Last updated: May 6, 2015
A nursing home staff member will
assist a family through the admittance process, but it helps to be
prepared. If your loved one is currently in the hospital, the first
five items on this nursing home checklist will be taken care of by
hospital staff. Otherwise, make an appointment with the primary
care physician to discuss the following items to help prepare for
the move to a nursing home.
- Physician's Order for Admission to a Skilled Nursing
Facility: A doctor needs to confirm that a patient needs
to enter a nursing home for care. This order is similar to writing
out a prescription.
- Physician's Order for Medications and
Treatment: Your loved one will have a new physician and
caregivers at the nursing home. To care for him or her, they will
need orders from a primary care physician or hospital staff.
- Medical History and Physical: The nursing
home's attending physician needs up-to-date information on your
loved one. The primary care physician should perform a physical and
write up a current medical history.
- State-required Form: Every state has a
required form-which goes by different titles-that certifies a
patient meets state nursing home criteria. This means his medical
needs can be fulfilled at a skilled nursing facility. 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
they will be receiving. (The hospital should also already have the
form.) Because financial assistance is only granted if the patient
meets state criteria for nursing home care, this form meets the
first requirement for funding, before monetary need is ascertained.
- Negative Tuberculosis (TB) Test or Chest X-Ray:
TB is an airborne communicable disease. Nursing homes need
to make sure their residents do not have or carry this disease.
- Completed Admissions Paperwork: sually,
paperwork can be filled out prior to or on the day of admission.
Although nursing homes have different rules, most often these forms
are filled out at the facility with a staff member. The patient (or
agent) will sign her name several times after learning pertinent
information. Because nursing homes are regulated by state and
federal laws, the community needs written proof that the patient
learned this information. Part of the paperwork gives the patient's
consent to be treated. As part of the application process your
loved one may need to bring his or her social security
- Completed Financial Assessment: This step
ensures that each patient has the means to pay for care. The
patient or her family needs to disclose financial information
(along with corroborating paperwork), including, but not limited
to, answers to the following questions:
Is the patient currently enrolled in Medicare
(Part A or B) or Medicaid or plan to apply? Does he have
Does the patient receive Veterans 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
Does the patient have any paid-up life insurance policies or
paid-up burial insurance or long-term care insurance?
Has the patient transferred assets in the last 3-5 years?
What is the patient's current living situation (rental housing,
own a home)? What is the amount of the monthly rental or mortgage
The nursing home
has an obligation to
determine if incoming residents meet the criteria for any state or
federal funding. This process is similar in nature to a person
divulging financial information to get a mortgage; the nursing home
is, in effect, the patient's new home.
Source: Information in this nursing
home checklist provided courtesy of Stephanie Blakeney at Golden