May 14, 2012_NH "Dear Administrator" Letters

May 14, 2012

ADSA:  NH #2012-004

Dear Nursing Home Administrator:

In the past few months, we have received questions on admission contracts or agreements.  The purpose of this letter is to remind you of the requirements and provide guidance on this issue.

The admission contract or agreement is very important to residents and of great interest to the State Long-term Care Ombudsman.  Over the years, the Ombudsman office has worked with the legislature to develop and strengthen requirements within the resident rights statute, chapter 70.129 Revised Code of Washington (RCW). 

Some basic facts about admission contracts or agreements include:

  • The Department has the authority and responsibility to review any admission contract or agreement to determine if they meet the relevant federal or state statutes.
  • The resident rights statute does not require the applicant/provider to have admission contracts or agreements.
  • If applicants/ providers choose to have an admission contract or agreement, RCW 70.129.150 does require that the documents meet all of the requirements of the section.
  • Whether or not there is an admission contract or agreement, the applicant/provider still has to provide residents with all of the notices and policies required under relevant federal or state statutes, in writing and in language the resident understands,.
  • RCW 74.42.030 requires that the written information provided by the facility pursuant to this section, and the terms of any admission contract to be consistent with requirements of chapter 74.42 RCW and chapter 18.51 RCW, and for facilities certified under Medicaid or Medicare, with the applicable federal requirements.

In the early 2000s, the Department held several meetings with interested parties to review the admission contract or agreement requirements.  They developed sample documents for Medicaid and for Private Pay which are now very out of date. 

The Department is considering the need to reconvene a workgroup to address admission contracts and agreements.  The workgroup could develop standardized admission contracts or agreements that meet the statutory requirements, be easily read and understood by residents, and that would be used by anyone who chose to have such a contract or agreement.
Please review  and for relevant statute requirements.  Contact your RCS Field Manager if you have any questions. 

Thank you for your attention to this matter that is so important for residents.


Joyce Pashley Stockwell, Director
Residential Care Services