The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued All Facilities Letter (AFL) 21-06, which requests that skilled-nursing facilities (SNFs) respond to a brief survey on the needs of unrepresented SNF residents who lack decision-making capacity. Responses are requested by Jan. 28.
California state law authorizes an interdisciplinary team (IDT) at a SNF to make treatment decisions for unrepresented residents who are unable to provide informed consent. Effective July 21, this IDT must include a patient representative, who may not be affiliated with the facility. CDPH is working with the California Department of Aging (CDA) to assess the scope of the need.
The survey, which is also available via a link on the AFL, seeks to collect information about the number of residents who would require this representation, the frequency and length of IDT meetings, and time associated with preparation. The information collected will be used to support CDPH’s and CDA’s efforts to develop a plan to enable SNFs to meet the needs of unrepresented residents.