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CDPH Issues Updated Guidance for SNF Interdisciplinary Team and Resident Decision-Making

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The California Department of Public Health has issued All Facilities Letter (AFL) 23-18, which provides updated information about current requirements for decision-making for unrepresented skilled-nursing facility (SNF) residents lacking capacity and the associated interdisciplinary team (IDT) process.  

The AFL reviews the steps facilities must take before initiating medical interventions requiring informed consent, including the requirement to identify a patient representative to participate in the decision-making process. 

For residents who require a medical intervention that requires informed consent in the absence of a conservator, family member, friend, or legal surrogate decision maker, the California Department of Aging’s (CDA’s) Long-Term Care Patient Representative Program (LTCPRP) — which became operational on Jan. 27 — can provide public patient representatives to participate in the IDT process. Additional information, resources, and tools regarding LTCPRP can be found on CDA’s Office of the Long-Term Care Patient Representative web page.