & Safety Code §1599.65).
Section I (Preamble) of the Agreement states: If you are able to do so, you are required to sign this Agreement in order to be admitted to this Facility. If you are not able to sign this Agreement, your representative may sign it for you. Make sure you obtain a copy of the signed Agreement and any other documents presented or signed at admission.
Section XII of the Agreement requires the facility: To give you a copy of the signed agreement, all attachments, any other documents you sign at admission, and a receipt for any payments you make at admission, upon your request. Financial Responsibility of Residents’ Representatives Who Sign the Agreement The resident is responsible for paying any nursing home bills under the Agreement, not his or her family or friends. (Title 42 United States Code §1396r(c)(5), Title 42 Code of Federal Regulations §483.12(d)(2), California Welfare & Institutions Code §14110.8)
Signing the Standard Admission Agreement: As a resident’s representative does not make you responsible for using your own money to pay for care provided by the nursing home. Section II (Identification of Parties to this Agreement) of the Agreement states: IF OUR FACILITY PARTICIPATES IN THE MEDI-CAL OR MEDICARE PROGRAM, OUR FACILITY DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT YOU HAVE ANYONE GURANTEE PAYMENT FOR YOUR CARE BY SIGNING OR COSIGNING THIS ADMISSION AGREEMENT AS A CONDITION OF ADMISSION.
Signing Other Documents at Admission : You and your representative cannot be required to sign any other document at the time of admission or as a condition of admission or continued stay in a California nursing home. (Title 22 California Code of Regulations §73518) This right is stated in Section I, the Preamble to the Agreement. Do not sign any forms or documents that conflict with the Standard Admission Agreement or attempt to restrict your rights.
Avoid signing any documents that seek waiver of liability: binding arbitration or general consent to treatment. The Agreement already includes a general consent to treatment and emergency care in Section III so additional forms are not needed for this purpose at admission. Although you are not required to sign other documents, the nursing home may ask you to do so. It is usually best not to sign other documents at admission. Ask the nursing home to give you copies of any forms to review in advance before making decisions about signing them.
If you have any concerns or doubts about a document you are asked to sign, seek advice from The Peck Law Group, APC or advocate before doing so or agreeing to any Binding Arbitration.